Language, the Manosphere, and Networked Harassment

“The manosphere is an aggregate of diverse communities brought together by a common language that orients them in opposition to the discourse and rhetoric of feminism. Vocabulary contributes to a sense of common identity. Men’s rights communities use the term [misandry] to signify a form of undesirable feminism that they argue privileges women’s rights over... Continue Reading →

Preface to the Jubilee Edition of The Souls of Black Folk (1953)

“I sense two matters which are not so much omission on my part as indications of what I then did not know or did not realize: one is the influence of Freud and his co-workers in their study of psychology; the other is the tremendous impact on the modern world of Karl Marx.” W.E.B. Du... Continue Reading →

The Gender of Cheerleading

“At its inception in the mid-1800s, cheerleading was an all-male sport. Characterized by gymnastics, stunts, and crowd leadership, it was considered equivalent in prestige to that flagship of American masculinity: football. As the editors of the Nation saw it in 1911: The reputation of having been a valiant “cheer-leader” is one of the most valuable... Continue Reading →

The Wild Scholarship of Max Weber

“Weber himself was reported as saying: ‘I couldn’t care less about style; I just cough up my thoughts.’[1] In his attitude to work, periods of depressive aversion evidently alternated with ones of euphoria when he would be overwhelmed by the rush of ideas and ‘intellectual voraciousness,’[2] but when, at the same time, he would feel... Continue Reading →

The Apartheid Wall

Two days ago marked the 30th anniversary of the Fall of the Berlin Wall. However, in the West Bank, there is a wall twice as high and four times as long. Once construction finishes, it will stretch over 440 miles. While the West Bank does not belong to Israel, Israel regularly annexes it illegally by... Continue Reading →

The Pink Dragon is Female: Halloween Costumes and Gender Markers

Sociological Fragments

“The marketing illustrations for children’s Halloween costumes remains largely anchored in traditional gender roles, images, and symbols. The symbolic representations of gender contained within Halloween costumes may, along with specific costume titles, refurbish stereotypical notions of what women/girls and men/boys are capable of doing within the realm of their imaginations.”

Adie Nelson

Although the term “fantasy” implies a “play of the mind” or a “queer illusion,” the marketing illustrations for children’s Halloween costumes suggest a flight of imagination that remains largely anchored in traditional gender roles, images, and symbols. Indeed, the noninclusive language commonly found in the names of many children’s Halloween costumes reverberates throughout many other dimensions of the gendered social life depicted in this fantastical world. For example, the participation in the paid-work world and financial success for men and of physical attractiveness and marriage for women is reinforced through costume names that reference masculine costumes by…

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A Pragmatic Argument Against High Inequality

“It is important not to think that pragmatic arguments about inequality always support the status quo. There are also strong pragmatic arguments against high levels of inequality. Excessive inequality can have all sorts of undesirable practical consequences. Two considerations are particularly important here: the impact of inequality on the costs of social control and the... Continue Reading →

Batterers, Abandonment, and Love Addiction: Jimmy’s Story

I am reblogging one of the most-liked posts on this blog, “Batterers, Abandonment, and Love Addiction: Jimmy’s Story.” The excerpt comes from one of the leading texts on masculinity and mental health authored by Terrence Real, Ph.D., “I Don’t Want to Talk About It: Overcoming the Secret Legacy of Male Depression.” I have always found the text immensely powerful, both for aiding in my personal journey in wrestling with masculinity as well as providing rich interviews and analysis with men that illustrate how gender socialization negatively impacts men and the people around them. I hope others find this excerpt helpful as I do.

Sociological Fragments

Jimmy, like most of the male batterers I have encountered, suffered from both forms of addictive intoxication: the need for merger with an abundant other and the need to wrestle nature, as represented by his wife, into submission. Shirley helped me see the connection between the two forms of intoxication in a couple’s therapy session when she offered a suggestion.

“If you really want to be of use to somebody,” Shirley proposes, folding out the wrinkles of her fashionable miniskirt, “what you should do is write yourself up some little grant, you know, some little research project, and figure out what happens to guys when their girlfriends spend time on the phone. I never met a man yet who didn’t get berserk when I was on the phone for more than ten minutes.”

Jimmy sputters, “Hey, listen. The baby was crying. I’m trying to get your attention. You’re…

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Does Undocumented Immigration Increase Violent Crime?

“At a minimum, the results of our study call into question claims that undocumented immigration increases violent crime. If anything, the data suggest the opposite.” Michael T. Light and Ty Miller “Our findings suggest that undocumented immigration over this period is generally associated with decreasing violent crime. The negative association between unauthorized immigration and violence... Continue Reading →

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