men, masculinities and gender politics



We all live in Steubenville.


[Trigger warning: stories of sexual assault.]

Never just “an isolated incident,” violence against women impacts us all.

The other day I heard about yet another domestic violence homicide.  And the news report sounded a hauntingly familiar refrain…

Whosoever would be a man must be a nonconformist.” (Why, after 200 years, Emerson is still relevant.)

When do you follow the rules?

When do you break them?

Do you break the rules in order to do the right thing?

Even if breaking the rules will get you punished?

Is prostitution really a “profession”? (Only when it serves men’s purposes.)

Quick! Name “the world’s oldest profession.”

Women of the world rejoice: We enlightened men have come to liberate you!

In her brilliant 2008 essay “Men Who Explain Things: Every Woman Knows What It’s Like To Be Patronized By A Guy Who Won’t Let Facts Get In The Way,” Rebecca Solnit writes:


Of princesses and prostitutes. Some fantasy women prove too much even for Disney.

Late last month it was revealed that U.S. Olympic middle distance runner Suzy Favor Hamilton had also been supporting herself through an entirely different sort of physical activity. It turns out that this elite athlete was working as highly-paid “escort” in Las Vegas and in other U.S.

Yes, India is a very rough place for women. But that doesn’t excuse the rest of us.

For the last couple of weeks the world has watched as Indian women (and their male supporters) have taken to the streets to protest the horrific gang rape and brutal murder of Jyoti Singh Pandey.  The marchers are fighting against what they perceive to be a culture of violence against women in India.