13 thoughts on “Some fast help

  1. “Feminine Charms and Outrageous Arms” by Fen Coles… in “Feminist Theory and the Body: A Reader” by Janet Price & Margrit Shildrick (such a classic reader!). It has been a while since I’ve read this essay but I remember it sparking some very good discussions. Coles explores muscular definition and appearance in females in the body-building culture.

  2. *Muscle* by Sam Fussell is a wonderful memoir. Not theoretical, just a story of how a geeky guy became a steroid using body builder and then stopped.

  3. Judith Halberstam’s “Female Masculinity” is also wonderful, but more on the theoretical side.

  4. Marianne Wex’s photography collection in _Let’s Take Back Our Space: ‘Female’ and ‘Male’ Body Language as a Result of Patriarchal Structures_, provides a really wonderful visual illustration of some of these issues.

  5. Some ideas that might be worth looking at, but may not pay off (I can’t check well enough right now to know for sure, I’m sorry to say) would be Emily Nussbaum’s article from Lingua Franca, Oct. ’98, “Bodies that Matter”, about weight-lifting professors- some interesting stuff there. You might also look at Larry May’s book from ’98, _Masculinity and Morality_. A quick look makes it seem as if it doesn’t devote a huge amount of time to the subject, but does at least touch on it, and the bibliography looks interesting and may have leads. The book is available for the price of shipping, essentially, on Amazon now, so might be worth looking at.

  6. If I’m not too late, I suggest supplementing these with some canonical touches, such fun to see the points of connection! Aristotle: NE IV:3 on magnanimity, says a man…”does not gossip, does not lament in misfortune, prefers beautiful and profitless objects, is comparatively self-sufficient, walks slowly and speaks deliberately in a deep voice.” Kant, in his Observations, abhors men who dress too ostentatiously, and his reasons for that are fascinatingly instructive as to conceptions of masculinity. Rousseau (in Emile) said men should be active and strong, while women should be passive and meek, and his comments through chapter 5 seem to mean this literally as well as abstractly; men don’t have women’s “mincing ways” and girls love dress-up naturally, while boys don’t or shouldn’t.

  7. …and now it occurs to me that I posted his email address without replacing ‘@’ with ‘AT’, or the like. Please edit?

  8. Michael J. Murphy has a piece about masculinity, body issues, and marketing in the new edition of my book, Men Speak Out: Views on Gender, Sex, and Power (Routledge).


    Also, my chapter titled “Dressing Left: Conforming, Transforming, and Shifting Masculine Style” may be of interest. In Fashion Talks: Undressing the Power of Style (SUNY Press), eds. Shira Tarrant and Marjorie Jolles.


  9. If you have the resources for video, then McQueen’s show for men’s clothes contrasted with one for women might be interesting. It’s all on youtube.

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