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  • ISBN: 9780231084345
  • ISBN10: 023108434X

Xy on Masculine Identity

by Lydia Davis

  • List Price: $90.00
  • Binding: Hardcover
  • Publisher: Columbia Univ Pr
  • Publish date: 04/01/1995
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Description: Drawing on biological examples, historical and sociological analyses, fiction, and biography, Elisabath Badinter offers a groundbreaking account of the new man, which our century is in the process of inventing. Now updated to take into account the 1994 discovery of the female gene, XY delineates the shape of this new man. Woman, Badinter asserts, simply exists, while man must be constructed. As long as women give birth to males and the male gene XY develops within the female XX, this construction will persist. XY points out that girls are naturally initiated into "womanhood" through the biological process of menstruation. For boys, however, this initiation is seen not as natural process but as educative advancement, usually embodied in societal rite of passage. But in the contemporary culture of disenchantment, where cynicism has largely drained such rituals of meaning, the transition has become uncertain. Exploring the shifting inscriptions of male identity in the popular imagination, Badinter examines changing role models for masculine identity - from cowboy in the 1950s to Terminator in the 1990s, from flesh-and-blood man to machine. She suggests that men need new role models and that sufficient room needs to be left for the expression of male vulnerability, a psychic space that would accept attitudes and behaviors traditionally labeled as "feminine". This new model, Badinter argues, may reduce the profound effects of homophobia and misogyny.
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