In late October 2013, the Miami Dolphins’ player Jonathan Martin walked out on his team and checked into a mental health institution. The original story implied that Martin could not take the professional pressure. Within days, the story changed. News sources reported that Martin’s teammates had repeatedly bullied him and as a result, the twenty-four year-old African American player suffered serious depression. The response was skeptical, and many opined the harassment involved was simply locker room banter that all players endure; essentially, that boys will be boys.
Masculinity at Work uses the Jonathan Martin case and others to analyze Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 through the lens of masculinities theory. Illustrating how harassment and discrimination can occur because of sex even if the gendered nature of the behavior remains unseen to onlookers, this book educates readers about the invisibility of masculine structures and practices, how society constructs concepts of masculinity, and how men (and sometimes women) perform masculinity in different ways depending on their identities and situational contexts. Using a sophisticated mix of legal, gender, and social science analysis, the author demonstrates how masculinities theory can also offer significant insights into the behaviors and motivations of employers, as well as workplace structures that disadvantage both men and women who do not conform to gender stereotypes. Both a theoretical disposition and a practical guide for legal counsel and judges on the interpretation of sex and race discrimination cases, Masculinity at Work explains how this theory can be used to interpret Title VII in new, liberating ways.