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Revealing Male Bodies

Edited by Nancy Tuana, William Cowling, Maurice Hamington, Greg Johnson, and Terrance MacMullen

Publication Year: 2002

Revealing Male Bodies is the first scholarly collection to directly confront male lived experience. There has been an explosion of work in men's studies, masculinity issues, and male sexuality, in addition to a growing literature exploring female embodiment. Missing from the current literature, however, is a sustained analysis of the phenomenology of male-gendered bodies. Revealing Male Bodies addresses this omission by examining how male bodies are physically and experientially constituted by the economic, theoretical, and social practices in which men are immersed.

Contributors include Susan Bordo, William Cowling, Terry Goldie, Maurice Hamington, Don Ihde, Greg Johnson, Björn Krondorfer, Alphonso Lingis, Patrick McGann, Paul McIlvenny, Terrance MacMullan, Jim Perkinson, Steven P. Schacht, Richard Schmitt, Nancy Tuana, Craig L. Wilkins, and John Zuern.

Published by: Indiana University Press

Title Page, Copyright, Dedication

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pp. iii-v


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pp. vii-viii

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Preface: What’s a Nice Girl like You Doing in a Text like This?

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pp. ix-xi

This text takes its origin from an absence and a presence. My research in feminist philosophies of the body had made me aware of the lack of attention to male bodies in the newly emerging feminist studies of the body and embodiment. Being a feminist who has always believed that our revolution will not be successful unless our concerns and methods address and...

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Introduction: What Is Male Embodiment?

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pp. 1-16

The last decade has witnessed an astounding proliferation of literature on masculinity and male experience. From popular books pertaining to the emotions of adult males, to feminist eulogies for traditional manhood in the postmodern age, to scientific studies of the factors contributing to adolescent male violence, men have come under societal scrutiny to an extent...

Part 1. The Phallus and the Penis

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Chapter 1. Does Size Matter?

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pp. 19-37

The young girl stands in front of the mirror. Never fat to begin with, she’s been on a no-fat diet for a couple of weeks and has reached her goal weight, 115 lb., at 5'4"—exactly what she should weigh, according to her doctor’s chart. But goddammit, she still looks dumpy. In her mind is this Special K commercial that she’s seen a few times on television: a really..

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Chapter 2. Large Propagators: Racism and the Domination of Women

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pp. 38-54

W. E. B. Du Bois wrote, ‘‘To the ordinary American or Englishman, the race question at bottom is simply a matter of ownership of women; white men want the right to use all women, colored and white, and they resent the intrusion of colored men in this domain.’’1 At first blush that seems off the mark: racism is about slavery and its...

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Chapter 3. The Future of the Phallus: Time, Mastery, and the Male Body

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pp. 55-80

In the courtyard just below the window of my office at the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa, a group of young men has gathered to practice stunts with bikes. One by one, they speed up a ramp of plywood and vault into the air, straining to force the bike through a specific, painstakingly choreographed configuration of twists and whirls before returning—sometimes...

Part 2. Masculine Myths and Male Bodies

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Chapter 4. Eating Muscle: Material-Semiotics and a Manly Appetite

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pp. 83-99

Meat, football, and Texas still live somewhere inside my body, conjoined, impossible to render entirely separate from one another, or from me, even though I have eaten vegetarian for nine years, lived elsewhere for twelve. Residues of Texas ethos—Cowboys, Longhorns, pickups, country music, leather, smoked ribs, barbecue, chili, big appetites—call up the meat of...

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Chapter 5. The Disabled Male Body ‘‘Writes/Draws Back’’: Graphic Fictions of Masculinity and the Body in the Autobiographical Comic The Spiral Cage

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pp. 100-124

For the purposes of this essay it is assumed that comics are a mature and sophisticated medium, a set of cultural signifying practices in which masculinity, ability, embodiment, and sexual difference can be interrogated by their creators and readers.1 I focus on the graphic life narratives of Al Davison, in which he writes and draws in the comics medium his disabled male...

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Chapter 6. Dragging Out the Queen: Male Femaling and Male Feminism

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pp. 125-145

The term ‘‘drag queen’’ apparently is a development from the combination of ‘‘draggle-tail’’ and ‘‘queen.’’ If a fox has a wet tail, it drags it and presents a ‘‘draggle-tail’’ look, depressed and somehow deficient. Similarly the woman who does not look after the train of her dress or who has a dirty or hand-me-down gown looks draggle-tailed and becomes a drag queen....

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Chapter 7. A Man

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pp. 146-154

The distinctive male traits—penis and penetrator in copulation, greater size (20 percent on average) than females, and different pattern of, and on average greater, muscularity than females—materialize sexual and social behaviors. These traits co-determined the original division of labor in societies. Male identity and pride can issue in practices of dominance and brutality...

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Chapter 8. Turnabout: Gay Drag Queens and the Masculine Embodiment of the Feminine

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pp. 155-170

...Her introduction delivered, the focused light from a single spotlight appears on two large, side-by-side doors in an otherwise dimly lit ballroom. This prompts Eunice’s entrance and the beginning of her Emcee Performance/ Ball Chair Presentation dedicated to the Snow Leopard Emperor XIX, Shane Kennady Smith, and Empress XXIII, Zenith Rockafeller, who...

Part 3. Constructing Male Space

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Chapter 9. The Body of White Space: Beyond Stiff Voices, Flaccid Feelings, and Silent Cells

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pp. 173-197

‘‘So, we have had more than thirty contact hours of discussion about race, class, and gender, in this course. Now I want to know what you think. Do you guys think we still have a problem with racism today?’’ The mocha-skinned woman’s challenge was as much a matter of eyes punctuating the bob of her head as of tongue forming syllables. The two other women in...

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Chapter 10. Brothers/Others: Gonna Paint the White House Black . . .

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pp. 198-227

This essay concerns itself primarily with the intersection of Black male identity and space. In this analysis, I will use the Million Man March as the beau idéal in which to contextualize and illustrate the construction of Black male identity in spatial terms. In revisiting this event, my purpose is not to directly address all the arguments repeated for or against the March and..

Part 4. Ethical Significance of Male Bodies

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Chapter 11. The Tall and the Short of It: Male Sports Bodies

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pp. 231-246

The challenge to produce this essay comes from Susan Bordo, who in her essay ‘‘Reading the Male Body’’ complains that males themselves have written little about the male experience of their bodies—‘‘Men have rarely interrogated themselves as men . . . for they generally have not appeared to themselves as men, but rather as the generic ‘Man’, norm and form of...

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Chapter 12. Revealing the Non-Absent Male Body: Confessions of an African Bishop and a Jewish Ghetto Policeman

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pp. 247-268

Confessional writing, it may be argued, is a gendered activity: although women engage in this form of writing, it seems to attract more men because it is a relatively safe way of making public what before was private, of admitting vulnerabilities and personal flaws, and, above all, of acknowledging old sins (wrongdoings, errors of judgment, etc.). The act of confessional writing is safe because no other voice can interrupt the flow of the...

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Chapter 13. A Father’s Touch: Caring Embodiment and a Moral Revolution

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pp. 269-285

...Parties everywhere on the political spectrum in the United States are calling for fathers to be present and more involved in the lives of their children. Feminists, religious conservatives, educators, politicians, and civil rights leaders who are unlikely to agree on many issues do generally agree that in an era when the definition of the traditional family is being renegotiated through the emergence of alternative arrangements, the presence...

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Postscript: The Phenomenological Challenge—The One and the Many

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pp. 287-289

To be powerful is to be unproblematic. The rich have little complaint about the economic system. Military powers have few concerns about world arms sales. Incumbent politicians have little motivation to alter campaign systems. In the same manner, the hegemony and normative function of the White, able-bodied male in Western civilization has rendered such bodies...

Further Reading

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pp. 291-297


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pp. 299-302


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pp. 303-310

E-ISBN-13: 9780253108852
E-ISBN-10: 0253108853
Print-ISBN-13: 9780253339911

Page Count: 328
Illustrations: 10 b&w photos, 1 index
Publication Year: 2002