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ix Preface I first discovered masculinities scholarship while researching sexual harassment cases in which groups of blue-­ collar coworkers subjected women to severe or pervasive harassment. In cases like Robinson v. Jacksonville Shipyards, Inc. (1991) and Jenson v. Eveleth Taconite Co. (1997), male coworkers engaged in a pattern of harassing behaviors ranging from sexually explicit graffiti and posters displayed throughout the workplace to pinching and grabbing, offensive language directed at individual women, and comments that women did not belong in the workplace. One female worker found a used condom in her sandwich (Sex, Power, and the Workplace 2002); another, a corrections officer, alleged that she was handcuffed to the toilet and her head held under water. She claimed that her male colleagues punched her in the kidneys and placed an electrified cattle prod between her legs (Reed v. Shepard 1991). I was surprised that men treated women so poorly and wondered why they did so. It was especially odd to witness the group hostility that men demonstrated toward women in these environments, which seemed a far cry from the sexual harassment that the courts imagined as occurring from an excess of romantic love. The behavior I noticed was hostile, not romantic. Men I knew did not place used condoms in a woman’s sandwich to court her. Soon I realized that while the worst blue-­ collar atmospheres were particularly egregious, men in predominantly male white-­ collar jobs also engaged in practices that created hostile work environments for their female colleagues. In white-­ collar environments, the behavior was often different in intensity and design, but men still let their female colleagues know that they were not welcome. Women were excluded regularly, had to work harder than men to advance, and often failed to receive credit for their ideas. At the time, in the mid-­to late 1990s, I was a law professor at Florida State University College of Law, where I met Patricia Yancey Martin x | Preface and Irene Padavic, sociologists at Florida State who research, write, and teach about gender and masculinities. Pat and Irene introduced me to their work and the study of masculinities. Pat Martin had performed a number of ethnographic studies of corporate workplaces that revealed that women suffered from gendered practices enacted by male colleagues who appeared to be unaware that they were harming women. But they were harming them. Because these practices were not sexual or brutal in nature, they were less visible than those performed in blue-­ collar workplaces. In fact, Pat Martin explained, men describe the masculine practices in which they engage as work itself, thereby obscuring the gendered nature of their behavior. For example, when men spend long hours in the office talking about baseball, they consider themselves to be working even though women around them often see the men’s behavior as wasting time. Much of this behavior forms bonds among the men, and excludes women. Even if they would like to become members of the informal group, many women have homecare responsibilities that prevent them from doing so. I began to read the other social science researchers who wrote about masculinity, and to understand that there were social scientists who considered themselves feminists but who also believed that feminism described men in essentialist terms, and that feminism did not recognize the social pressures that men endured. In essence, men, too, suffered from the binary gender regime that drew fairly strict lines between acceptable behavior for men and acceptable behavior for women. This work by authors such as Raewyn Connell, Michael Kimmel, Richard Collier, and David Collinson explored the pressures that gender expectations place on men in society and the competition that the need to prove one’s masculinity created among men. While I was interested in men’s role in society in general, men’s behavior in the workplace and the importance of work to men’s identity particularly intrigued me. While at Florida State, I worked on “unconscious discrimination,” the concept that our cognition creates screens through which we unknowingly process information based on societal stereotypes . This information about cognitive processing raised serious questions about the intent requirement of the employment discrimination law. Given the information about stereotyping and cognition, Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act, as interpreted by many of the courts, depended on Preface | xi an outdated view of the way discrimination occurs. Today, the concept of “unconscious discrimination” is expressed as implicit bias, and many social scientists, lawyers, law professors, and judges have concluded...

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Additional Information

ISBN
9780814764329
Related ISBN
9780814796139
MARC Record
OCLC
946606260
Pages
272
Launched on MUSE
2016-07-31
Language
English
Open Access
No
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