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By S. Horlacher

An in-depth research into the development of male id in addition to a distinct and finished ancient review of ways masculinity has been built in British literature from the center a long time to the present. This book is a crucial contribution to the rising box of masculinity stories.

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MichaelS. Kimmel, Jeff Hearn, and R. W. Connell, Thousand Oaks: Sage, 2005 (not an 'encyclopedia' per se but nonetheless an encyclopedic kind of compendium); and the International Encyclopedia of Men and Masculinities, eds. Michael Flood, Judith Kegan Gardiner, Bob Pease, and Keith Pringle, London: Routledge, 2007. Thus, we have the appearance of four major encyclopedic works in masculinity studies within a span of four years. This seems to me to be beyond coincidence and very much a sign of something in the air.

If, for example, I say to you that we are now going to discuss gender and what comes up in your mind is the idea that now we are going to talk about women, then that, I submit, is not the voice of feminism emerging, but rather the voice of patriarchy. For to equate the study of gender with the study of women is to leave men as ungendered and thereby to leave men and masculinities uninterrogated. And that is precisely the mark of privilege. The privileged have a vested interest in remaining unexamined, and therefore unexposed.

We don our battle armor, ostensibly to defend against the external foe, but really, I want to suggest, because we feel that without the additional support of that external skeleton we will sink under the unbearable weight of our own sorrows and fears. I believe one can go through all of literature, aided by the lens of masculinity studies, to discover and rediscover over and over again that, as in the above example, what have passed for descriptions of human nature have really been prescriptions for masculinities.

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