Feminist Legal Theory Meets Masculinities Theory

MASCULINITIES AND LAW: A MULTIDIMENSIONAL APPROACH, Frank Rudy Cooper and Ann C. McGinley, eds., New York University Press, 2011

40 Pages Posted: 23 Feb 2011  

Nancy Levit

University of Missouri at Kansas City - School of Law

Nancy E. Dowd

University of Florida - Levin College of Law

Ann McGinley

University of Nevada, Las Vegas, William S. Boyd School of Law

Date Written: February 23, 2011

Abstract

This chapter explores the theoretical scope of masculinities scholarship, and suggests some ways it can contribute to the project of equality and justice. First, we discuss the history and development of masculinities scholarship. Although derivative of feminist theory, masculinities scholarship has largely evolved separately. Second, we summarize the core theoretical contributions of masculinities scholarship. Primarily derived from sociology and psychology, this scholarship suggests a series of insights for gender analysis. Third, we explore the relationship between feminist theory and masculinities scholarship. The pattern of separate evolution of these two areas creates challenges. In addition, at the point of convergence, it raises the question of whether the future direction should be in creating integrated theory or ongoing separate development with interchange and coalition but not a singular grand theory. We suggest some ways that feminism can benefit from masculinities scholarship and that masculinities scholarship can benefit from feminist insights. Fourth, we examine the interrelations among multiple identity categories by considering the racialization of gender issues. Here we look through the lens of masculinities theory at the construction of gender hierarchy through race, and conclude that this focus requires that race be addressed as a feminist and masculinities issue. Finally, we demonstrate how masculinities are practiced by exploring two substantive areas: education and work. The education example is a powerful reminder of the harm of separate theorizing and the benefits of convergence and complexity. The work example exposes how gender policing occurs in the context of a male-dominant occupation - firefighting - and suggests how a gender-informed analysis can point the way to reform.

Keywords: Masculinities, Feminism, Feminist Legal Theory, Gender Analysis, Gender Hierarchy, Gender Policing

JEL Classification: J16, J18, K10, K19

Suggested Citation

Levit, Nancy and Dowd, Nancy E. and McGinley, Ann, Feminist Legal Theory Meets Masculinities Theory (February 23, 2011). MASCULINITIES AND LAW: A MULTIDIMENSIONAL APPROACH, Frank Rudy Cooper and Ann C. McGinley, eds., New York University Press, 2011. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1768012

Nancy Levit (Contact Author)

University of Missouri at Kansas City - School of Law ( email )

5100 Rockhill Road
Kansas City, MO 64110-2499
United States

Nancy Elizabeth Dowd

University of Florida - Levin College of Law ( email )

P.O. Box 117625
Gainesville, FL 32611-7625
United States
352-273-0930 (Phone)
352-392-3005 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://www.law.ufl.edu/faculty/nancy-e-dowd

Ann McGinley

University of Nevada, Las Vegas, William S. Boyd School of Law ( email )

4505 South Maryland Parkway
Box 451003
Las Vegas, NV 89154
United States

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