Replacing Misandry: A Revolutionary History of Men

In the first three volumes of this series, Paul Nathanson and Katherine Young challenge theories about patriarchy that ideological forms of feminism have promoted. In this volume, they argue that we must replace those misandric theories with one that takes seriously the needs and problems of boys and men no less than those of girls and women; at the same time, they add, we must maintain the reforms that egalitarian forms of feminism have promoted. With both factors in mind, they trace the history of men - that is, culturally organized perceptions of the male body and its masculine functions - over the past ten thousand years. They show how these perceptions have evolved in connection with a series of technological and cultural revolutions: horticultural, agricultural, industrial, military, and now reproductive. This new approach sets the stage for understanding a profound and growing problem that our society must face: the increasing inability of boys and men to create or sustain a healthy collective identity. The authors define this as an identity that is distinctive, necessary, and therefore publicly valued. Without a healthy and positive identity, two current trends will continue: giving up (dropping out of school, society, or even life itself) and attacking a society that has no room for men specifically as men, believing that even a negative identity, acted out in antisocial ways, is better than none at all.