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Men Masculinities Development Notes

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This is an extract of our Men Masculinities Development document, which we sell as part of our Gender and Development Notes collection written by the top tier of University Of Warwick students.

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*Link - 1.2 Feminism & Difference / 1.1, 1.3 Theorizing & Gendering Development / PO381 1.4 Engendering Conflict

Men, Masculinities & Development
◦ Why have men been excluded from gender and development debates?

What does the so-called 'masculinity in crisis' reveal about the underlying issues concerning gender equality? What should a transformative feminist response to this 'crisis' look like, both at private and public level?

To what extent might 'hegemonic masculinity' undermine attempts to achieve gender equality?
[2018, 2017, 2014]

What place, if any, should men be afforded in accounts/practices of gender and development?

Evaluate the claim by Raewyn Connell (2005) that 'men and boys are gatekeepers for gender equality'. What challenges and opportunities might this present? [2015]

Critically assess the advantages/disadvantages of including issues faced by men and the concept of
'masculinity' in GAD debates. [2013]


Masculinity is everywhere and nowhere. Although there are exceptions, men worldwide hold monopolies on…
◦ The enactment and enforcement of laws;

Economic infrastructure & resource allocation frameworks;

The production of knowledge

… Yet masculinity is also nowhere, as evident in the prioritization of 'women's issues' in GAD literature.

Changing family structures (e.g. rise in dual-earner couples, maternal breadwinners), the #MeToo*
movement, and the growing importance of higher-education degrees in a shrinking labour market has rendered many aspects of the traditional male gender role obsolete.
◦ This so-called 'crisis in masculinity' has reignited interest in men, male subjectivity and development.
◦ Perhaps more accurate to reframe 'crisis of masculinity' as 'crisis of hegemonic masculinity'?

This essay explores the benefits and potential pitfalls of including men in GAD. I look at:

1. The notion of 'gender' as relational and performative*;

2. 'Hegemonic masculinity' and the gendered risks that arise/are exacerbated by continued neglect by GAD

3. The practicalities of 'men-streaming' development + conceptualizing a 'feminist masculinity' accessible to all.

∴ Understanding masculinity/masculinities is critical for realizing a more holistic, intersectional approach to GAD.
'Sex' vs. 'Gender

Whereas sex is biological, gender refers to the 'socially acquired notions of masculinity and femininity by which men and women are identified' [Momsen].

It is relational in that 'masculinity' exists solely in binary opposition to 'femininity'. However, Delphy contends that gender precedes sex; our bodies are not some 'fixed, unitary, primarily physiological reality but a historical, plural and culturally mediated form' [Shepherd].
◦ IOW, our common-sense understandings of 'sexual difference' are socially constructed and power-laden.


Queer theorists like Judith Butler also challenge ideals of corporeality as gender's natural domain of truth by arguing that the 'doer' of gendered behaviours is 'at once produced by and productive of their representations'.

Buy the full version of these notes or essay plans and more in our Gender and Development Notes.