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The Introduction describes the kinds of masculinism and forums for manhood in Milton's works that the book will study. Outlining the chapters and framing the theory and cultural history underlying the book, the Introduction places its study of Milton's masculinity in current scholarly conversations on gender, queer theory, critical race theory, and Milton's major works. Using "Lycidas" and Milton's sonnets as frames, the Introduction shows how Milton makes his own manliness.
The issue of cultural relativism has been a major one for theorists of human rights. Arguments about cultural difference represent perhaps the strongest criticisms of the idea of human rights, and for many they are the most difficult to deal with (Brown 1999, 2020). This is especially true for social workers from Western traditions, who are generally aware of the role of the West in colonising other world-views and who wish to value cultural diversity. This results in Western social workers (among many others) feeling somewhat guilty about supporting something called ‘human rights’ and being particularly susceptible to the criticisms of human rights as a Western concept and therefore somehow not to be trusted. The aim of this chapter is to explore this difficult area, with a view to developing an approach to human rights that overcomes these dilemmas. Herein lies the key to dealing with cultural difference: the capacity to look critically at all cultural traditions is contextualised differently in different cultures, and to see that human rights violations and the struggle for human rights occur in all cultural contexts.
Two competing impulses around gender have come to characterize Protestant life: one that insists on a particular God-ordained gender order, often starting with the home and moving outward to church and society and another that downplayed or sometimes altogether dismissed gender injunctions and hierarchies as contrary to divine intention. Protestantism’s “modernist–fundamentalist” divide, usually seen as a far-reaching dispute over how to read the Bible, is closely connected to and driven by wider cultural debates regarding gender. Gender has functioned as one of the most active organizing forces in Protestant life. Protestants drew on gender to control behaviors and regulate boundaries as well as to question and challenge them. The sectarian nature of Protestantism as it grappled with gender shaped Protestant theologies, rearranged alliances, and splintered institutions.
This chapter explores different modes of systemic critique employed by women writers of crime fiction around the world. It begins by introducing “systems-focused crime fiction,” a mode used by women crime writers to combat the endemic challenges posed by gender discrimination in their cultural settings. After examining the differences between this and other feminist approaches, the chapter surveys the inequalities disproportionately affecting women worldwide that are demonstrated by the systems-focus. By way of illustration, the chapter reads two subgroups of crime fiction. The first highlights women impacted by systemic oppression, as exemplified in novels of by Claudia Piñeiro, Marcela Serrano and Angela Makholwa, and the second positions women as investigators and challengers of oppressive systems, as in the works of Unity Dow, Kishwar Desai and Han Kang. The chapter concludes with a case study of femmes fatales in world crime fiction, based on a comparison of Oyinkan Braithwaite’s My Sister the Serial Killer and Natsuo Kirino’s Out. Overall, the chapter highlights the compelling ways that women crime writers utilize genre conventions to contest systemic inequalities.
Kibera is the largest informal settlement in Nairobi, Kenya, and Africa’s largest urban informal settlement. It is a community plagued by poverty and unemployment. In response to the social disorganization common to informal settlements, criminal activity is rampant, particularly in assault and sexual violence cases. Patriarchal beliefs fuel power imbalances which consequently perpetuate violence. Kenyan societies tend to be traditionally patriarchal and characterized by male privilege and female subservience. This article explores the narrative accounts of female victims of intimate partner violence (IPV) to overcome patriarchy in Kibera, Kenya. Through a qualitative inquiry, 32 female victims of IPV were interviewed, and the data obtained were thematically analysed. The findings established that patriarchy is sustained in Kibera through control, dominance and violence. Additionally, salient partakers in advancing patriarchy are family structures and authorities. Moreover, strategies to dismantle patriarchy and IPV are proposed through these narrative accounts.
Krystyna Duniec and Agata Adamiecka-Sitek question the seemingly incontestable values and lineages of standard historiographies that are foundationally patriarchal and evidence how theatre profited from the trade in women’s bodies, and Duniec notes that through theatre we can chart the move from marginalization to empowered presence for LGBTQ groups. Duniec focuses on the interwar period, which she interprets as a time of tremendous innovation in theatre practices that remain/repeat today. She notes that through theatre we can chart the move from marginalization to empowered presence for LGBTQ groups. The Polish People’s Republic, as Adamiecka-Sitek shows, proclaimed gender equality but in reality reproduced bourgeois gender relations that excluded women from empowered positions in theatre institutions. She then charts how women’s narratives emerged outside of a ‘homosocial’ order built on fraternal ties that she traces from the establishment of public theatre.
Both Othello and Macbeth show how men can be shamed by other people into committing murder, and how guilt can motivate self-murder. Othello felt humiliated when Iago deceived him into believing Desdemona had made him into a “cuckold.” When he discovers she has actually been faithful, he feels so guilty he punishes himself by suicide – as many such murderers still do. Iago shames Othello into ruining himself because he felt Othello had shamed him. Lady Macbeth shames Macbeth into murdering Duncan, which finally leads to so many murders that she feels guilty enough to kill herself; and he feels so exhausted he longs for death as the only face-saving way to rest in peace – again, like many murderers we have seen.
Starting with the story of a man, a successful publisher, who like Othello kills his wife and then decides to kill himself, we find that Shakespeare’s plays are the richest source of insight into what motivates violence, toward others and also toward oneself, and what is needed to prevent violence. In contrast to Shakespeare, the mental health system has directed its attention almost exclusively to suicide, and relegated homicide to the criminal justice system. But that system asks only how evil are people who have committed murders and how much punishment they deserve – not what caused them to commit murder, and what we can do to prevent such behavior before it occurs. Criminology is of little help, because most violence is not criminal, and most crimes are not violent. More than experts in any of those fields, Shakespeare illuminates the thoughts, feelings, and social forces that drive people to kill others, themselves, or both.
Shakespeare’s plays dramatize the difference between the opposite and antagonistic moral emotions of shame and guilt, the moral value systems those emotions motivate (shame ethics vs. guilt ethics), and the shame and guilt cultures that are organized around those feelings and the values they inspire. His shame-driven personalities in their preoccupation with honor and dishonor differ from his guilt-ridden characters who feel compelled to punish themselves, but both are driven to violence. The difference lies in the object of violence, namely, others or the self. With Othello and Lady Macbeth he also shows how the same person can experience both emotions but at different times and with opposite results. Through his plays, by his focus on the actions and thoughts of his characters, Shakespeare shows us in vivid terms the relationship of both shame ethics and guilt ethics to violence.
Chapter 3 shows how the legal mechanisms of state-sponsored filiality integrated with Qing political order. The notion of “parental infallibility” materialized in imperial politics as the logic of attributing power and merit to the emperor and the magistrate who “parented the people,” and liabilities to children-subjects. The principle of “united under the most revered” allowed the empire to effectively organize a top-down chain of delegating parental authority from Heaven the ultimate father to various levels of bureaucratic and familial authorities while channeling political loyalty upwards. The universally duplicatable filial inequality appealed to the emotional attachment between parent and child, especially mother and child, to naturalize political and social hierarchies of almost all kinds. These mechanisms operated correspondingly in li (ritual propriety) and fa (law), not because Chinese law was “Confucianized” or “ritualized” but because both li and fa were molded and instrumentalized to serve the imperial state.
This afterword considers Mailer’s legacy in the context of the recent #MeToo movement, addressing the difficulties of studying a controversial author in this context, as well as the potential intellectual merits of doing so.
Mailer’s definitions of manhood lie at the center of much of his work; they not only inform the construction of his fictional protagonists, but are also connected to his ideas of existentialism, and are tied to his hopes for the future of America. Mailer’s notions of manhood also often intersect with his theories of violence, and thus threaten to uphold toxic notions of masculine power (which Mailer himself internalized throughout his life, evident in his performance of machismo), though Mailer also confronts the many pressures and vulnerabilities associated with cultural expectations of manhood.
The CCP's commitment to gender equality since 1921 has produced vast gains in employment and education for countless women while overlooking established gender hierarchies in family life. Long-term research in Beijing reveals that crossing class, sectoral and generational differences, there is an apparent paradox between women's increasing access to education and employment and their abiding attachment to ideas and practices associated with their roles as wives, mothers and daughters-in-law. A reconfigured “patchy” form of patriarchy is sustained by a dominant discourse of gender difference that naturalizes women's association with the domestic sphere. Unprecedented engagements with international feminism after 1995 introduced new approaches to gender equality. Recently, young feminists from diverse backgrounds have launched public protests targeting expectations of women in marriage and family life, marking a contestation of previous articulations of gender equality. Online platforms are flooded with exchanges about women's empowerment in a market environment that grants them considerable leverage to manage their marital and domestic relationships. The focus of this new generation of feminists on social reproduction signifies a radical departure from the classical Marxist principles underpinning earlier approaches to women's emancipation. Nevertheless, a “patchy patriarchy” continues to characterize widely held gender assumptions and expectations, spanning class and sectoral difference.
“Women’s Marginalization” aims at evaluating the marginalization of women in postcolonial Nigeria. It further provides an overview of the position of women in Nigeria and examines the role of colonialism in promoting women’s marginalization in the country. It considers the role of the patriarchal religions of Islam and Christianity as impediments to the full expression of women in major spheres of the society. It also identifies women’s financial incapacity as one of the reasons for their underrepresentation in politics. The predominant patriarchal culture in the country fosters the subordination of women, and therefore places women on the margins of society. In other words, in the sociopolitical, economic, and educational spheres, women have experienced and continue to experience discrimination and underrepresentation based on gender, which places Nigerian women in disempowered positions. Also, several constitutional provisions have been linked to the pervasive gender inequality in the country. However, while this discourse explores the implications of women’s marginalization in a developing economy like Nigeria's, it notes that although the nation has ratified and promulgated many policies and laws with the intention of eradicating gender inequality, the situation has persisted and seems to be waxing stronger.
Many Afro-Arab women novelists, if not all, have been addressing feminist issues for ages while homeland issues have been masculinized. Against this trend, Leila Abouzeid's academic interests span not only women's issues, but also those of men and of her country as well. Her book shows how a woman is dominated by patriarchy and colonization and how she herself appears to be an executioner. It also shows her struggle and resistance against patriarchy and imperial power, without sacrificing her commitment to her national and religious identity. In contrast to secular feminism, Abouzeid views religion as a source of relief and solace. The study also argues that the men happily adopt the colonial culture whereas their women resist it. Tackling the experience of double colonization in Year of the Elephant captures the experiences of millions of women in both the eastern and western hemispheres who rebel over the laws that govern their lives.
Hamit Bozarslan, Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales, Paris,Cengiz Gunes, The Open University, Milton Keynes,Veli Yadirgi, School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London
The history of women’s activism in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq (KRI) is closely intertwined with the history of political resistance. In the 1950s, women mobilized against political oppression. Later, they joined the struggle as members of the underground movement, as couriers, as protectors and nurturers of male fighters, and sometimes as the peshmerga (those who face death) fighters. However, only few women played leadership roles in the resistance. After 1992, when a form of autonomy was attained, civil society organizations, including independent women’s organizations, proliferated. This growth in the 1990s and 2000s, combined with the end of the four-year Kurdish civil war in 1998, led to the formation of collaborative networks and umbrella organizations. Now we can speak of a women’s movement that, despite its internal shortcomings and outside obstacles, has been able to bring about change in the region (Hardi, 2013). This chapter builds on two earlier studies about the women’s movement in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq (Hardi, 2011, 2013). It draws on the voices of a group of experts to highlight the achievements and limitations and focuses on what to do next to surpass the perceived stagnation.
Gender in American Literature and Culture introduces readers to key developments in gender studies and American literary criticism. It offers nuanced readings of literary conventions and genres from early American writings to the present and moves beyond inflexible categories of masculinity and femininity that have reinforced misleading assumptions about public and private spaces, domesticity, individualism, and community. The book also demonstrates how rigid inscriptions of gender have perpetuated a legacy of violence and exclusion in the United States. Responding to a sense of 21st century cultural and political crisis, it illuminates the literary histories and cultural imaginaries that have set the stage for urgent contemporary debates.
Achieving gender equality fundamentally requires a transfer of power from men to women. Yet data on men's support for women's empowerment (WE) remains scant and limited by reliance on self-report methodologies. Here, we examine men's support for WE as a sexual conflict trait, both via direct surveys (n = 590) and indirectly by asking men's wives (n = 317) to speculate on their husband's views. Data come from a semi-urban community in Mwanza, Tanzania. Consistent with reduced resource competition and increased exposure to relatively egalitarian gender norms, higher socioeconomic status predicted greater support for WE. However, potential demographic indicators of sexual conflict (high fertility, polygyny, large spousal age gap) were largely unrelated to men's support for WE. Contrasting self- and wife-reported measures suggests that men frequently exaggerate their support for women in self-reported attitudes. Discrepancies were especially pronounced among men claiming the highest support for WE, but smallest among men who held a professional occupation and whose wife participated in wage labour, indicating that these factors predict genuine support for WE. We discuss the implications of these results for our understanding of both individual variation and patriarchal gender norms, emphasising the benefits of greater exchange between the evolutionary human sciences and global health research on these themes.
There are three truly pioneering versions of King Lear on film: Grigori Kozintsev’s Korol Lir (1970), Peter Brook’s King Lear (1971), and Akira Kurosawa’s Ran (1985). These adaptations not only represent the best versions of King Lear ever made but also rank among the most important Shakespeare films of all time. None of these films are inventive or subtle in their representation of women, nor are they sophisticated in their approach to gender roles in what is arguably Shakespeare’s most misogynistic play. Silent and obedient, Cordelia is in many ways the perfect Renaissance woman, while Goneril and Regan play the demons to her saint. These rigid binariesand the impossible subject positions they impose on women are the inventions of patriarchy, and of misogyny in particular. Of the three films that I will examine here, only one of them begins to challenge this disabling binary and the concomitant spectacle of patriarchy restored over women’s dead bodies.
As the global Movement for Black Life continues its demands to end state violence in the USA and abroad, black feminists have cast motherhood as a radical site of political resistance. This chapter historicises popular and scholarly rhetorics of black mothering by returning to earlier black feminist voices from the 1970s and 1980s. In doing so, this chapter points to the theoretical contours and elisions undergirding canonical and contemporary black feminist treatments of motherhood and family. Through close reading of personal reflections by black mothers and writers Martha Southgate and Alice Walker, the author argues for theorists to reassess motherhood’s celebrated status in black feminist discursive landscapes and begin rethinking motherhood as a burdensome site of gendered labour and psychic antagonism in the intimate spheres of black women’s lives.