Menstuff® provides a brief background on the different segments of the "men's movement".
This is an attempt to look at the men's movement, and some of its major issues over the past 30 plus years, through books. Included is a critique that reviews what each of the four major segments can learn from the other. I have also included several books that are Out-Of-Print (OOP), because of their inportance to the understanding of that movement. They can often be found at used bookstores.
This information has been garnered from a review of over 3,500 books published since 1958 covering more than 100 men's issues. This information was gathered from three main sources: the rather extensive library at The National Men's Resource Center and two bibliographies, one put together by the Men's Studies Task Group of the National Organization for Men Against Sexism and the other a book titled "Men's Studies: A Selected and Annotated Interdisciplinary Bibliography" by Eugene August, published in 1985 and updated in 1994.
Early writings in the men's movement often centered around the male condition and were supportive of or a reaction to the women's liberation movement at a time when many men were caught between traditional roles as men and the newer expectations. The political activism that grew from this work formed two major segments - pro-feminist and men's rights.
Herb Goldberg's books reflect his personal shift in perspective and often speak to this movement, while Warren Farrell made a shift from the pro-feminist segment to a more Men's Rights stance with his 1986 offering The Manipulated Man, Ester Vilar, 1972 OOP The Hazards of Being Male, Herb Goldberg 1977 The Other Side of the Coin, Roy Schenk, 1982 The Myth of the Monsterous Male & Other Feminist Fables, John Gordon, 1982, Men Freeing Men, anthology ed Francis Baumli, 1985, Why Men Are the Way They Are, Warren Farrell, 1988.
For starters, I would recommend that every man, whether in rocovery or not, read and digest Merle Fossum's Men in Rocovery, Finding our Direction previously titled Catching Fire: Men Coming Alive in Recovery followed by The Trickster, Magician & Grieving Man: Reconnecting Men with Earth, by Glen Mazis. (See also Books and Periodicals.)
Important books include: Mythopoetic Perspectives of Men's Healing Work: An anthology for therapists and others, Ed. Edward Read Barton, 2000; Puer Papers, James Hillman, 1979; Puer Aeternus, Marie-Louise Von Franz, 1981; The Phallic Quest, James Wyly, 1989; Iron John, Robert Bly, 1990; King, Warrior, Magician, Lover, Robert Moore & Douglas Gillette, 1990; Meeting the Shadow, ed Connie Zweig & Jeremiah Abrams, 1991; To Be A Man, ed Keith Thompson, 1991; Pigs Eat Wolves, Charles Bates, 1991; Knights without Armor, Aaron Kipnis, 1991 (See also Books and Periodicals.)
While there were some good books written before 1971, the basic primers for this group were: Unbecoming Men, anthology, 1971; A Male Guide to Women's Liberation, Gene Marine, 1972/1974; Men & Masculinity, Joseph Pleck & Jack Sawyer, 1974 OOP; The Forty-Nine Percent Majority: The Male Sex Role, Deborah David & Robert Brannon, 1976; The Male Machine, Marc Fasteau, 1976; For Men Against Sexism, anthology 1977; The Myth of Masculinity, Joseph Pleck, 1981; A Mensch Among Men, Harry Brod, 1988; Refusing to Be a Man, John Stoltenberg, 1989. (See also Books and Periodicals.)
The success of the Promise Keepers program, at least for now, cannot be denied. McCartney was out-drawing The Rolling Stones, though those days have passed. The thing I find most interesting is the reaction once again with activists trying to destroy anything that smacks of "men's growth". "They don't allow women." Neither do many women's events and festivals. I don't know anyone who feels women will share and open up at the same level in mixed company as they do with their own sex. So, why should we expect men to be more vunerable? Seems just another way to control men. "They preach dominance over women." While the gatherings are primarily made up of men from fundamentalist Christian families that already following certain teachings, it's the religious teachings, the churches and the men and women in those sects that should be receiving the criticism. From women writers who posed as men to get in, to many others who've been inside, this is not a major point. The major point is to re-commit to the family through promises that you will be held accountable for by other men. For more information about Promise Keepers, call Brian Yeager, the National volunteer coordinator at 303.456.7276. (See also Books and Periodicals.)