Mothers & Sons: Feminism, Masculinity, and the Struggle to Raise Our Sons

By Andrea O'Reilly | Go to book overview

be encouraged to express their emotions and misgivings about themselves, and that school and well as home must play a part in bringing about these changes in attitudes and practices. Redefining constructs of masculinity and identity consciousness-raising for both girls and boys must become valued priorities for education in order to recognize the pressure, limitations, and confinement imposed by each stereotypical role. Although gender identities are filled with emotional contradiction, it is important to reexamine beliefs about mother-son interdependence, separate valued traits that deserve to be honored from those that are obsolete and dysfunctional, and encourage the development of emotional intelligence.

As long as we willingly reward oppression or privilege, marginalizations, competition, and violence in our homes and schools, we are supporting the authorial voice of gender hegemony. As educators, illuminating issues related to mother-child relationships points to the need to develop courses where issues of gender are central and where critical and reflective discussion about gendered realities in school settings and across diverse racial and class populations can occur. In the end, mothers must also question their own reluctance to speak out against a school system that inhibits, restricts, diminishes, or denies diverse gendered needs and experiences. As my son points out: “I think it is important for men to communicate more than they do. My vision of an ideal masculinity includes more openness, more communication, no chauvinism, and no competition. I think heterosexual men have a lot to learn about caring.”


WORKS CITED

a
Abbey, S., J. Castle, and C. Reynolds. “Comparing How Mothers Influence the Education of Daughters and Sons.” In Redefining Motherhood: Changing Identities andPatterns, edited by S. Abbey and A. O'Reilly. Toronto, ON: Second Story Press, 1998. 29-58.
Arcana, J. Every Mother's Son. New York: Anchor Press, 1983.

b
Bly, J. Iron John. Reading, MA: Addison Wesley, 1990.
Blye, F. “Masculinities and Schooling: The Making of Men.” In Systemic Violence:How Schools Hurt Children, edited by J. Epp and A. Watkinson. Washington, DC: The Falmer Press, 1996.
Butler, J. Gender Trouble: Feminism and the Subversion of Identity. New York: Routledge, 1990.

c
Caron, A. Strong Mothers, Strong Sons: Raising the NextGeneration of Men. New York: HarperCollins, 1994.

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Mothers & Sons: Feminism, Masculinity, and the Struggle to Raise Our Sons
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • Acknowledgments vii
  • Introduction 1
  • Notes 19
  • Works Cited 20
  • I - Mothering and Motherhood 23
  • 1 - Who Are We This Time? 25
  • 2 - Mothering Sons with Special Needs 42
  • Works Cited 55
  • 3 - Masculinity, Matriarchy, and Myth a Black Feminist Perspective 56
  • Works Cited 69
  • 4 - Mothers, Sons, and the Art of Peacebuilding 71
  • Works Cited 88
  • 5 - In Black and White Anglo-American and African-American Perspectives on Mothers and Sons 91
  • Notes 116
  • Works Cited 117
  • II - Men and Masculinities 119
  • 6 - Swimming Against the Tide Feminists' Accounts of Mothering Sons 121
  • Notes 137
  • 7 - Feminist Academic Mothers' Influences on Their Sons' Masculinity 141
  • Works Cited 155
  • 8 - Lesbians Raising Sons Bringing Up a New Breed of Men 157
  • 9 - Can Boys Grow into Mothers? Maternal Thinking and Fathers' Reflections 163
  • III - Mothers and Sons: Connections and Disconnections 183
  • 10 - Raising Relational Boys 185
  • Notes 215
  • 11 - Attachment and Loss 217
  • Works Cited 233
  • 12 - Mother-Son Relationships in the Shadow of War 235
  • Notes 249
  • Works Cited 250
  • 13 - This is Leave-Taking Mothers, Signatures, and Countermemory 251
  • Notes 263
  • List of Contributors 265
  • Index 271
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