Academic journal article et Cetera

The Male Body: A New Look at Men in Public and Private

Academic journal article et Cetera

The Male Body: A New Look at Men in Public and Private

Article excerpt

Susan Bordo. The Male Body: A New Look at Men in Public and Private. New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 1999.

Men's (and women's) ideas about men's bodies are heavily influenced by society's expectations and in The Male Body Susan Bordo, a professor of English and women's studies, helps us to understand where these ideas come from, and how better to control the shape they take.

In chapters on the penis (in all its incantations), the phallus, fifties Hollywood, gay men in the movies, male beauty standards, ad campaigns, and sexual harassment, and in her discussion of topics ranging from Marlon Brando, "Boogie Nights," and romance novels to "Lady Chatterley's Lover," Michael Jordan, and Bill Clinton, Bordo offers fresh and interesting insights. For example, Bordo argues that Gay culture and AfricanAmerican culture have contributed greatly to the reintroduction of beauty to the male body, as their attitudes about public display and preening fashion have altered the mainstream American conception of masculinity. She also maintains that penis size does matter, but it is "always a collaboration with the imagination, and therefore with the culture. …

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