MASCULINITY WAS NOT considered much worth studying by cultural studies academics before the explosion of men's movement literature at the end of the 1980s and into the 1990s.After all, since masculine values were the dominant ones in the society, it was considered that all traditional study had been unselfconsciously the study of masculinity anyway. The rapid progress of feminist thinking, however, soon made this tenet too general. The feminine as an object of analysis had produced complex insights into gender politics, and made masculinity appear as a set of historically and culturally specific formations.In turn, the traditional dominance of the masculine made these insights a defining clue to the meaning and structure of culture in its entirety. Masculinity, therefore, started to appear in its specificity. Since this was happening at the same time as the men's movement was seeking to retrieve some semblance of a new positivity for men from a severely compromised history, the 1990s has seen an upsurge in theorising of the masculine.
This chapter firstly surveys the representation of the masculine in psychoanalysis, especially since Lacan, because it has been in feminist psychoanalysis that some of the most important insights into phallocratic culture have emerged.This is followed by a discussion of some other theories of the masculine in the work of Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick and Fred Pfeil, to enable some evaluation of the men's movement and its significance.Though this second group is not strictly speaking Foucauldian, it does take as one of its assumptions the inextricably political entanglements of subjectivity.In this way, it represents a progression beyond the 1970s model of masculine domination that conceived of it as a single and uniform patriarchy. The challenge of theorising the masculine