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The Male Body: A New Look at Men in Public and in Private
Synopses & Reviews
An exciting new popular study of the male body--fresh, honest, and full of revelations
In this surprising, candid cultural analysis, Susan Bordo begins with a frank, tender look at her own father's body and goes on to perceptively scrutinize the presentation of maleness in everyday life.
Men's (and women's) ideas about men's bodies are heavily influenced by society's expectations, and Bordo helps us understand where those ideas come from. In chapters on the penis (in all its incarnations), fifties Hollywood, male beauty standards, and sexual harassment, and in discussions of topics ranging from Marlon Brando and Boogie Nights to Philip Roth and Lady Chatterley's Lover, Bordo offers fresh and unexpected insights. Always--whether she is examining Michael Jordan or Humbert Humbert, the butch phallus or her own grade-school experiences--she rejects rigid categories in favor of an honest, nuanced version of men as flesh-and-blood human beings.
Book News Annotation:
Bordo (humanities, English, women's studies, U. of Kentucky) examines sociocultural attitudes toward the male body, with reference to such diverse sources as Vladimir Nabokov, Calvin Klein, and Jerry Seinfeld. One section demythologizes the phallus; another demonstrates the pervasive influence of gay and African-American cultural attitudes on contemporary attitudes toward masculinity and male beauty. Also explored are differences and, especially, similarities in the ways men and women view gender roles and the opposite sex.
Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
Includes bibliographical references (p. -347) and index.
About the Author
Susan Bordo has written and edited several books, including Unbearable Weight: Feminism, Western Culture, and the Body, which was nominated for the Pulitzer Prize. She lives in Lexington, Kentucky.
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