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Gordon, P. (1990). The Forgotten Man: Understanding the Male Psyche, by Reuben Fine, New York: The Haworth Press, 1987, 423 pages, $35.95 hb, $19.95 pb: Male Order: Unwrapping Masculinity, edited by Rowena Chapman and Jonathan Rutherford, Lawrence & Wishart, 1988, 331 pages, £7.95. Free Associations, 1U(20):223-227.

(1990). Free Associations, 1U(20):223-227

The Forgotten Man: Understanding the Male Psyche, by Reuben Fine, New York: The Haworth Press, 1987, 423 pages, $35.95 hb, $19.95 pb: Male Order: Unwrapping Masculinity, edited by Rowena Chapman and Jonathan Rutherford, Lawrence & Wishart, 1988, 331 pages, £7.95

Review by:
Paul Gordon

One of the great achievements of that constellation of traits, attitudes and behaviours now increasingly referred to as masculinity has been its ability to present itself as the norm. Largely invisible, it was not questioned. It simply was. The problem lay with femininity, that which masculinity posited as other. Yet it was only a matter of time before women (and some men), addressing Freud's bewildered question, ‘What do women want?’, would collide with this obstruction. One result of 1970s' feminism was the emergence of the beginnings of attempts by men to question their role, individually and as a group, in the oppression of women. This attempt, however, was fraught with problems: in its preoccupations and language it was overwhelmingly middle class; too often it seemed to be based on guilt; and it was incoherent as to what men ought to be doing.

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