As I said before, I could cite you 20 studies that lay out just how much extreme pressure that men face to conform to hegemonic masculinity and how they tend to be punished by their peers and society when they refuse to do so, but it’s not going to change your mind. Neither is continuing to argue about the validity of the research in the book. I can find plenty to say that it’s revolutionary and great scholarship and that all the criticism comes from sexist men who don’t want to acknowledge that such a thing is possible. Then you can counter with your quotes and we go nowhere.

Eisler has written several books since then which build on this theme and have additional scholarship. My favorite is Sacred Pleasure: Sex, Myth and the Politics of the Body, which was published in 1996. Eisler also founded the well respected Center for Partnership and continues to teach college courses.

Very happy to hear that you have made your own way in the world to be the authentic person that you want to be. But that doesn’t mean that your experiences are common. The fact that your female friend said you were the gayest straight man she’d ever seen perfectly illustrates how much expectation there is about what is a “real man.” He’s certainly not a gay man, because that has aspects of femininity implied and negation of femininity is a large part of the “man box.”

I’ve got to move on to other things, but thanks for the conversation.

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Dispelling cultural myths with research-driven stories. My favorite word is “specious.” Not fragile like a flower; fragile like a bomb! Twitter @ElleBeau

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