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International Journal for Crime, Justice and Social Democracy Queensland University of Technology 2202-8005 The International Journal for Crime, Justice and Social Democracy is an open access, blind peer-reviewed journal that publishes critical research about challenges confronting criminal justice systems around the world.  The Journal is committed to democratising quality knowledge production and dissemination. Authors retain copyright and articles are licenced via Creative Commons to make published articles more readily available and useable. There are no APCs (Article Processing Charges). Authors can submit and publish at no cost.
International Journal for Crime, Justice and Social Democracy 5 2

Forks in the Road of Men’s Gender Politics: Men’s Rights vs Feminist Allies


How do men respond to feminist movements and to shifts in the gender order?  In this paper, I introduce the concept of historical gender formation to show how shifting social conditions over the past forty years shaped a range of men’s organized responses to feminism. Focusing on the US, I show how progressive men reacted to feminism in the 1970s by forming an internally contradictory ‘men’s liberation’ movement that soon split into opposing anti-feminist and pro-feminist factions. Three large transformations of the 1980s and 1990s – the professional institutionalization of feminism, the rise of a postfeminist sensibility, and shifts in the political economy (especially deindustrialization and the rise of the neoliberal state) – generated new possibilities. I end by pointing to an emergent moderate men’s rights discourse that appeals to a postfeminist sensibility, and to an increasingly diverse base for men’s work to prevent violence against women.
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Pages:6 to 20
Section: Articles
16 citation(s) in Scopus
15 citation(s) in Web of Science


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Author Biography

University of Southern California
United States United States
Michael A Messner is Professor of Sociology and Gender Studies at the University of Southern California. His most recent book is Some Men:  Feminist Allies and the Movement to End Violence Against Women (Oxford University Press).