Together with my dear colleague, Katarzyna Suwada, I would like to invite you, dear sociologists, critical men and masculinities’ scholars as well as everyone else interested in sociology of masculinities, to join us in August in Manchester at the 14th European Sociological Associaton conference, where we would like to discuss the situation of men and condition of masculinities in a changing Europe.
In recent years two major trends linked to the transformation of masculinities can be observed in European societies. On the one hand, researchers recognise significant changes in both models of masculinities and male gender roles. These changes have been followed by a switch in public discourses and politics focused on men and boys (Scambor at al. 2014). Moreover, one can identify a flourishing number of grass-roots initiatives oriented on men and gender equality (Wojnicka 2016). Yet, on the other hand, Europe is also facing a crisis of liberal democracy, which affects the value of gender equality, and in some regions a re-traditionalisation of gender roles becomes excessively visible. Far-right groups, dominated by men, are gaining greater popularity by attacking (male) immigrants and refugees coming from other parts of the world. Such trends are connected to the resurrection of hegemonic and toxic forms of masculinities. They also create new forms of marginalised masculinities. Continue reading
Together with Julia Kubisa and Praktyka Teoretyczna’s editors I would like to invite you to join our special issue on recent women’s mobilisation in Central and Easten Europe.
Since 2016 Central Eastern Europe has been witnessing an unprecedented wave of feminist protests. Attacks on reproductive rights have galvanised public opinion and brought thousands of people into the streets. Around these protests an effective platform countering right-wing and highly patriarchal governments has started to form. Recent women’s mobilisations are not restricted exclusively to the region, as feminist protests have occurred in other parts of the world as well. Over the past several months, we have witnessed the emergence of the global #metoo movement, Women’s Marches in the USA, and the anti-violence Latin American protest actions organised by NiUnaMenos, to name only a few. However, the specificity of Central Eastern European mobilisations requires a closer look, as they are strongly connected to the recent political changes that have occurred in several countries in the region.
A few months ago I read a Guardian article about a scholar who had decided to honour his friend by telling his traumatic story. The friend had killed himself due to his lack of success (widely defined) in academia. The men met during a fellowship a few years back and had remained friends despite one of them (the author) eventually attaining a position outside academia while his friend struggled with short-term postdoc positions until his tragic end. “Over the course of five years, Dolan held positions in Cambridge, Dublin, Southampton, Amsterdam and Crete, most of which meant living away from his partner.” When I read this piece, my six months of unemployment had just started and I couldn’t sleep for a couple of nights wondering: when will I reach the point where suicide becomes an option actually worth considering?
So it (finally) happened. On June, 23rd, Polish Father’s Day, President Andrzej Duda signed the bill prohibiting the sale of ellaOne (the “morning after pill”) without a doctor’s prescription. By doing so, he added another brick to the current government’s mission aimed at limiting the sexual and reproductive rights of Polish women. According to European Commission recommendations, ellaOne has been available without prescription since 2015 and it will now remain so for less than one month. Access to ellaOne under new legislation will present multiple obstacles such as difficulties in finding nearby gynecologists (particularly those willing to give a prescription), short visiting hours (Nappi et al., 2013) and money issues (short-notice visits to gynecologists in Poland usually cost extra). In other words, many women, especially those who are young, from rural areas and not wealthy, will suffer under the new law tremendously.
I am pleased to announce that my publication on Otto’s Weininger’s book Sex and Character is now available in the Literatura, kultura, media journal. In the paper “Otto Weininger: mizogin i profeminista?” [Otto Weininger: misogynist and profeminist?] I present my unique analyses of Weininger’s only book, which influenced not only (antifeminist and misogynist) male scholars and artists from his époque such as James Joyce, August Strindberg and Ludwig Wittgenstain but also several feminist thinkers e.g. Charlotte Perkins Gilman and Germaine Greer. Continue reading
As the grant applications season is almost over (or at least suspended until further notice) I have finally managed to find some time and energy to write the post that I originally planned to be 2016’s last entry 😉 In November last year, I started a series of posts aimed at providing a grounding on the current abortion struggle in Poland. The first post was a summary of the main events in 2016, as well as an introduction to some crucial actors. Today, I have decided to give you some historical background to this struggle as it appears that, in this particular case, history does repeat itself. And since my blog deals with men and masculinities issues, I will present to you a portrait of one of the few men who, along with many women, engaged himself in the struggle for women’s reproductive rights. Ladies and gentleman, meet Tadeusz Boy-Żeleński. Continue reading
In her last essay on the new politics of masculinity and migration, Pierrette Hondagneu-Sotelo, sociology professor at the University of Southern California (USC), wrote that the current presidential election in the US has an extraordinary dynamic, as one of the most important discursive categories is (traditional) masculinity, supported by misogyny and xenophobia, which at certain point dominated Trump’s campaign (Hondagneu-Sotelo 2016). As a critical men and masculinities scholar, I couldn’t agree more, since everything that I’ve read, seen and heard from and about the (American) male electorate in the last few months has led me to the conclusion that Trump’s masculinity is a crucial factor influencing the election results. Continue reading
I’m pretty sure that the majority of you are familiar with the current struggle in Poland with regard to the total abortion ban and may already wonder why I, a gender and social movements researcher, haven’t written about it on my blog so far. The main reason is that the problem is extremely complex and an analysis of the whole spectrum of initiatives, discourses and actors involved in this struggle is impossible to perform in one (user-friendly) blog post. Therefore, after weeks of wondering how to frame the problem, I decided to divide the story into pieces and elaborate on particular issues in separate posts. So today, please enjoy the pilot of this fascinating series, which consists of a very short summary of the 2016 events and an introduction of one of the actors I had a chance to write a paper on back in 2010. Continue reading
Dr. Justyna Stypinska, an excellent scholar and a very good friend of mine, together with her colleagues from the Institute for East European Studies, would like to invite you to take part in the International Conference entitled “Gender, Power, Eastern Europe – Changing Concepts of Femininities and Masculinities and Power Relations” to be held at Free University in Berlin, Germany, 20-23 June 2017. Continue reading
As you may have noticed already, it usually takes me a few weeks or even months to reflect on the events that I attend, and my comments mostly refer to the conference/workshop content, as I try to focus on men and masculinities and/or gender issues that are discussed during the event. This time, however, is slightly different because not only did the conference end six days ago, but I am also changing my focus from the content to the interactions that I observed. So let me start with the basics.