Masculinities scholarship is an essential piece of feminist analysis and of critical equality analysis. It requires that we "ask the man question" to further unravel inequalities. This symposium marks one of several movements toward examining and considering what masculinities scholarship can offer. In this introduction, I suggest a framework of masculinities analysis and describe its relationship to feminist theory. First, I consider why we should ask the "man question," and how we should ask it. Second, I explore how masculinities analysis might be useful in our examination of the "man question." Masculinities work can be used to understand more clearly how male privilege and dominance are constructed. It can make us see harms suffered by boys and men that we have largely ignored. It may also reinforce and strengthen the commitment to antiessentialism in feminist theory. Exposing the complexities and multiplicity of masculinities leads toward understanding intersectional and multiple forms of discrimination more clearly. In this way, it is analogous to noticing that the issues and positions of all women are not the same and include instances of women subordinating women.
Nancy E. Dowd, Asking the Man Question: Masculinities Analysis and Feminist Theory, 33 Harv. J.L. & Gender 415 (2010), available at http://scholarship.law.ufl.edu/facultypub/83