Cool Men and the Second Sex

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Columbia University Press, 2003 - Social Science - 212 pages
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Academic superstars Andrew Ross, Edward Said, and Henry Louis Gates Jr. Bad boy filmmakers Quentin Tarantino, Spike Lee, and Brian de Palma. What do these influential contemporary figures have in common? In Cool Men and the Second Sex, Susan Fraiman identifies them all with "cool masculinity" and boldly unpacks the gender politics of their work.

According to Fraiman, "cool men" rebel against a mainstream defined as maternal. Bad boys resist the authority of women and banish mothers to the realm of the uncool. As a result, despite their hipness -- or because of it -- these men too often feel free to ignore the insights of feminist thinkers. Through subtle close readings, Fraiman shows that even Gates, champion of black women's writing, and even queer theorists bent on undoing gender binaries, at times end up devaluing women in favor of men and masculinity.

A wide-ranging and fair-minded analysis, Cool Men acknowledges the invaluable contributions of its subjects while also deciphering the gender codes and baring the contradictions implicit in their work. Affirming the legacy of second-wave feminist scholars and drawing as well on the intersectional work of third-wavers, Cool Men helps to reinvent feminist critique for the twenty-first century.

 

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Contents

Quentin Tarantino Anatomy of Cool
1
Spike lee and Brian De Palma Scenarios of Race and Rape
17
Edward Said Gender Culture and Imperialism
36
Andrew Ross The Romance of the Bad Boy
54
Henry Louis Gates Jr Figures in Black Masculinity
84
Queer Theory and the Second Sex
122
Doing the Right Thing
156
Notes
161
Works Cited
191
Index
205
Copyright

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About the author (2003)

Edward D. berkowitz is professor of history and public policy and public administration at George Washington University. He is the author of eight books and the editor of three collections. During the seventies he served as a staff member of the President's Commission for a National Agenda, helping President Carter plan for a second term that never came to be.

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