From Panthers to Promise Keepers: Rethinking the Men's Movement by Judith NewtonFrom Panthers to Promise Keepers: Rethinking the Men's Movement by Judith Newton

From Panthers to Promise Keepers: Rethinking the Men's Movement

byJudith Newton

Paperback | November 26, 2004

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Written for a general audience, From Panthers to Promise Keepers draws on years of readings about, interviews with, and intimate observations of the men and networks who were involved in what some have called 'the men's movement.' Focusing on the decades between 1950 and 2000 in the U.S., From Panthers to Promise Keepers places networks of gay men and of black men (and women) at the center of its investigations, exploring some of the unexpected ways in which these seemingly marginal networks were precursors to, rather than mere followers of, the white and heterosexual men's groups that followed and that became the objects of media attention. This study also demonstrates that networks with radically different positions on important social issues nonetheless shared two related activities-criticizing individualist, self-making values and attempting, through surprisingly similar ritual practices, to construct ideals of masculinity that were more expressive of vulnerability, tenderness, and care. Men's politically varied efforts to refashion masculine ideals during the last 50 years have contributed to a different global climate with respect to masculinities. Near the end of the 1990s, agencies such as UNESCO helped the reform of masculine ideals become more widely seen as a necessary component of movements for social justice and a 'culture of peace.' Current efforts to revive a more aggressive and force-based masculine ideal, a 'masculinity for a culture of war,' are one of many testaments to the cultural resonance of what has been called 'the men's movement.'
Judith Newton is professor of women and gender studies at University of California, Davis. She is the author and editor of many books, including Women, Power, and Subversion: Social Strategies in British Fiction, 1778-1860 and Starting Over: Feminism and the Politics of Cultural Critique. She is currently head of the Consortium for Wom...
Title:From Panthers to Promise Keepers: Rethinking the Men's MovementFormat:PaperbackDimensions:304 pages, 8.96 × 6 × 0.65 inPublished:November 26, 2004Publisher:Rowman & Littlefield PublishersLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0847691306

ISBN - 13:9780847691302

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Rated 5 out of 5 by from We are men, men is what we are: a review of Judith Newton's From Panthers to Promise Keepers I read this book as part of my research on Chuck Palahniuk’s Fight Club and masculinity in the 1990s. I was particularly interested in the section on the Promise Keepers since I’m focusing on men and religion during that time period. This is an utterly absorbing account. Judith Newton’s accessible and personable prose offers a solid introduction to the men’s movement from the 1960s through until the end of the millennium, with particular attention to how men have responded to issues of racism, homophobia, and sexism. It is an absolutely fascinating read. It is probably not a stretch to say that masculinity may best be captured as a permanent fixation and crisis about masculinity itself. It seems that men have always been anxious about being men. My favourite section dealt with what she calls “male romance,” the tendency of men to become frustrated and anxious, perhaps even paranoid, about their manhood and therefore head off on some sort of trip with other men. From the Black Panthers to the Radical Faeries, the mythopoetic movement and the Promise Keepers, men love to leave everyone but other men behind. Newton’s reconstruction of the men’s movement is a sympathetic yet critical account of the men's movement. She notes, with regard to the Promise Keepers, that although men are genuinely engaging in emotional work and opening themselves up to their own feelings, the organization itself failed to address structural or economic issues pertaining to gender or institutional sexism. This, in my view, is by no means a trivial oversight. She does, however, speculate that the men’s movement collapsed because of its lack of a sustained political vision; the emotional work was there, but without a political agenda it remained private and relatively ineffective within a larger social spectrum. That being said, the Promise Keepers may in fact be one of the most influential movements seeking to rethink and generate a new kind of man. * * * “You’re only as masculine as your last demonstration of masculinity.” Timothy Beneke
Date published: 2007-12-21

Table of Contents

Chapter 1 Introduction: Close Encounters Chapter 2 Men, Masculinity, and Mourning on the Mall: National Manhood and Male Romance Chapter 3 Revolutionary Men: Civil Rights, Black Power, and the Reconfiguration of Black Masculine Ideals Chapter 4 A Circle of Loving Companions: Radically Gay Chapter 5 Reenchanting (White) Masculinity: The Profeminist Heritage of "Men's Liberation" Chapter 6 Iron and Ironing Johns: Being Born Again in the Mythopoetic Movement Chapter 7 Fathers of Themselves Chapter 8 Reinventing the Husband Chapter 9 Doing The Work of Love: Promise Keepers on Work, Marriage, and Fathering Chapter 10 Beyond a Focus on the Family: Love Work As Race Reconciliation Chapter 11 The Politics of Feeling

Editorial Reviews

Judith Newton has produced a pioneering work that connects African American social movements of the 1960s to men's movements of the 1970s and 1980s. Her approach is innovative, weaving together a sophisticated theoretical argument with personal narrative. This well-grounded book adds considerably to our knowledge of how ideas and ideologies spill over to other social movements.