If there is any one concept that stirs the passions and actions of men as a gender, power is the most likely candidate. Seldom is powerlessness a preferred or admired quality in a man. Yet power can be both a beacon-to direct action and maintain order-and a plague-if frustratingly unattainable, or glamorized and abused. In the field of men's studies, where men and women examine how gender organizes action and thought, the role of power may never be settled. How are men raised to relate to power and what are the consequences? Is power assumed by virtue of genetics and biology, is it culturally conferred, or is it merely an illusion? Does the belief that men are powerful serve a political agenda? Do males experience power differently when viewed psychologically as opposed to power in a social setting? By keeping control of power, have men failed at the leadership demanded of those who possess power? What is healthy power for men? How do women interpret power? How does the male perception of power lead to violent tendencies in some men? These questions and many more are examined in Men and Power by leading experts in the field of gender identity. The purpose of this inquiry is to move beyond the glib resignation that power corrupts, to more precisely identify what men can do to transform their quest for power into a healthy benefit to the individual, to relationships, and to society. Compelling topics such as sexuality, intimacy, equity, male identity, porgraphy, and many others are explored in detail. Contributors are Blye Frank, Walter Isaac, Michael Kaufman, Christopher Kendall, Michael S. Kimmel, John Stoltenberg, Laurence Thomas, Clark Wolf, and Bert Young.
Joseph A. Kuypers (Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada) is an associate professor in the Faculty of Social Work at the University of Manitoba and the author of Man's Will to Hurt.