Men’s Stories for a Change

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Abstract

Men’s Stories for a Change records and analyses stories written by a group of older men who met over thirteen years to share memories about ageing and masculinity. So here there are stories of love and sex, bodily change, crisis and disturbance, politics and power, struggles with violent feelings and action, work, sport, clothes, peeing, hair, and hairlessness. These men share a view of manhood, gender, and ageing that, while critical of dominant frames and inspired by feminist politics, is optimistic without underestimating the challenges of older age and old age, including the approach to the end of life. They see ageing as an opportunity for personal and social and, indeed, political change, for dealing with longstanding issues, especially around gender and power, and as a time of innovating too. This project aims to help, if only in some small way, in opening up these issues, freeing up in a profeminist direction the voices of other men individually or collectively, ageing or otherwise. The authors have all been involved in some kind of men’s anti-sexist, profeminist politics, and/or men’s personal development work, along with other personal and political activism in such arenas as anti-nuclear, anti-racism, green, left, socialist, and peace politics over the years. Using the methods of memory work, the writers are both subjects and objects; the text cuts across that division too. Similarly, this volume can be located in various traditions, genres, and forms of writing. This is a project that is both finished and unfinished.