Breaking a mould

Women's movements have correctly identified patriarchy - a loaded word if ever there was one- as the "real" enemy, not men. Nevertheless, there is little realization that men are often victims of patriarchy as well as being beneficiaries. Today's Hindu carries a review of a new book Breaking the Moulds from MAVA (Men Against Violence and Abuse) Mumbai and Purush Uvach in Pune and published by Books for Change.

"The book is a serious and pioneering attempt by men to understand the shaping of multiple masculinities in the Indian context and would serve as primer on Men's studies in India. The book includes fresh write-ups exclusively by men on a wide range of gender and sexuality matters. It has all forms of expressions: short stories, first-person accounts, interviews, plays, poems, analytical articles, group discussions and interviews. The publication records the impressions by sensitive, concerned men who have questioned and in their own way attempted to change patriarchal, male-dominated stereotypes in society. Among the write-ups in the book, is a lot of experiential sharing which help in breaking the myth of masculinity as a monolithic construct and brings out the diversity, complexity, pain and richness of experiences of men who are attempting to break out of the patriarchal moulds."

The foreword to the book is by Maithreyi Krishnaraj who says "The present book shares with us the exploration of the difficult journey of modern post-feminist, gendered man through the treacherous terrain of relationships and ideologies through the process of examining masculinity by bringing to us experiences and not just high theory…. What I liked most about the book is the hope it brings to us that there is a tremendous possibility to all of us becoming more human than just gendered beings."

In our Gender Studies section. Rs 195