Conference paper

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Men and Earth: Ecological Masculinities – conference paper

Men and Earth: Ecological Masculinities explores the ways that manhood and masculinities in the modern West are configured. We interrogate the costs of these configurations on all of life. We explore these problems through a particular interest in the relationships between men, masculinities and nature in response to the need to create a socially and ecologically equitable world for all.

We note a gap in Critical Studies on Men and Masculinities (CSMM), acknowledge previous references to ecomasculinities, ecomasculinity, ecomasculinists, ecoman, etc. and then offer a brief historical overview of the rise of the term over the last thirty years.

We expand on these foundations to develop a new discourse we refer to as Ecological Masculinities, not blaming men and masculinities per se, but rather introducing a profeminist perspective on their contributions to these woes as consequences of a transition from Industrial/Bread Winner Masculinities to Ecomodern Masculinities (linking this paper to the current global context of rising nationalist and neo-fascist backlashes) and then proceed to introduce Ecological Masculinities to guide this transition towards a deep green future. To do so, we interrogate the ways that male domination plays a pivotal structural role in the social and environmental problems confronting us on multiple levels.

We build the case for a transformation in the lives of modern Western men and masculinities that intentionally subverts male domination, effectively steering modern Western men and masculinities in directions that prioritise care. Consequently, the paper argues that in order to achieve a truly sustainable future, modern Western men and masculinities must emanate care with respect, authenticity, congruency and kindness towards all Others and the self—concurrently.

We introduce this new discourse as a theoretical conversation supported by an array of practical ways that Ecological Masculinities can be applied in people’s lives to ensure that individuals (men, women and human others alike) play our respective parts in building a truly sustainable world.

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