This book considers mass media and contemporary cultural trends to examine masculinity at a point of unprecedented change. While sexual and gender politics have always been fraught, the long unexamined privilege associated with masculinity is now subject to intense scrutiny marked by a host of complex factors.

As past markers of masculine norms have been challenged on cultural, social, and economic fronts, men occupy public space ever aware that how they interact with others is questioned and questionable. What does manhood mean? Who is included in its dominant formations? What performances signify membership in the club? How are men reading this contemporary moment and to what extent does cultural literacy inform, maintain, or challenge normative male identities and subsequent performances? This work examines such questions through language and symbolic meaning, and challenges its readers to critically examine what men know and how they understand and embody gender and sexuality in a post-millennial society.

Gender, Sexuality, and the Cultural Politics of Men’s Identity in the New Millennium: Literacies of Masculinity crosses academic disciplines and will be highly relevant in composition/rhetoric, gender studies, masculinity studies, and cross-curricular courses that take up popular/contemporary culture as well as gender, sexuality, race, and class. It has been designed with both undergraduate and graduate students in mind.

chapter 1|24 pages


Literacy and the politics of masculinity in the new millennium

chapter 2|18 pages

Grab ’em by the pussy

Men learning and resisting the literacy of toxic masculinity

chapter 3|19 pages

Men are #MeToo

The challenges of same-sex sexual transgression for literacies of masculinity

chapter 4|9 pages

Out of the closets, into the bathrooms

Literacies of the lavatory and implications for masculinity

chapter 5|25 pages

Locker rooms

Gendered space, sexual politics, and the literacy of masculinity

chapter 7|12 pages

Take a knee

Black protest and racing the literacy of masculinity

chapter 8|9 pages


“Same as It Ever Was” or “Brave new world”? Gender, sexuality, and the politics of men’s identity