Man Enough? Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton and the Politics of Presidential Masculinity
By Jackson Katz
published 2016 • 6" x 9" • 320 pages
ISBN 9781566560832 • paperback • $25.00
Why has the U.S. never had a woman president?
The big story about gender in the 2016 presidential year was supposed to be about Hillary Clinton, and her quest to become the first woman president of the United States. Then Donald Trump's candidacy for the Republican nomination took off, and the narrative took an unexpected turn. Gender was still a central force to be reckoned with, but contrary to the popular understanding of "gender" as synonymous with "women," the gender issue at the heart of the Trump phenomenon had less to do with women and more to do with men.
Trump's appeal was rooted in right-wing populism and know-nothing racism, but it was also based on his performance of a kind of can-do white masculinity that had been in decline in recent decades. Like Ronald Reagan, Trump understood implicitly that the desire for a strong, virile man in the White House runs deep in the American DNA. His supporters confirmed this every time they opened their mouths: He tells it like it is. He's his own man. He's not politically correct. He's got balls. In other words, it's time to return a "real man" to the White House.
To date, most conversations about gender and the presidency have focused on the special challenges women presidential candidates face: endless media scrutiny about their looks, their clothes, the deeply sexist attitudes and beliefs that keep people from believing a woman is capable of serving as Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces.
But gender has always been a crucial factor in presidential politics. In Man Enough? Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton and the Politics of Presidential Masculinity, Jackson Katz puts forth the original and highly provocative thesis that in recent decades presidential campaigns have become the center stage of an ongoing national debate about manhood, a kind of quadrennial referendum on what type of man—or one day, woman—embodies not only our ideological beliefs, but our very identity as a nation.
Whether he is examining right-wing talk radio's relentless attacks on the masculinity of Democratic candidates, how fears of appearing weak and vulnerable end up shaping candidates' actual policy positions, how the ISIS attacks on Paris and elsewhere have pushed candidates to assume an increasingly hypermasculine posture, or the groundbreaking quality of Hillary Clinton's runs for the presidency in 2008 and 2016, Katz offers a new way to understand the role of identity politics in presidential campaigns. In the end, Man Enough? offers nothing less than a paradigm-shifting way to understand the very nature of the American presidency.
Jackson Katz, Ph.D. is internationally renowned for his groundbreaking scholarship and activism on issues of gender and violence. He is the creator of the award-winning educational documentaries Tough Guise and Tough Guise 2, and is the author of The Macho Paradox: Why Some Men Hurt Women and How All Men Can Help. He is featured in the films Miss Representation and The Mask You Live In. He blogs for The Huffington Post and lectures widely in the U.S. and around the world on violence, media and masculinities.
Get it today. Purchase from Amazon.com or direct from the publisher, Interlink Books
The decisive re-election of President Barack Obama in 2012 exposed a startling development in contemporary American politics: Obama lost the white male vote by a landslide of 27 points -- but nonetheless still managed to win the election with the strong backing of women and voters of color. What does this tell us not only about shifting electoral demographics, but about the gender and racial transformations under way in American society over the past few decades? In Leading Men, Jackson Katz puts forth the original and highly provocative thesis that presidential campaigns have become the center stage of an ongoing national debate about manhood, a kind of quadrennial referendum on what type of man – or one day, woman -- embodies not only our ideological beliefs, but our very identity as a nation. Of course this debate has enormous implications for women – both as potential candidates for the presidency and as citizens.
Whether he is examining right-wing talk radio’s relentless attacks on the masculinity of Democratic candidates, how fears of appearing weak and vulnerable end up shaping candidates’ actual policy positions, the groundbreaking quality of Hillary Clinton’s 2008 run or her potential candidacy in 2016, Katz offers a new way to understand the role of identity politics in presidential campaigns. In the end, Leading Men offers nothing less than a paradigm-shifting way to understand the very nature of the American presidency.
Jackson Katz, Ph.D., is an educator, author, filmmaker and cultural theorist who is internationally renowned for his pioneering scholarship and activism on issues of gender and violence. In 1993 he co-founded the Mentors in Violence Prevention (MVP) program at Northeastern University's Center for the Study of Sport in Society. The mixed-gender, multiracial MVP program is one of the longest-running and most widely influential sexual and relationship abuse prevention programs in high schools, colleges, sports culture and the military in North America and beyond. MVP introduced the "bystander" approach to the gender violence prevention field; Katz is one of the key architects of this now broadly popular approach. In 1997 Katz created and directed the first worldwide gender violence prevention program in the history of the U.S. Marine Corps. He and his colleagues have been centrally involved in the development and implementation of system-wide bystander intervention training in the U.S. Air Force and Navy. MVP has also worked with the U.S. Army on bases in the States and overseas in Iraq. Katz's award-winning educational videos Tough Guise and Tough Guise 2, his featured appearances in the films Wrestling With Manhood, Spin The Bottle, Miss Representation and The Mask You Live In, and his thousands of lectures in North America and overseas have brought his insights into issues of gender and violence to millions of college and high school students as well as professionals in education, human services, public health and law enforcement. Read more about Jackson Katz.
Jackson delivers the plenary address at the Global Symposium in Rio.
Jackson is proud to have been a featured plenary speaker at the Global Symposium on Engaging Men and Boys on Achieving Gender Equality in Rio de Janeiro.
This symposium marked a remarkable time in the global efforts to create gender equality and resulted in the drafting of a global declaration.
"The uniqueness of his comments and the inclusiveness of his approach brought our students and faculty, both male and female, to their feet." -- Kathleen Brownback, Phillips Exeter Academy.
“Thanks again for the inspiring and incredibly successful lecture. The buzz is loud and strong and unanimous: it was a soul-moving event. I know that you give this lecture in one form or another pretty regularly, but here is a reminder from a local person who gets to hear it just once: you are doing life-changing work that is motivating people to think differently about the world.”
-- Stacey Robertson, Ph.D., Bradley University, IL
Jackson Katz is now a blogger on the Huffington Post. Click HERE to see recent posts from Jackson.
Jackson's latest Book, Leading Men, Presidential Campaigns and the Politics of Manhood, published by Interlink Press is now available at Amazon.com. Look for it at your local book retailer.
Jackson's first Book, The Macho Paradox, Why Some Men Hurt Women and How All Men Can Helpis available at Amazon.com Go to www.themachoparadox.com for reviews and chapter excerpts.
READ an in depth interview about The Macho Paradox with Jackson Katz by Kendra Olson-Hodgson of the Media Education Foundation.
Hip Hop: Beyond Beats
The new film by Byron Hurt premiered on PBS on February 20, 2007. Jackson Katz is Byron Hurt's long-time advisor, friend, and colleague. Katz appears in "Beyond Beats and Rhymes." For more information about the film, including materials to assist educators in classroom discussions and other dialogues, go to: http://www.itvs.org/outreach/hiphop/