Tuesday, May 27, 2014
More from this month's guest blogger, Professor Jamie Abrams from the University of Louisville School of Law. Her scholarly interests include integrating masculinities theory in feminist law reforms such as military integration and domestic violence; examining the tort complexities governing standards of care in childbirth; gendered conceptualizations of citizenship; and legal education pedagogy.
The latest mass shooting in Isla Vista, California adds to a troublesome lineage of mass shootings by male shooters in the United States. The New York Times covers the issue of gendered violence at Campus Killings Set Off Anguished Conversation. The article highlights how the killings have “set off a raw, anguished conversation about the ways women are perceived sexually and the violence against them that has reverberated around the country.” The NYT coverage reveals how both feminism and masculinities are needed to address the gendered complexities of violence.
The Good Men Project reveals the masculinities underpinnings of mass shootings here. I have written about these issues in The Collateral Consequences of Masculinizing Violence, in which I considered the masculinity underpinnings of a similar mass shooting of women at a Pennsylvania fitness club by George Sodini in 2009 to raise questions about the masculinization of violence in legal frameworks. The pressures to conform to dominant masculinities can lead some men to hyper-masculine expressions of violence. Those hyper-masculine expressions can often follow a direct challenge to an individual’s dominant conception of masculinity, such as the loss of a job or rejection by women. Lisa Hickey of the Good Men Project, a project I was first introduced to by the Gender and the Law Blog last year, adds this additional lens of masculinities to the many other social frames to be considered in connection with mass shootings, such as access to mental health services, gun control, and violence against women.