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Harvey Weinstein and the Troubling State of Men

Five Top Masculinity Scholars on Harvey Weinstein and the Troubling State of Men

Every morning our staff gathers at 9:30 a.m. to discuss what we’ll be covering over the next 24 hours. Obviously, talk of the sexual assault and harassment allegations against Harvey Weinstein have dominated our meetings over the last few weeks. Despite all the oxygen we’ve given the topic, we’ve struggled with answers beyond the obvious: We have an even bigger problem with sexual harassment and assault in this country than we realized. It’s particularly nasty among powerful men, but still far too prevalent across the board. And men haven’t been great allies — nor, in a lot of cases, done much beyond getting defensive and/or offering up their own innocence as a means of self-protection. And, perhaps most of all, what we know is still so little.

All of that, of course, is unfulfilling — especially the last one.

To help us think through these issues, we began calling the scholars we’ve consistently used as sounding boards when trying to make sense of modern masculinity: for stories on college hookup culture, rape culture, Evangelical virgins, chin implants, man caves, the prevalence of bacon-scented soap and dude advertising. They had remarkable insight into how we got here and how we might find our way forward. Beginning today, we’ll be publishing those conversations daily throughout the rest of the week.

Sadly, each of them began with the same disclaimer: I’m not surprised by any of this.

The interviews: