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Hmm. This narrative works, and doesn’t work, at the same time.

First, let’s put aside the intellectual content and consider the tone. Is it positive? Neutral? Negative? What emotions come to mind?

What I get overall is a certain bitterness, born of frustration. Other things too, like a clear sense of self worth, ambition, insight. But bitterness pervades to the extent that I have to ask this: is the emotion an outcome of the story, or is the story an outcome of the emotion? Which one is doing the driving, and which one is incidental?

The distinction is important because it’s a major clue about what to do next. For example, if emotions are doing the driving, it might come out of the sense of injustice, and it might be that you are really focused on politics and social issues, and not so much on the research itself.

That said, if we go on to consider the intellectual content, I’m reminded of various academic and non-academic studies of masculinity in the 90s. Of these, Susan Faludi’s book Stiffed is a very good and pretty thorough consideration of the topic.

The piece as you’ve written it shows no sign of this wider discourse, and I’m wondering a bit over that absence. Have you not come across it; are you ignoring it; is there some other explanation?

The piece kind of works on one level, but on another level the tone, and absence of certain narratives make me wonder if the story is actually about something else.

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