Discussions at the Table
Kapitel i bok, 2021
Challenged on multiple fronts, humanity and Earth are caught in a tangle. The chapter that follows is an introduction to the next steps in the unfolding international conversation on ecological masculinities. Here, Pulé, Hultman, and Wågström discuss the gendered origins of social inequities and the imminent threats of ecological collapse. Building on Hultman and Pulé’s monograph, Ecological Masculinities (2018), this contribution “sets a table” in preparation for a discussion over a “meal” that nourishes our understandings of men, masculinities, and Earth. The contribution is divided into three key sections. Firstly, we offer an honouring of early and ecologically concerned feminists. These scholars and activists have been forewarning us of our calamitous social and ecological course for more than a century; their concerns guide the conceptual foundations of ecological masculinities. Influences from environmental historians, ecocritics, queer theorists, and profeminist sociologists are similarly credited for having helped shape the discussions ahead. Secondly, the contribution proceeds to a cautionary tale, noting the essentialist pitfalls of men’s mythopoesis and the individualised aggrandisement of libertarians as two phenomena that have glutted the men’s space, particularly in the Global North, deadening many from acknowledging humanity’s precipitous standing and obscuring our species authentic engagements with the broader, deeper, and wider care that is urgently needed to pull away from disaster. Thirdly, we introduce the six discussions that make up this anthology, along with a synopsis of each of the various contributions provided by this growing community of practice. These contributions are the equivalent of “dishes” that each contributor as a “dinner guest” has brought to share; each of them clustered into one of six discussions focused on various aspects of the evolving conversation on ecological masculinities.