Connell, Bob

Bob Connell
13 August 2011Feature

Arguing that complex social masculinities coexist—as opposed to a biologically determined singular form of masculinity—Bob Connell believes that a strategy for peace concerned with masculinities does not demand a complete break with patterns of behaviour men are familiar with. In fact, he argues, some of the qualities in "traditional" definitions of masculinity—such as courage and steadfastness—are needed in the cause of peace.

Though women have often manufactured weapons and serviced armies—and in an age of nuclear weapons are equally targeted— it is historically rare for women to be in combat. The twenty million members of the world's armed forces today are overwhelmingly men. In many countries all soldiers are men; and even in those countries which admit women to the military, commanders are almost exclusively men. Men also dominate other branches of enforcement, both in the public sector as police officers and…