With this concise overview of men’s role in feminism, Shira Tarrant makes a substantial contribution to the project of ally-building across gender lines. Tarrant frames antisexist work as a universal responsibility and highlights numerous examples of feminist men—from Plato to current college students—to normalize the idea that men can advocate for feminism. Exploring both how men benefit from invisible privilege and how strict gender binaries can constrain men as well as women, Tarrant underscores the need for men to act as allies for gender equity. Drawing from significant intersectional, antisexist, and antiracist theory, the book is an informative introduction to feminism in general and to how men stand to gain from it in particular.
Seemingly aimed at young men (including college students) who have not previously grappled with feminist theory, Men and Feminism renders difficult and potentially threatening concepts broadly accessible. It troubles the idea of a single masculinity or femininity and signals the true complexity that informs gendered experience. The book might make a good addition to an introductory course on feminism and could be a helpful alliance-building tool for young women as well as their male peers. With an extensive recommended reading list and a reader’s guide that seems appropriate to young college students, the book prompts movement from contemplation to further research and action. As Tarrant writes, “While men don’t need to blame themselves, we each have a responsibility for eliminating sexism” (120). Her book maps one possible path toward this collaborative change.