Tag Archives: power balances

The fear of compliance: the cultural tales of the henpecked husband

23 Apr

Having undertaken research on power relations in heterosexual relationships I have realized how complicated these gendered power balances are. When you listen to contemporary discussions about masculinity being in crisis as a result of gender equality going wild, it seems that dominated men are the product of the last 40 years of feminist power gain. However, a little historical digging has revealed that the figure of the henpecked husband is both old and cross-culturally recognized. For centuries, the henpecked husband has worked as a masculine demarcation and ridiculed compliance as a sign of male weakness.

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