Feminism, Masculinities and Emotional Politics in Late Twentieth Century Britain

09 Aug 2017

Feminism posed powerful political and emotional challenges to progressive men in the 1970s and 1980s. This article investigates politically and personally motivated attempts to ‘feel differently’ by men in britain who identified as ‘antisexist’ and aligned themselves with the women’s liberation movement. I discuss two sites of 'rescripting’ emotions – consciousness-raising and childcare - and reflect on the complex emotional impact on men of the concept of ‘the male gaze’ revealed in oral histories. This article explores how historians might use oral history to capture affect that is expressed somatically, and advocates fine-grained readings of the emotions of guilt and shame.