Anonymous on Lois Presser

Lois Presser matters to me for a variety of reasons. As a graduate in criminology and researcher into violence among men, she often appeared as a beacon of light in my bibliography full of academic men. Without taking away from these men, indeed, they are heavyweights in the field; Lois’s work spoke to me in a different way. She discussed in her 2008 work: ‘Been a Heavy Life: Stories of Violent Men”, how her gender resisted and transgressed traditional gender positions, and how in research interviews she crafted situational subject positions from available discourses. In short, she used the discursive meanings and narratives of these men as a testament to the ways in which men accomplish their masculinity through violent gender performances. These performances can take shape in speech and language and in Lois’s research they were demonstrated through narratives, men’s narratives of violence against women. Lois was therefore brave enough to confront this issue, and also, in some respects, brave enough to berate the male heavyweights for not being able to look beyond their own subject positions to see the model of violence and patriarchy laid bare. Thus, I employ Presser’s work and her bravery in my own research with violent men, and further look to her as an inspiration, as a light, when faced with a raft of male heavyweight academics in both books and in life.

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