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Title: Kicks Against the Pricks: Gender, Sex, and Satire in Will Self’s Cock and Bull
Authors: Parker, Emma
First Published: 19-May-2011
Publisher: Oxford University Press on behalf of the English Association
Citation: English, 2011, 60 (230), pp. 229-250
Abstract: Emphasizing Will Self’s satirical mode, this essay contests the view that Cock and Bull (1992) is a sexist or anti-feminist text that reifies the binary categories of gender and sex. Instead, it argues that Self responds to debates about manhood that emerged in the 1980s and 1990s by satirizing the view that anatomy is destiny advanced by Robert Bly, founder of the Men’s Movement, and proponents of evolutionary psychology, who each propose that aggression and sexual domination are natural to men. It illustrates that Cock and Bull privileges the pro-feminist ‘New Man’ over Bly’s ‘Wild Man’ and the 1990s ‘lad’, affirming a non-phallic model of masculinity. The essay stresses the significance of the text’s sophisticated critique of the dominant ideology of sex and gender by contrasting Self’s satire with the recent emergence of ‘dick lit’ or fratire.
DOI Link: 10.1093/english/efr004
ISSN: 0013-8215
eISSN: 1756-1124
Type: Article
Description: Full text of this item is not currently available on the LRA. The final published version is available at
Appears in Collections:Published Articles, Dept. of English

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