"Et nulle autre me faict plus proprement homme que cette cy:" Michel de Montaigne's embodied masculinity

Journal Article (Journal Article)

Writing in a period of considerable anxiety about gender roles, Montaigne (1533-92) developed a series of reflections on gender and masculinity in which he destabilized the gender and sexual hierarchies of early-modern France. First, drawing on an increasingly global archive of information about non-European societies, he argued that culture plays a major role in shaping the lives and experiences of women. Secondly, his understanding of nature enabled him to foster a notion of the equality of the sexes, even as he recognized that nature creates certain differences between men and women. Finally, on these foundations, Montaigne constructed a vision of masculinity that stresses it as an ethical value, one that he opposes above all to cruelty. Montaigne's sexual politics were, I suggest, at least in part a response to the Wars of Religion that had led to an excess of barbarity in early-modern France.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Martin, JJ

Published Date

  • July 4, 2015

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 22 / 4

Start / End Page

  • 563 - 578

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1469-8293

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 1350-7486

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1080/13507486.2015.1028344

Citation Source

  • Scopus