Author Meets Critics:

Tom Digby

Love and War

Online Author Meets Critics: Tom Digby's Love and War


June 16, 2020, 10:00 am-1:00 p.m. (PDT)
Location: GoToMeeting (details below) The Society for Philosophy of Emotion (SPE)( and the Journal of Philosophy of Emotion ( are hosting an online author meets critics for Dr. Tom Digby’s book, Love and War (2014). Although it’s been some time since its publication, its contents are still pertinent, especially in light of the #MeToo movement. We also believe that it, along with the nationally and internationally recognized professionals and scholars who will take part in this online author meets critics, can help open up a conversation about gendered roles and expectations that may help many people understand and work through the #MeToo movement, including those men who are confused about how to make sense of and navigate their interactions with women during the era of the #MeToo movement. Please refer to the following abstract and author meets critics schedule for more details:
Abstract: Ideas of masculinity and femininity become sharply defined in war-reliant societies, resulting in a presumed enmity between men and women. This so-called “battle of the sexes” is intensified by the use of misogyny to encourage men and boys to conform to the demands of masculinity. These are among the insights shared in Love and War: How Militarism Shapes Sexuality and Romance, a book that describes the making and manipulation of gender in militaristic societies, and the sweeping consequences for men and women in their personal, romantic, sexual, and professional lives. Drawing on cross-cultural comparisons and examples from popular media, including sports culture, the rise of “gonzo” and “bangbus” pornography, and “internet trolls,” I describe how the hatred of women and the suppression of empathy are used to define masculinity, thereby undermining relations between women and men―sometimes even to the extent of violence. Employing diverse philosophical methodologies, I identify the cultural elements that contribute to heterosexual antagonism, such as an enduring faith in male force to solve problems, the glorification of violent men who suppress caring emotions, the devaluation of men's physical and emotional lives, an imaginary gender binary, male privilege premised on the subordination of women, and the use of misogyny to encourage masculine behavior. I track the "collateral damage" of this disabling misogyny in the lives of both men and women, but end the book on a hopeful note. The link between war and gender is gradually dissolving in many societies: war is becoming slowly de-gendered, and gender is becoming slowly de-militarized.
Author Meets Critics Schedule:
Chair: Cecilea Mun (Bowling Green State University - Firelands)
10:00 – 10:10: Book Synopsis, Tom Digby (Springfield College, MA)
10:10 – 10:25: First Commentary, Dawn Floyd (Lenoir-Rhyne University, NC)
10:25 – 10:40: Second Commentary, Shira Tarrant (California State University, Long Beach, CA)
10:40 – 10:55: Third Commentary, Michael F. Mascolo (Merrimack College, MA)
10:55 – 11:10: Fourth Commentary, Sarah L. Adams (University of North Florida, FL)
11:10 – 11:25: Fifth Commentary, Michael Deckard (Lenoir-Rhyne University, NC)
11:25 – 11:30: Short Break
11:30 – 12:00: Author’s Response, Tom Digby (Springfield College, MA)
12:00 – 1:00: Audience Questions for Author and Panel of Critics

Participant Bios:
Tom Digby is Emeritus Professor of Philosophy at Springfield College, and writes, lectures, and teaches about gender. His most recent book is Love and War: How Militarism Shapes Sexuality and Romance (Columbia University Press), which won the 2017 Choice Academic Title Award. His previous book is Men Doing Feminism (Routledge). He has written numerous articles for philosophy journals and other publications. His multimedia lectures have been enthusiastically received by audiences in North America and Europe.
Dawn Barker Floyd is the Director of Compliance/Title IX Coordinator and an Adjunct Professor at Lenoir-Rhyne University. She is licensed to practice law in New York and North Carolina and worked as a litigator for ten years before moving into higher education. Her work centers on higher education law and compliance, including implementing and ensuring compliance with various regulatory laws in the higher education setting and conducting complex civil rights investigations.
Shira Tarrant is Professor of Women’s, Gender & Sexuality Studies and an unconventional feminist redefining gender justice. A nationally recognized expert on sexual politics and contemporary culture, her newest books are The Pornography Industry: What Everyone Needs to Know (Oxford University Press); Gender, Sex, and Politics (Routledge); and New Views on Pornography (Praeger). Her books also include Men and Feminism (Seal Press); Fashion Talks: Undressing the Power of Style (SUNY Press); When Sex Became Gender (Routledge); and Men Speak Out: Views on Gender, Sex, and Power (Routledge). She developed and regularly teaches a course on masculinities, in which she incorporates Tom Digby's book, Love & War. She is currently a Fellow with the University of California National Center for Free Speech and Civic Engagement.
Michael F. Mascolo is Professor of Psychology at Merrimack College. His work is devoted to creating a relational-developmental framework for understanding human development. He has written widely on issues related to human development, self, emotion, education, social relations, and conflict resolution. His latest project is Creating Common Ground ( an online magazine and interactive platform devoted to bridging divides on contentious social and political issues.
Sarah LaChance Adams is Distinguished Professor of Philosophy and Director of the Florida Blue Center for Ethics at the University of North Florida in Jacksonville. She is also the Managing Editor of Hypatia: A Journal of Feminist Philosophy. She is the author of Mad Mothers, Bad Mothers, and What a “Good” Mother Would Do: The Ethics of Ambivalence and the coeditor of New Philosophies of Sex and Love. Her current project is titled, An Ethics of Erotic Experience.
Michael Funk Deckard is Associate Professor of Philosophy at Lenoir-Rhyne University. He has been co-teaching a course with Dawn Floyd, J.D. entitled "Love and War" using Tom Digby's book among others, and is working on a co-written book with Dawn Floyd entitled Into the Light: The Promise and Peril of Teaching Gender-Based Violence on College Campuses. He has published extensively on the history of emotion as well as issues related to violence and war. He and Dawn also have an forthcoming article this summer called "Teaching Love and War" in the book, Collaborating for Change: Transforming Cultures to End Gender-Based Violence in Higher Education, edited by Susan Marine and Ruth Lewis (Oxford University Press)

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(The order of commentators may change, contingent on the author’s order of replies)
Love and War is published by Columbia University Press and a digital copy of the book should be available through your local university library. Furthermore, although all the speakers must be SPE members, we welcome non-SPE members to participate for free as audience members. We would, however, appreciate any donation to the SPE that an audience member would be willing to make in order to help the SPE continue with its mission, including providing similar interdisciplinary events. Please visit our website to do so: Society for Philosophy of Emotion. A video recording of this event will also be made available for free on a dedicated SPE YouTube channel and/or the SPE website. If you have any questions or concerns about this event, please contact the director of the SPE, Cecilea Mun, at spe[at]jpeonline[dot]org.