Lecture- October 22.docx

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Women and Gender Studies
Victoria Tahmasebi- Birgani

Lecture- October 22, 2013 (Fe)Male Bodies and Masculinities Masculinity  Refers to male bodies  Not determined by male biology (i.e. .having a penis)  Culturally constructed- not something that is innate o Being “ideal” man varies by class, race, historical time period, events of the time  Masculinity defined in relation to femininity o Opposite of vs. like/similar to o Polar opposite of femininity? Maybe on a scale? Imagining Masculinity  What qualities/traits/characteristics do you consider masculine?  Aggressive  Brave  Strong  Tall and big Troubling Bodies  Masculinity does not adhere to male body  Otherwise, all acts performed would be masculine  Can women have masculine qualities?  Can men have feminine qualities?  Does it change who they are? Michael Kimmel  Prominent scholar on gender and masculinity  Argues masculinity exaggerates difference (race, class, sexuality) o Performance of masculinity (especially in hegemonic form) establishes absolute difference (ie. Opposite from female)  Fear of other men: homophobia and hegemonic masculinity o Men fearing other men o “troubling masculinity”- use of slurs such as “gay” and “fag”  Gender policing  Fear and shame to be different o Forces people to be alike o Difference used to set up systems of oppression o What are the costs of this? o Crisis of masculinity- Multiple Masculinities  Raewynn Connell (is a trans-woman; born Robert William Connell)  “masculinities are configurations of practice within gender relations, a structure that includes large-scale institutions and economic relations as well as face-to-face relationship and sexuality. Masculinity is institutionalized in this structure, as well as being an aspect of individual character and personality”  Masculinity not constructed in relation to women and femininity but actually constructed in relation to other men o Particularly at intersections of race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, etc. Hegemonic Masculinity  The dominant form of masculinity in Western society  White, heterosexual, middle class, able-bodied o Emotional reserve, physically active/strong  Embodies absolute opposite of female/feminine  Connell argues: o Masculinity shaped by institutions such as the state, education, religion, family o Male power in institutionalized in social structures o Ideologies that support the gender order in favour of men o Hegemony does not equal dominance (pervasive ideology)  The ideology of this is powerful  Investments in maintaining imbalance of power and privilege  Not all men benefit equally  Men’s movement (starting in 90s) o Responses or anticipations of crisis of masculinity  Robert Bly, Iron John: A book about men (1990)  Mythopoetic men’s movement o Modernization has feminized men o Homosociality and imagined tribe Complicit Masculinity  Men who cannot be that ultimate “masculine man” but is approving of qualities of hegemonic masculi
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