Week 10 Lecture Notes (along with Powerpoint Notes)

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Women's and Gender Studies
Victoria Tahmasebi

WEEK 10: Masculinity Studies Masculinity Studies  Part of gender studies  Masculinity: often confusing and contradictory - Media heroes: courageous, competent and always in control but sometimes romantic and sensitive - Women: praise both sensitivity AND toughness in men  Most men fall short when they attempt to satisfy both standards  Images of masculinity are often confusing and contradictory – in what sense?: How media represents the “ideal” men – that men are courageous and competent, they should always be in control; they also have a genre of the “sensitive” man  Every studies show that women praise men that are sensitive and at the same time, admire toughness in men; what’s the problem with this? – these two messages are contradictory and hard to fulfill Male Standards: Six Historical Periods 1. Epic Male 2. Spiritual Male 3. Chivalric Male 4. Renaissance Male 5. Bourgeois Male 6. Modern Male  In the history of Western civilizations:  (1) Epic Man – around 800-100 BC; in this period, the ideal man is the epic man; the main features are action, physical strength, courage, loyalty and the beginning of patriarchy  (2) Spiritual Man – from 400-1000 AD; the time of the teaching of Jesus and the early church fathers; in this era, the ideal man is the spiritual man whose major features are self pronunciation, restraint sexual activity, anti-homosexual attitude, and strong patriarchal view  (3) Chivalric Man – from 12 century; feudalism and chivalry defined the desirable masculinity; self-sacrifice, courage, honour and service to the lady th  (4) Renaissance Man – 16 century social system; embodies rationality, intellectual endeavours and self-exploration  (5) Bourgeois Man – success in business, status and worldly manner, entrepreneurship, colonialism  (6) Modern Man – early 19 century; individualistic, solitary, independent, whose masculinity must be validated by war and competition, risk-taking, and above all muscular body Hegemonic Masculinity  Idealized norms  Acted out by the most powerful men  White, middle class, and heterosexual  Other masculine styles are rendered inadequate and inferior  Harms men of color, poor men, “third world” men, and non-heterosexual men  Harms women  The dominant or hegemonic form of masculinity borrows from all of those historical masculinities  Hegemonic masculinity is culturally normatic ideals of masculinity within a structure of social relations where some men are subordinated  We are dealing with power relations – because hegemonic masculinity are acted out by the most powerful men  Hegemo
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