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masculinity as homophobia kimmel.docx

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Masculinity as homophobia Kimmel  We think of manhood as innate, biological composition of the human male, result of androgens or the possession of a penis  Kimmel: view masculinity as a constantly changing collection of meanings that we construct through our relationships with ourselves, with each other and with our world  Manhood is socially constructed – it is constantly being played out, acted upon, reasserted and over time, redefined. It has the ability to be shifted and changed to encompass a much larger definition of manhood. It does not have to be rooted in insecurity, competition, and in opposition to anything that is not seen as the pinnacle of macho manliness.  Masculinity is a homosocial enactment – a competition, a show – all built up in gendered action and language and exaggerated to hide signs of so called weakness that are defined as feminine in opposition.  Everything that is not viewed as a pure masculinity is placed lower on the hierarchical scale that has been put in place as a measurement of masculinity. This includes everything that is not male, white, heterosexual, middle/upper-class, physically and mentally abled.  Homophobia is at the root of masculinity as a fear of being emasculated. This greatly informs racism, sexism, and is the cause for silence, insecurity, fear, shame, and isolation within and amongst men.  Violence is used as a clear and very visible sign of masculinity  Othered groups are always in contention with the definition of pure masculinity. Over history this has shifted.  There has been an assumption that because men as a group hold power, individual men must feel powerful. This is a contradiction, because symmetry between the public and private or social and psychological reality rarely exists.  The desire, or what seems like an insurmountable need to be viewed as masculine affects all areas of society. Escape and exclusion have often been used by men to keep or regain power, but in order to create change the silence must be broken to form allies with people regardless of gender, sexuality, race, class, ability etc.  Social and historical constructions of both hegemonic and alternate masculinities th th  In the late 18 century and early 19 century, two models of manhood prevailed.  1. The genteel patriarch derived his identity from land ownership. Manhood of the traditional aristocracy, class that embodied the virtue of liberty  2. Heroic artisan embodied the physical strength and republican virtue, independent urban craftsman or shopkeeper. embodied democratic community, the solidarity of the urban shopkeeper or craftsman  They lived in casual accord, in part because their gender ideals were complementary 
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