WDW101Y1 Lecture Notes - Masculinity, Biceps, Pelvis

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Definitions of Gender and Sex
Most definitions refer to gender and sex as attributes of individuals
Sex is typically seen as a biologically-based attribute with two „natural‟
categories, female and male
Gender is typically seen as a socially and culturally-based attribute; a
continuum with two poles, feminine and masculine
NOTES ON THE VIDEO
Masculinity seen as mask to shield vulnerability and hide humanity in wizard
of ox, when curtain is pulled back to reveal scared timid man
Socialized to believe real men are tough and strong, independent respected,
and if you don‟t measure up you get called names. To keep you boxed in and
to conform to the cultural expectations of real men
Learned from families‟ communities and most importantly, powerful and
pervasive media, which consistently shows men having to be dominant and
strong
This is more so for racial groups, because there are few alternate portrayals of
them in media.
Violence is no longer a deviation but an accepted part of masculinity, growing
connection between being a man and being violent
Violence is cyclical, boys abused as children grow up and batter themselves
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Its not anti male, it is the truth; it helps women and males because males
normally abuse and assault other males. So men have a stake in dealing with
these problems.
Tough guise is a survival mechanism for whatever peer culture they are in, but
the cost is damage to their psyches and abilities to be decent human beings.
UNDERSTANDING VIOLENT MASCULINITY
Cultural analysts argue to understand meaning of something look at its
meaning in the media and how it is portrayed
Men‟s bodies have become bigger and stronger and more rippled over the
years in movies and movie remakes
Size of his biceps increased yearly
Gun imagery has also changed, gun poses are less imposing in the past and
smaller guns, but as years pass, the pose becomes more menacing and bigger.
It takes more to be considered menacing and masculine than it did in the 80s
THE TOUGH GUISE
Men of colour most adopt hyper masculine culture to get back some of the
respect they have lost in culture. African American men all they have is
respect and they must look tough, no status, systemic discrimination in
education and work, what is not taken is the ability to use their bodies and
their attitudes to scare people and get respect. Cool pose and tough guise has
become glamourized along with urban street style.
Nothing natural or inherent about masculinity so that‟s why white boys catch
on because they live in a culture that tells them being respected means taking
on this over masculine black poses regardless of whether or not their
environment gives rise.
If masculinity is a pose where did urban blacks get the idea for their own
performance? I.e. gangsta films like godfather and other films that featured
tough ruthless gangsters, so white suburban boys get it from black poor
urban males and the blacks get it form Italian criminals in movies
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