Masculinity

 

In class we discussed masculinity and modern manhood through the eyes of feminist theory, which examines issues of patriarchy and male privilege. Typically, you can tell when a male has written something about women because they usually make women do stuff they typically wouldn’t do or react. For example,  99% of the time real women won’t confront someone who will maybe kill them. Representations written by men will have the woman confront that person, which is highly unlikely. Men often like to see girl-on-girl action, which is clearly seen in  the television series, The 100, directed by Jason Rothenberg. Being a male producer, he made the two beautiful female rulers fall in love with each other and then ended the show with one of them dying before they could live happily together.

We also discussed masculinity and what makes someone the “ideal man.” Masculinity tries to be a perk in our society, but if a male tries to be feminine, it is a sign of weakness, and if a female tries to be masculine, it is a sign of strength. Men are supposed to make money, be strong and senseless, and be sexual beings. Men must use the act of sex to theorize the body and gender, but society tells men to not be in a committed relationship, to not have sex with other men, but also  cannot have sex with a whore. I believe society’s standards of men are absolutely ridiculous because society should not force people to be one type of person. In 2017 there are not just two sexes, and societal norms shut out that gender binary.

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8 thoughts on “Masculinity

  1. First off, love the fact you, indirectly, mentioned Clarke and Lexa from The 100. Secondly, I agree with your post. Like we discussed in class, if a murderer was chasing a woman, she wouldn’t be running in her heels. Girl would take them off and us them as a weapon, if anything! So, I think it’s funny how the “masculine man” portrays femininity. You also mention how if a female tries to be masculine, it is a sign of strength and I think this plays back into the fact that masculinity is seen as society’s norm. Like of course a female would want to have some masculine traits! Those traits are normal. Whereas, having feminine traits is not the norm, and therefore seen as weak.

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  2. Feeding off of your thoughts on male privilege, I agree with you that a male can abuse their power to show how they view women and put a spotlight on those stereotypes our society and history has created. Male dominance plays a major role in relationships, the workforce, and day to day life and things are slowly changing as we reach the peak of equality. We still have a little ways to go until we reach a general equality between men and women but we have an even longer journey to reach the equal rights of all, men, women, men of color, women of color, and the LGBTQ community. Some may wonder if it is possible to live in a society where all is equal. It is in a way just how human nature is to have a top and a bottom rank. This being said the ranks do not have to incorporate who you are as a person. Ideally the people at the top have people of each “group”. This idea of strength being given to the top who are the men does not represent an equal rights society.

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  3. I completely agree with your post. I think that the strict, constructed societal norms of masculinity, “the perfect man”, and gender binary are just so out of date and need to go; it’s 2017. It makes me sad that men are put into a box of societal norms to be masculine, and be money makers, and be strong and protective. All men and all women are entitled to act, feels, be, portray whatever they want whether it be in the box of “masculinity” and “femininity” or not. I also like that you touched on the fact that in most lesbian movies, there is typically either 1) no happy ending or 2) the women are extremely sexualized to indirectly appeal to the straight man.
    You mentioned how female masculinity is more accepted and is seen as a sign of strength, and I think this even furthers the societal norm of what masculinity means in terms of power.

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  4. After reading your post I started to think, who is really the ‘ideal’ man? Yes, we spoke about some actors and celebrities who may portray the manly man every girl dreams of, but do we really meet the ‘ideal’ man in our every day lifestyle? I think that fame creates these idols just to get the attention of a large audience. Sadly though this idol that is created of the ‘ideal’ man creates a stereotype in our society. Men are expected to be strong and bad asses but in reality is that even a thing? This gender binary of either one way or no way has created such a boundary in our society,

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  5. I have alway found it interesting, the reaction of the public when women take on traditionally male roles. For example, when a woman tries to change a tire, mow the lawn, drive stick etc. People are amazed and often find it ‘sexy’ that women are capable of completing such a ‘difficult’ and ‘male-oriented task’, but she must always remain feminine during the act for it to be fully respected. Women are also given more leniency for failure because they were never expected to succeed in the first place. There are some positives despite this blatant sexism…when women accomplish anything out of what is expected of her gender she is praised, while a man is expected to know everything and is given very little attention or praise for hard work.

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  6. I agree with you in this post because I feel like our society has such a clear cut image of the ideal man that is so unattainable that it leaves most men striving to be something that is impossible, in turn ruining their esteem. Men are always portrayed as the protector, the breadwinner, the one who is strong and void of emotion. I remember seeing this one tumblr post of a couple getting married, the groom with a thought bubble over his head saying “well now I’m going to have to investigate when theres a bump coming from downstairs.” Although this is meant to be funny, it perfectly portrays the stereotype of masculinity established in our society. However, I disagree with you regarding how men “should not have sex with whores” because in most cases, men are applauded for the amount of sex they have while women are slut shamed. This is also yet another aspect of masculinity stereotyping because all men are expected to “have game” and if one doesn’t, he is labeled inadequate.

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  7. I really like how you look at masculinity from a media standpoint and the framing of male and female sexuality in these instances. One thing that resonated with me was your statement that “(…) society tells men to not be in a committed relationship, to not have sex with other men, but also cannot have sex with a whore”. Generally, people tend to espouse the idea that “what happens behind closed doors, stays behind closed doors”. In a culture that is hyper-vigilant about the policing of sexuality and expression, especially masculinity, this proves to be a fallacy. There are all these rules around how heterosexual men should sleep with women to maintain both their status as a hetero male and a masculine male, and this kind of relates to Foucault’s panopticon theory. Even if you’re not being surveilled physically, you are always self-editing to maintain a certain façade. Even if no one is watching (besides their partner), hetero men may feel compelled to act a certain way or perform a certain way with their partner in fear of being shamed.

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  8. This is a topic that we get to see play out every single day in almost every action we do. From clothing everyone wears, to how much you can carry. Everything seems to have a gender role attached to it. I really like the movie example, that movies tend to play out these gender roles to an even more extreme. Think of The Rock Johnson, he is one of the most masculine figures I can think of that has had many roles utilizing this feature of him. The movie that comes to mine for me (keep in mind, I am not a movie buff) is The Game Plan. In this movie he finds out he has a little daughter (where the feminine rival role comes in) and he is forced to counter his masculine self, with his muscles, t-shirts, and workouts, and trade it for pink, tutus, and dolls. Even in the movie poster there is a clear distinction between The Rock who is a large built football player wearing (the power color) red and his daughter who is a petite ballerina who is smiling in pink. The movie is somewhat centered on the hilarity that accompanies the idea of a man with such masculinity having to have some feminine ways put on him, which is a clear example of gender roles in our society.

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