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2017 Week 2 Masculinities
Transcript of 2017 Week 2 Masculinities
Purpose of lecture
Cross Cultural Variance
To have some understanding of the historical and cultural variance of masculinity/ies
To consider the contemporary situation of men
To get an overview of the main different theories re.:
the 'nature' of masculinity
the maintenance of masculinity,
its relationship w/femininity,
its relationship with power
the 'ambiguity' of make power and difficulties of manhood.
To start thinking in more sophisticated ways about the relationship b/w individuals and societies.
In Anglo culture, Asian men are often presented as 'less "sexual" and more "intelligent" than both black and white men.' (Louie 2006, p.2), e.g. http://blogs.theage.com.au/lifestyle/allmenareliars/archives/2006/10/_back_in_august.html
Intersections of gender, sexuality and ethnicity / 'race'
However, this is understanding Asian masculinities to 'Western' benchmarks.
'indigenous' conceptions of masculinity need to be explored
'Wen-Wu' as an historical masculine ideal = 'literary-martial' (Louie 2006, p.4)
sexual ideal as about containment, not control
Sherry Ortner: 'Is Female to Male as Nature is to Culture': Masculinity as NOT femininity.
man / woman, masculine / feminine understood in a cultural system of dualism which is also
thought underpin all cultures?
there more masculinities
(in our cultures) now?
e.g. 'SNAGs', metrosexuals, 'technosexuals'
Theorising Masculinity: How do men 'become' men??
Is there an ideal Australian man?
the idea that there are pre-exsiting roles and we 'perform' them (e.g. Erving Goffman)
Gender and masculinity comes to be understood as something we
not something we are, deportment etc.
e.g. 'Self-Made Man' by Norah Vincent
hierarchy and Relationality
More recent accounts of the dynamics within masculinity:
Hegemony = the dominant cultural power, not maintained through force but, rather, through less explicit means
"privileged legitimating conceptions of manhood" (Beasley 2008)
Masculinity as an ongoing accomplishment, a 'doing'.
The hard work of gender.
‘consists of an endless, ongoing, contingent accomplishment’ (Garfinkel 1967: 1).
E.g. Judith Butler's complex idea of 'performativity'
'If gender is something that one becomes – but can never be – then gender is itself a kind of becoming or activity, and that gender ought not to be conceived as a noun or a substantial thing or a static cultural marker, but rather as an incessant and repeated action of some sort '(Butler 2007: 152).
Specifics of a complex concept
A variety of hegemonic masculinities, dependent on context
Very few people emody the ideal, it serves as an allegory, exemplar, symbol
it is a dynamic, not a description
can account for changes to hegemonic masculinity
can possibly account for 'crises' in masculinity too (Libya?)
Another theory / Explanation: Heteronormativity
much bullying between men is gendered
Levels of hegemonic masculinity
Local: face-to-face etc.
Regional: culture / nation-state
Solutions / change
ALL of the examples we have looked at are masculine because they are heterosexual. Is to be masculine to be heterosexual and vice versa???
Cultural Variance in the 'contents' of masculinity
but there are still also patterns (such as statistics about men and violence), so isn't there still something going on with masculinity????
What about non cis-gendered masculinities?
Female masculinities (cf. Halberstam)
What do these tell us about the
Masculinity studies or men's studies?
Masculinity tends to change over time, the notion of a discrete category of men is fairly consistent
masculinity / men's studies seeks to uncover how we understand men's sex and gender: how it constructs and controls all people
uncovers power aspects of gender, not a rejoinder to feminism (not 'masculinism')
What are some popular phrases or insults to do with 'being a man' or not being enough of a man?
we will put them on the board and return to them....
What does he do?
what is he in to?
How does he do sex?
Doing Masculinity (/ies): The 'nature' of manliness
What do Gendered Patterns Tell us about Australian Masculinity?
Just under half a million Australian women reported that they had experienced physical or sexual violence or sexual assault in the past 12 months. (Department of Social Services 2012)
More than a million women had experienced physical or sexual assault by their male current or ex-partner since the age of 15 (Department of Social Services 2012)
The majority of violence against men is committed by other men. Of men who reported that they had experienced physical violence in the 12 months before the survey, 73.7% said that the perpetrator was a male. (Department of Social Services 2012)
‘Between 1992 and 2006, the proportion of women who were employed increased from 48% to 55%.’ BUT ‘While women were assuming a greater role in the workplace, they did not compensate by reducing work around the home. Women spent around the same amount of time on household work (which includes caring for children as well as domestic activities and shopping) in 2006 (an average of 33 hours and 45 minutes a week) as they had in 1992.’
‘in 2006 women still did around 1.8 times as much as men’
Kessler and McKenna
Garfinkel and 'Agnes'
Gender comes BEFORE biological sex
'Boys Talking About Girls '
Frosh Interviews with school boys
Active / passive
Craig: ‘They [girls]like going out with their friends and just walk around the streets, but I like playing football, going to a film or something and they just walk around doing nothing’
Masculinity subordinates femininity
BUT has unachieavable ideals
AND causes pain to men...
how to conceptualise this...
Iris Marion Young and the notion of different 'logics' of masculinity
, ‘The Logic of Masculinist Protection’ (2003)
Other, less 'dominative' logics of masculinity
e.g. chivalry, marriage
Are the notions of 'stereotypes' and 'roles' too simplistic?
These things seem so deep-seated and
Doesn't that make us 'cultural dopes'?
Gilliagn and boys lacking connection
Kimmel and boys lacking emotion
The 'Ambiguity' of Male Power
Hegemonic masculinities rely on subordinate femininites and all men benefit to different extents with a 'Patriarchal Dividend'
‘on a global level, many societies still suffer under the offence of undesirable masculinity and…an unmitigated or overdeveloped masculinity can be destructive. Negative femininity on the other hand mostly effects just the individual who displays it’ (Woodhill & Samuels 2004: 20).
the ongoing 'realness' of femaleness / maleness in the social imagination.
Masculinity Crisis? Contradictory masculine ideals?
‘men come to suppress a range of emotions, needs, and possibilities, such as nurturing, receptivity, empathy, and compassion’ (Kaufman 1999: 65
There is something more than individual identity going on: there are patterns, norms....
"Feminine subordination, in this logic, does not constitute submission to a violent and overbearing bully. the feminine woman, rather, on this construction, adores her protector and happily defers to his judgement in return for the promise of security that he offers. "
what has changed between men holding hands and men leaving empty seats between them in the movies?
the 'invention' of the category of A homosexual?
Film: 'Macho': The 'Men Against Violence' group of Nicaragua create new ways to confront male violence and machismo. The Nicaraguan men's innovations on how to change violent men unfold in one of the poorest countries of Latin America, and against a backdrop of an explosive Presidential sex abuse scandal.https://commons.swinburne.edu.au/items/b5845783-6a3a-4c25-9309-75c475410838/1/
Option 1: Masculinities and Power
There are massive differences in masculinities: different 'logics' and intersections
is the common thread power?
There is also the power aspect of gender: The man on the train is dominating space.
is this patriarchy? simple 'dominative' power?
Lets look at more complex understandings of gendered power
Global hegemonic masculinity?
transnational business masculinity?
Beasley: addition of 'supra' and 'sub' hegemonic mascs
"de-massification of the term hegemonic masculinity is called for to avoid insufficiently nuanced and uniform top-down analyses of gendered globalisation" (p. 100)
What toys are for boys?
What TV shows?
What happens if you don't conform to all of the above?
Biology?: Testosterone Rex
Much of our scientific understanding of gender was based for a long time on one scientist's study of fruit flies - a study that was later revisited, with many questions raised as to its accuracy. The study found males took more risks, were more promiscuous and that females were cautious about which flies they mated with. From everyday language to medical and scientific understanding, most of us see testosterone (and estrogen) and the defining characteristics of male and female. (Cordelia Fine http://www.abc.net.au/radio/programs/nightlife/cordelia-fine-and-testosterone-rex/8241794 )
"we shouldn't keep blaming Testosterone Rex for sex inequalities." (Fine 2017)
In other words, how we tackle the gender gap is a question for our values and culture, not science.