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WGST 250 Performing Masculinities Map (Winter 2013)

The cognitive & imaginary geography of a masculinities class

Neil Balan

on 9 April 2013

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Transcript of WGST 250 Performing Masculinities Map (Winter 2013)

Performing Masculinities Hegemonic Masculinity (Connell)
Valorized, privileged, honoured
Change over time; fluid + relational
Contradictions inherent in masculinities
Masculinities do not exist in vacuums: space, time, and power
Masculinity may not be a universalizable construct (specific to Western/European societies?)
Relational: explain how subjects perform the social drama of masculinity
Integrate & incoprate margins
subordinate masculinities
magialized masculiniteis
complicit masculinities Performative theory of gender (Butler)
Body as situation
Objective & subjective script
Social demands and constraints placed on performance: dramaturgy
Subjective & imaginary investment on specific perfromance
"Repetition of stylized acts"
"Those who fail to do their gender right are regularly punished."
Gender practices need relays to assign value: acts, objects, signs and meanings
Culture & environment are fate (not biology or genetics); gender = "free-floating artifice"
For gender (and for masculinity): no natural attachment between body + gender Masculinity
Male subject
Male Sex
Social & ideological scripts or narratives
Biological essentaialism: maleness as self-evident based on genetic or chemical constitution
Gap between the sexual and the social, with each acting on one another in multidirectional ways
The Man Box
Freud: lack & anxiety; psychic drive to overcome the attachment to your mother... Recursive & retroactive
The prioritization of a specific biological basis to meet the social needs of the ideology of gender as a hegemonic (and, hence) crucial scheme of intelligibility
Social expectations of masculinity retroactive affect how we determine and assign biological sex
Vice versa, biological nominations of a particular sex infleunce the social expectations of gender Michel Foucault & power-knowledge
The "invention" of heterosexuality as the privileged sexual orientation to enable emerging political economic and institutional ways of of life in early nation-states and industrial cpaitalism
The enforced production of heterosexual relations & couplings,w hich affects the possibile "proper" types of masculinity
Homosexuality as deviant, pathological, abberant
Medical, psychiatric, clinical, social knowledge production
Disciplinary & biopolitical power
"Wherever there is power there is also resisstance." Sexuality & Gender as Technology (Garlick)
Hegemonic masculinities tend to presume heteosexuality and heteronormativity
Ge-stell: masculinty as an enframing and ordering of the natual world; selective capture and harvesting of natural possibilities
World as standing-reserve
The western liberal regime of gender is a technology Triangulation (Sedgewick)
Homosocial desire and the threat of homoerotic desire
Bonds between men...
Trinagle = mimetic desire
Male-male relation anchored to passive women-as-object
What happens when the 3rd object is neither passive nor desirous of the advances made?

Recall the girl hunt: male bonding rituals and social practices
Fantasize about the suprlus of available women Masculinity as mash-up
Historically fluid and contingent signs, discourses, and ideological possibilities
Symbolic referents + access to scripts Masculinities: relations between men & relations between genders
Understand patriarchy in this context
Explaining relationships between men in order to explain relations between gender (namely, to critique 'natural' gender norms that subjegate women) Masculinities as crisis disocurse & moral panic
Revanchist discourse: failing the boys, decry the victimzed male subject under attack from misandric, man-hating feminist
Feminist theory & WGST = teaching misandry (Hatred of men)
Risk: masculinities no longer unmarked, natural, or taken-for-granted
Nostalgia for the "golden era" when being a man mattered? Masculinities: state of emergency
Ideal male norms = imaginary impossibility
A fusion of fantasies
No one ever measures up
Particular types of traditional hegemonic masculinty as harm and damage for men Corporeality + male bodies
Body as a situation
Masculinity as an exercise in controlling the body
Open & closed? Solid & leaky?
Constraint & agency
Subjective & objective: what body am I, what body do I want, and what body do I want people to see?
Body projects
Care of the self
Gym imperative
History of disciplined, controlled,and subjgated male bodies
Class & bodies (economy of coporeal possibilities)
Social distinctions
Fashion & style: taste (Bourdieu)
The demands of style as costume
Cock as code: phallic signifier
Castration anxieity & the myth of commpleteness Queering desire
Queering as curious, across, and reapprorpriating
Gay or straight desire as circumscribed and fixed
Refuse to contain desire
Foucault's History of Sexuality: examing the emergence of sexuality as a social practice, a mold, a discourse through which social and institutional power is expressed and consolidated

Transsexuality as a common experience before we're organized and assigned correct 'sexuality'
Transsexual + transgendered
Passing & Belonging

Masculinity in disguise?
Female masculinity (Halberstam) & non-male masculinity: beyond 'bad imitation of virility' to masculinity as it actually is
Men not the only carriers & Producers of masculinity
Margret Thatcher v. Wonder Woman Structuralism: explaning the world through universal structures [whole]

Poststructuralism: thinking about thos structures in relation to power relations, and how they're imposed and induced to explain things at teh expense of otehrs (thinking about how and when they explain, and what they do not) [partial]

Postmodern epistemology: subjecting to criticism the legitimacy of universal metanarratives (they no longer hold, or who or what makes them hold, and how) Queer straight masculinities (Heasley) Capitalism & capture: market masculinities
Creating new fields for the commodification of male bodies
The medicalization of men's health
Completing that which is now deemed to be open and incomplete
Supplements & implants for men: correct consumption
Consumption as traditionally 'feminine' & passive
History of marketized masculinity: class + correct 'toys'
History of class in relation to consumption; 'conspicuous affluence' as new general logic? Ambiguity: Sexuality + Desire
"let the anxiety of endless interpretive desire remain productive" (Thomas 1996)
Desire = graidations on a continuum
The hetersexual questionnaire
Trouble the sex-gender-desire trajectory
Refuse teh assumption of an immutable or essential base presumed by either nominations of biological sex or assignments of gender
Pharmco-medicalization of male sexuality (esp. straight heteronormative male sexuality)
"It's a boy!" No, it's a creature that has been colonized!
Sexuality & power
The automatic assumption of gay male desire as deviant and pathological
Pornography as the ordering of desire: circulate, ubiquitous, available; simultaneously reductive & hyperbolic; banal; about gender (Williams); about the male gaze (Mulvey)
Fetish objects: cathect sexual anxiety Habitus & field (Bourdieu) 'Mennaissance': feigning indifference to the demands of style, fashion, or styles of physical comportment? Masculinities studies as extending the gains of FT & WGST: certain types of masculinity damage & harm men
Move toward a more emancipatory conception of masculinity
The rub: operate within the context of gender Revanchism & male crsis as moral panic
Nostalgia for the golden days of masculinity?
Revenge: resituate ailing manhood
Disocurse of failing the boys & emasculated men lacking stable coordinates
The life of men under attack? (Atkinson 2011) Responses: atavistic or upapologetic men...
Outcome: push already marginal & subordinate masculinities to the margin Losing beta males: who will man our walls when the enemy comes?

Freud's Civilization & Its Discontents: the pacification of violence & its cathecting/projection/compartmentalization The consequences of the "end of men"? Which men?
Do we feel sympathy for the narrative failure of the bourgeois, white male fantasy? Male consumers as losers: what can the market recuperate from the failure of masculine norms or ideals? Beer, sports, and uttainable fantasy-women
Failure is moot: the drama of homosocial bonding is most important
Budy discourse; package and compensate for lacking masculinity [Stibbe, Messner + Montez de Oca, Grazian)
Sport anchor: compensation & surrogate
Help the chump reassert himself Masculinity in crisis? Losers + Beta Males?
Vancouver riots?
London riots?
Arab Spring? Redoubts for traditional hegemonic masculinities?

Firefighting...community of practice
Body cpaital + technical competence = poise + emotional control = prestige
Solidarity + male bonds
Social contract; reverence for heroic narrative of service
Codes & practice for belonging: solidartity, mutual responsibility, humour, occupational competence Dealing with crisis by protecting privilege in WGST & FT classrooms? (Pleasants 2011)
Implications for social justice education
Appleas to self, progress, and authority?
Resistance to discours e= agency but also engagement, which is a good thing Putting males bodies and brains to work: subjecting men to anchor the hinge of war-violence-nation - expose men to risk in the interests of society and the nation-state
"Masculinity in crisis" discourse triggers 'fear of emasculation' and suggests Western societies are losing Alpha Males to their own detriment
"We need atavistic & unaoplogietic men"
This rhetoric strains all men while subordinates them to hegemonic conceptions about the mythof 'wider social needs' Sttrong analogical codings & connections between war,nation, and masculinity
Borders, bodies, contol
Histories of military workfare
Revolution in military affairs = revolution in masculinities affairs
'Post-heroic' warfare
Warrior ethos + professional of arms
Military contract: serve society - means to ends
Whatdoes war to the people who wage it and who live through it Restrepo (2010) + Hell and Back Again (2011) Sold(i)ering masculinity
Wartime triangle: visual culture, masculinity, nationalism
Male body as symbolic referent during times of war
Dead bodies as taboo Do states still matter?
New informal jurisdictions?
Pouorous network-centred world?
Transnational publics & imagine communities
Empire is diffuse Masculinity & nation = fantasy
The body politic as the male body Orientalism (Said), Colonialism, and Imperialism
Exotic Others frozen in time
Not just Other but dangerous Other whose minority of a threat to teh ideal of the Major or dominant
Mystify - pacify - domesticate - eradicate Transculturation & masculinity: no easy translation between different geographies, cultures, and environments
Use the naster's tools
Go native
internalize colonized consciousness For masculinities: Othering interects with racialization, feminization, and emasculation Therefore, revisist the idea of the bounds of the state and its protections in relation to who enjoys 'cover' and who is exposed (and who rhetorically and nominally becomes a threat)...

Nation-Race-Masculinity = Histories of Targeted men
Queit social civil wars
Threat, danger, unspecified enemies
Nominating and exposing men to threats in the interests of the state or the economy
Precarity & vulnerability
Who are the subjects & objects of terror and fear? Violence, then, is constituting: war does not simply exist 'out there' on the periphery but is internal in domestic environments
Which types of masculinities or men are being pacified, conquered, or targeted on an ongoing basis, espcially in Western neoliberal enclosures? Consider the story of Zidane (Jiwani 2009)...
The dangerous unrul North African Muslim becomes the recuse conversion narrtive minted by national sport, serving as a race ambassador and success story for Franch pluralism
Post-headbutt, he's racalized again by media nad popular-publci discourse, and then recuperated
The enemy within = danger domesticated
Sports becomes teh civilizing mission Sherene Razack: Critical Race Studies
men from the clean white snows of Petawawa
dangerous Muslim men
imperilled Muslim women Whiteness (Dyer) = invisible, normal, natural
White Eurocentrism... Race as Fantasy, Racialization as Real
Response linked to sterortypical & historical mystification
Linked to a production of belief about relative values of sophistication & development Race coded with gender: racialized & feminized or emasculated? Fanon: Race, Colonialism, and Double Consciousness
Awareness of colonization & racialization
Internalize colonization
Project it into his community (divide + conquer)

Fanon favoured revolutionary masculinity, which had implications for black American communities (see hooks) bell hooks: black male privilege is a problem
Black men have htorically been subject to violence but the emphasis on black masculinity in relation to phallocentric-patriarchal ideal is problematic for black womenand black subordinate/marginal masculinities...
The enemy: catastrophic normalization of black masculinity
From Compton to les banlieus to Pleasant Hill Masculinity also becomes a weapon to control 'dnagerous men' (Enloe on Abh Ghraib)
SOP (Errol Morris)
Not rogue "bad apples" but systematic practice of using gendered/sexualized violence to humiliate and terrorize detainees
Internatlized culture scripts: organizational culture & environment
Use female guards to feminize men - analogical coding of race & gender
Female masculinity: military subjectivity = amenable to using "hard tactics" That said: consider the context of North America & decolonizing indigenous masculinity
Historically targeted; objects of danger
Warrior ethos as poise, courage & integrity to keep the peace: not military violence or armed struggle necessesarily but opposing the cultural and intellectual supports that reproduce colonialism & colonial mentalities (Alfred)
Warrior societies as political-activist organizing around issues of indigenous resurgence (Alfred & Lowe) Kent Monkiman: indigenous masculinities and deconstructing desire
Pervert the idiom of the landscape tradition
Link desire, reverence, homosocial bonds, homoeroticism, and political violence
"If I love you, you'd best beware" The Mohawk Warrior Reappropriated
Fight the masculindian triangle (Smythe)
Kanehsatake: 270 Years of Resistance
Refuse the stereotype of cunning cut-throats in order to reclaim a historical identity
The warrior discourse pushes the frame to questions of violence, which reveal racialized & violent state measures that are concealed or explained away as normal (i.e., the Canadian liberal imagination of peace & harmony) From targeted men to men as subjects and objects of insecurity
Who is actively secure, and who is secured against?
Who is criminalized & pre-emptively prevented from action?
How is difference & dissent crminalized, and how does thie expose men to violence?
Which men are agents of violence and insecurity? In Canada, who is put to work to become subordinate, marginal, or conquered?

How do men build solidarity to resist and dissent official state discourses or discourses of domination?

How does criminalization or targeting create opportunities to bond and community solidarity (from gay men to gangs to racialized immigrants)?

How do these processes foster "strategic essentialism"? Rmeember: violence isn't always loud & explicit, and it isn't merely abnormal or exceptional...

Quiet civil wars & constituting violence
Invoking "society must be defended" (Foucault)
Continuum of violence between inside & outdside (Cockburn)
Law-preserving & law-creating violence (Benjamin)
Subjective-objective-symbolic (SOS) violence (Zizek) Legal power: the law sanctions violence (force of law), and the law is largely self-referential (it serves itself); consider institutional continuities and how violence is a community-building exercise, too ("To whome do direct our legal and repressive measures?") The law, criminalization, and insecurity rely on racialized and gendered codings...create victims in a variety of ways; revictimize vulnerable masculinities by criminalizing poverty and social-economic realities?? But these lines are not always clear-cut: consider interracial masculinities in this sense, either in terms of relations between 'racialized' men or as hybrid or syncretic cultural-male subjectivities Consider also: race is often the 'vanishing mediator' to free (white, unmarked, or racially-dominant) men from the threat of homoerotic desire...

"I won't worry about desire because I've subordinated and marginalized you because you're a gay, Chinese man and I'm a white knight (plus, you're not threatening either)." Canada as Metis nation? (Saul)

Postcolonial contexts?

What interracial masculnities are specific to Canada?

Mediatiing for capitalism: which interracial-hybrid Canadian masculinities are linked to the political economic development, opening, and exploitation of natural resources and commodities Criminalizing dangerous men in Saskatoon

Public safety & panhandlers
Genetrification & urban redevelopment
Healing from criminalized masculinity & cycles of historical-sysemic violence & trauma (Cory Cardinal) Masculinity as driver for White Settler violence (McNinch)

Narrartive of expectation + white privilege
Ritualized and socialized behaviours and beliefs
Racialize & sexualize a vulnerable indigenous girl
Media & institutional frames
Aggressive precoscious 12-year-old predator v. "good boys" from Tisdale
Private, social, and cultural narratives legitimzing the outcome of the case
Gap between attempt to rape and actual penetration; reductionist definistion of violence and sexual assault

Melissa walked into the world view & fantasy of 3 white settler men, as did Aaron webster

State of emergency masculinity: fear & anxiety about one's own hetero-masculinity...use sexualized violence to humiliate an enemy Other Or, consider that Western-influenced Emo-masculinity communities in Iraq are being targeted as threats who have compromised 'traditiona', normal' ways of life...threats to the social fabric... What about self-affirming male environments that aim to produce a different or alternative type of masculinity vested in anti-racicms and anti-oppression? Consider Straight-edge (SXE) communities
Historically-situated attempt to creatively redefine masculinity
factionalism: progressive & pro-feminist v. the hypermasculine face the community
Music as mediator
Male-centered space
Personal empowerment through austere & clean living
Refuse dominant expectations & affirm more-fulfilling, less-oppressive, and less-damaging performamces/practices of masculinity Extraordinary masculinities in sports discourse

Social technology: nation, race, community
Desire + identification
Space for collaboration & failure
Space for socialization
Space for agency
Technology of masculinity
Scipts, narrartives, and discourse
Space for homosocial bonding
Practice: Body capital & stylized repetition
Political eocnomy: consumer product & capitalism
Sublimated & sanctioned violence Or consider the Trayvon Martin case, with threat, crimianlization, and "stand your ground" laws

Or think about recent atrocities perpetuated by men: conjunctures & disjunctures btween between the "radicalized French jihadist" Mohammed Merah & "Married father of two" Staff Gt. Robert Bales

More than simply 'subjective acts of violence' by rogue, lone wolves; consider the symbolic and objective structures driving the production of these events Sports = masculine fantasies?

Valorization of extraordinary skills?
Economic opportunities + social escape trajectories?
Normalized widgets: disposable bodies for exploitation?
Amateur sports as cartel + plantation system? Organized v. individual sports

Conventional team sprts v. action sports

Style navguards & technical pioneers

Athleticism as craft & practice Consider snowboarding masculinities: field, capital, habitus, and practice

More than risk-taking hypermasculine "bros"
Snowboarding = plural masculinities, which reflect sujective awareness within the core culture of the problematic aspects of the hypermasculine snowboarding habitus
Spectrum of possibilities & antagonisms Consider hockey masculinities

Linkage to the ethos of wilderness and reguuged Canadian identity linked to the land (romantic stereotype?)
The role of hockey in the hegemonic Canadian imaginary...
Tha dark side of hockey masculinity?
Perpetual adolescence + never-never land
Infantile: hegemonic masculinity in hockey is subordinate to other masculinities beyond sport...
Crisis in hockey = crisis in masculinity? Hegemonic Canadian hockey masculinity: normative but not normal; internalized & codified idealizations

Distinctions based on style of play & relative violence

3 logicsof support for hegemonic hockey masculinity:
Conventions around perfromance of individual style of play/practice
Structural & institutional rules
Cultural (symbolic) values

Consider the sheer scale of mediators & commentators affecting the discourse and practice of hockey, and consider how these assign and distribute 'correct' + 'incorrect' scipts about hegemonic masculinity in the sport Consider Mixed Martial Arts (MMA):
Multiple masculinities available in the field of combat sports
Fighting styles are gendered and coded in specific ways
Intersection of commodity-spectacle + N.A. emphasis on hypermasculine aspect of thw sport
Interesting tension: the sport's reputation based increasingly on sidelining the "brute, bare knuckle" image in favour of technical virtuous, competent, and disciplined athletes (i.e., celebrates the total package)
Yet: the sport's culture valorizes fighters who strike versus fighter's who win by submisison; brute perfromance trumps technical competence
The former is valorized, the later is subordinated & marginalized Gay masculinities in the age of AIDS...
Gay men as objects & subjects of threat and danger
Gay communities: targeted & exposed to violence during teh HIV/AIDS epidemic/crisis in the 1980s
Criminalized twice: for being gay + for having AIDS
Medicalizationof the community: caught between institutional authorities & medical knlwledge
Moral panic about contagion & deviant gay men
Rhetorics: evolutionary/natural selection + eschatological intervention
Galvanized an emergent political movement: fight for recognition & access to health care
Not the start or end of activism & repression but certainly a focal point
No protection: caught between care and abandonment (bare life)
The visual production of the epidemic: circulation & delvery of difficult images Anti-Gay persecutions today in Uganda

Stonewall raids & riots (1969)
Language: "known active homosexuals" (sound like criminals)
Fear of the unknown
Operation Soap in Toronto (1981)
Aggressive police measures & repression
Responses as precedent for Pride Social justice & political activism

ACT UP: AIDS Coalition to Unleash Power Normalization of illness narratives

Agency & performing gay masculinity

Alternative public spheres to rationalize experience; bear witness

Social networking as opportunity for emotional-imaginary work to deal with nagative affect regarding illness

Salvage operation: contra hegemoinc discursive or clinical practices

Significant existenial & experiential rupture...scipts of mundane heroism (threat of death as transformational - Derrida)

Celebrting bodies and lamenting risks
Living with diseased & decomposed bodies; when health is a virtue, signififcant pressure
Valorize bodies that choose to live Social & cultural contexts will determine & shape how gay men deal with AIDS: wider social solidarity v. individual autonomy Also: against the "acceptable", consider transgressive responses and interventions to 'deal with' illness

Diseased Pariah News
Ironically play on stereotypes of gay men's bodies as illness vectors & dangerous festering contaminated sites Consider old men's bodies, and old gay men's bodies in relation to masculnities

Invisible & obscured from sight
Not valorized; rampant ageism

Older men demasculnized & disadvataged in relation to perception of their bodies by other men - and gay men

Aging as a social problem

Facile assumption about gay men better able to deal with social stigma about age because of their experience of discrimination...? Consider also the location of HIV/AIDS today in Saskatoon...social & economic production of exposure to illness; affecting already-vulnerable communities = not a coincidence

"HIV/AIDS preys on a culture's fault lines. Like many diseases, it's a litmus test for class distinctions." (Harris 2011)

...and racialized, gendered codings prioritizing communities for quent violence Some gay men may enjoy significant symbolic power and prestige because oftheir own experiences distinct from tehir bodies; admired for having lived through the crisis, for being active community members, for being out and open? Less anxiety about subscrbing to hegemonic masculine norms,whether straight or gay

Revoke the connection between masculinity & sexual ability (i.e., hard cock)

Old age as a sit eof struggle & ambivalence

Older gay men's concerns tend to converege with straight men, who are subject to the same stereotypes + social pressures For instance, and older gay man may enjoy the respect of his younger gay peers interms of his political activism and sexuality, but may be anxious about his aging body

He may be anxious about the perception of his sexuality by other older straight men but may in fact share common experiences with those men in relation to getting old and liviing with a changing relationship to embodiment... Also, consider older men as a kind of community/institutional memory for younger gay men who enjoy the benefits of GLBTQ activism during the epidemic..

"Life after death" = living in an era when HIV/AIDS (for many) is not a death sentence

Yet, ambivalence remains about the risk and threat of disaease, and having missed the protectsts, the outrage, and visceral sense of victimization... Concluding thoughst?

What performances + masculinities can we make visible, and which ones can we denaturalize and contest when they appear as normal and hegemonic?

Masculinities do not exist in vacuums, and are always relational and in tension.

Possibilities for a post-masculine?
Mutating performances & practices?
Will gender matter?
What forces will shape these possibilities?
Can we be more prescriptive and activist in our approaches, from resntful forensic diagnosis to affirmative action?
Can we devote more energy to assessing and celebrating practices and performances of sharing and collaboration between men that do not harm, damagae, or violate? Or consider the context of post-9/11 and "the war on terror" wrt domestic security in Canada :
The legal principle of habeas corpus: who shall have the body and how shall they have it? Do they (the state) want it? Do they want to protect it or apprehend it and use it rhetorically?
Indefinite detention
Extraordinary Rendition
The Toronto 18
Omar Khadr
Maher Arar Theorizing hegemoinic relations between men
Confrontation & conformity: compete but also need props/recognition from other men
Anxiety: strengthening bonds between men + building maale solidarity v. avoiding the whiff of homoeroticism or the threat of queer desire
No homo + sexually evaluate other women + suppress empathy for other men
Howson: hegemonic men still have to control their aggression (idealized; gentle-men butstill menacing enough) What about gay athletes, and the sexual taboos about queer masculinities in sport? Threats to solidarity? Burden on gay atheletes proving their "normalcy," which revictimizes gay men?

Mark Tewksbury, Brendan Burke, Scott Heggart...
Sport as GLBTQ-safe... HUGE: Rights, legal challlenges, recogniton, and politicization o fthe gay-queer community; re-animated the fight for equality & egalitarianism
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