In a few days from now, two men in suits -- Mitt Romney and Barack Obama -- will stand side-by-side to debate each other three times in three weeks. Imagine those moments. The two men defending their records and outlining their case to the American people: “This is why you should choose me to lead you for the next four years.”
In a previous post for XY online we discussed the Spike TV show “MANswers”, what the show insinuated about men and women, as well as its treatment of “hypermasculinity” through its focus on violence, toughness, aggression, binge drinking and dangerous behaviors. Spike TV is very specific in regards to the shows that it airs and can be described as a channel that is aimed at men, where the focal point is on “manly interests”. Spike TV focuses heavily on “hypermasculinity” which can be noticed in the names and contents of shows such as “MANswers”, “Deadliest Warrior” and “1000 Days to Die”.
What began as a form of half time entertainment during Gridiron matches at the super bowl has now evolved into the successful and controversial Lingerie Football League, ‘true fantasy football’ according to the website. And lucky for us founder Mitch Mortaza is now expanding his empire to Australia.
The following provides a handy, one-page introduction to gender. It notes that gender is socially constructed, gender is both personal and collective, gender involves power and inequality, and there is diversity and hierarchy
Television advertisements often portray men and women in very different roles, engaging in behavior that is often “safe” to perform in regards to one’s gender. Women are usually seen as domestic, marveling over the wonders of detergent, or as gentle nurturers and housewives who love preparing dinner for the family. They are also often depicted as sex objects of men’s desires. Men, on the other hand, are often depicted as workers, as engaging in masculine hobbies and leisurely activities, as sexually active, and on the prowl.
Courses focused on men, masculinities, and gender are an increasingly common element of university curricula in such areas as Sociology, History, Anthropology, Cultural Studies, and Literature. Here, we have begun to collect examples of the guides to or outlines of particular courses. You are most welcome to add your courses.
ANU Masterclass opportunity: Men and masculinities: Theoretical and historiographical reflections. (apply by
When men participate as students in Women’s and Gender Studies (WGS) classrooms, they undergo feminist change. They adopt more progressive understandings of gender, show greater support for feminism, and increase their involvement in antisexist activism. Male students in WGS classrooms benefit to the same degree as female students, showing similar levels of change, although they start with poorer attitudes and thus the gap between them and their female peers persists. At the same time, male students’ presence highlights critical challenges to feminist pedagogy: gendered patterns of interaction, resistance to feminist teaching, and limitations on women’s critical reflections on personal experience. When men teach WGS, typically they are ‘‘graded up’’—evaluated by students as less biased and more competent than female professors. Male professors face distinct dilemmas in teaching about gender inequality from a position of privilege. Yet, like male students, they can adopt traitorous and antipatriarchal social locations and standpoints, developing pedagogies for and by the privileged.
Male-male social bonds have a powerful influence on the sexual relations of some young heterosexual men. Qualitative analysis among young men aged eighteen to twenty-six in Canberra, Australia, documents the homosocial organization of men’s heterosexual relations. Homosociality organizes men’s sociosexual relations in at least four ways. For some of these young men, male-male friendships take priority over male-female relations, and platonic friendships with women are dangerously feminizing. Sexual activity is a key path to masculine status, and other men are the audience, always imagined and sometimes real, for one’s sexual activities. Heterosexual sex itself can be the medium through which male bonding is enacted. Last, men’s sexual storytelling is shaped by homosocial masculine cultures. While these patterns were evident particularly among young men in the highly homosocial culture of a military academy, their presence also among other groups suggests the wider influence of homosociality on men’s sexual and social relations.
Citation: Flood, M. (2008) Men, Sex, and Homosociality: How bonds between men shape their sexual relations with women. Men and Masculinities, 10(3), April: 339-359.