May 17, 2011

Gendered Ads Blogroll

by Preventionista

Blogroll from Gendered Ads & Global Consumer Culture

Below are the topics the IU students above were responding to.

_____________________________________________________________

FINAL BLOG TOPIC:

Compare and contrast corporate personhood in the film The Corporation/Bose and Lyons Critical Corporation Studies/ Klein’s No Logo with Chaudhuri’s “Gender and Advertisements: The Rhetoric of Globalisation.”

  • How is personhood understood in the film/Bose/Klein versus in the Chauduri article?
  • How specifically does normative gender figure into these constructions of subjectivity?

You do not have to write about the film AND Bose AND Klein, however, you must use at least one of the sources on corporate personhood to address the blog.

Resources you may use (min. of 2 required):

-The Corporation

-Bose and Lyons – “Toward a Critical Corporate Studies,” by Purnima Bose and Laura E. Lyons in (ed.) Purnima Bose and Laura E. Lyons, Cultural Critique and the Global Corporation. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2010.

-Klein, Naomi. No Logo, London: HarperCollins

- Chaudhuri, Maitrayee, “Gender and Advertisements: The Rhetoric of Globalisation,” by Maitrayee,  Women’s Studies International Forum, Vol. 24, No. ¾ p 373-385, 2001.

Blog Due April 22, 2011 at 5 p.m.  in oncourse/assignments and two comments URL due in oncourse/assignments/blog 5/6 by Sunday April 24, 2011 at noon.  (Must be 900 words, use at least two critical terms, and must cite at least two readings from the course).

_________________________________________

Blog #4 Topic: Reflect on John Berger’s theory of the gaze (“men act and women appear”) and on Michel de Certeau’s practices of the everyday (“what is counted is what is used, not the ways of using”).

  • Your reflection must address how both writers identify and address power relationships within consumerism and consumption.
  • John Berger’s theory of the gaze argues that women are absent agency and femininity is immobilized.  How might we use de Certeau’s insights in “Making Do” to break apart or problematize notions of inert consumerism and passive femininity?

Bonus points: if you find a way to creatively incorporate videos/images/music as a part of this blog #4.  For example, you may find an artifact of popular culture as a catalyst to address this blog assignment.

Due Date: URL to blog Due in oncourse Friday March 25, 2011 by 5 p.m. / Two Comments submitted to oncourse by noon on Sunday March 27, 2011.

Texts you must use in this assignment:

  • “General Introduction and ‘Making Do’: Uses and Tactics,” by Michel de Certeau, Berkeley: University of California Press, 1984.
  • Berger, John. Chapter 3, Ways of Seeing. Viking Press, New York, 1974

__________________________________________________________________________________________
Blog #3 Topic: How have feminist approached magazines as artifacts of culture? In other words, what methods, critiques, praises, concerns, etc. do feminists have for advertising and magazines? Can advertising and magazines generate emancipatory politics and analytical/political frameworks?

  • Blog Post #3 due Thursday February 17, 2011 at 5 p.m.
    (you must post URL in Oncourse/Assignments/Blog #3)
  • Two 250-word comments due Saturday, February 19, 2011 at noon.
    (You must post URLs in Oncourse/Assignments/Blog #3)

Requirements: You must answer this in 600-900 words not with opinion, but with a thorough analysis (as in “essay-style” writing). You must also use at least two critical terms in gender studies in your writing (cite and define in text or in footnotes).

Analysis is interpretation bolstered by evidence from the various texts we have read thus far. In other words, the tone of your writing should NOT be conversational. Therefore you will need to reference or cite work in text with the author and page number in parenthesis at the end of your sentence, like this (Berger, 12).

Up to five points of extra credit may be earned by bloggers who find a way to creatively include imagery or other forms of media in this post.

Texts you may use in this assignment:

  • Rooks, Noliwe M. Ladies’ Pages: African American Women’s Magazines and the Culture That Made Them. New Jersey: Rutgers University Press, 2004
  • Friedan, Betty. “Chapter 2, The Happy Housewife Heroine” 33-68. The Feminine Mystique. New York: W.W. Norton & Company, Inc., 1963.
  • Meyewrowitz, Joanne (1993). “Beyond the Feminine Mystique: A Reassessment of Postwar Mass Culture, 1946-1958,” The Journal of American History, VOl. 79, No. 4 (Mar., 1993), pp. 1455-1482.
  • Thomas-Williams, Critical Terms in Gender Studies, accessed January 27, 2011: http://g205atiu.wordpress.com/critical-terms/

_____________________________________________________

Blog Assignment #2 / Two Comments

Blog #2 (600-900 words) due Thursday February 3, 2011 at 5 p.m. and Two 250-word comments due Friday, February 4, 2011 at noon.

Blog post assignment #2:  In the chapter focusing on the Fidji article, Berger lists seven methodological approaches to understanding or “decoding” advertising and commercials: semiotic, psychoanalytic, historical, political, myth/ritual, and feminist (p. 141, Third ed.).

In 600-900 words minimum, you should:

1.    Embed anywhere within your post a particular commercial or advertisement that you wish to analyze.

2.    Analyze the commercial or advertisement using one of the methods discussed in Berger.  Analysis is interpretation not summary.

3.    You are required to engage with Berger’s arguments, ideas, or research and two critical terms in gender studies as well as cite and define them ( in end notes or in-text).  See citations below.

Two Comments: Your two comments must be at least 250 words each.  Please try to visit numerous blogs, because while not everyone in class talks, everyone in this class does speak.  Find our course blogroll here to the right! —->

Here are the citations you are expected to use:

Berger, Arthur Asa. Ads, Fads and Consumer Culture, 2nd or 3rd Edition. Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc., 2003/2007

Thomas-Williams, Critical Terms in Gender Studies, accessed January 27, 2011: http://g205atiu.wordpress.com/critical-terms/

______________________________________________

May 6, 2011

Colorism Within the Reality Celeb Community

by Preventionista

Too often media construes the U.S. as divided by racial lines and media sources labelled as “left” or “socialist” identify racism as the underlying social ill.  In addition to analyzing restrictions on Spanish language in the state of Indiana or the necessity of carrying legal identification in Arizona, media must also identify and explore the ideas and practices communities construct for themselves — what tactics do minoritized people employ to survive and thrive?  How can minority families construct identity within and against a social organism that is so powerfully canted against them based upon the color of their skin?

Black feminist historians Nell Irvin Painter in the 1990s, Victoria C. Wolcott in 2001 and Noliwe Rooks in 2009 argued that racial uplift–the establishing and the preservation of normative social behaviors, especially those reflective of the upper-class–benefits all African Americans.   Colorism–or the privileging of lighter skin tones over darker–within the black community has been historically linked to the maintenance of “respectability,” which is enacted through racial uplift.

There was nothing uplifting about Celebrity Apprentice on NBC…the fight between Latoya Jackson and Nini Leeks (sorry if I misspelled) is just horrid.  I often write about men policing masculinity, but this is a clear example of “mean girl” syndrome on a grown woman.

What does it mean when the maintenance of the color line is enacted to police one another?

April 3, 2011

What does “culturejamming” help?

by Preventionista

Stop-Eject | Adbusters Culturejammer Headquarters: Stop-Eject | Adbusters Culturejammer Headquarters.

March 25, 2011

What is at stake in the maintenance of “the gender box”?

by Preventionista

What is at stake in the maintenance of “the gender box”?  For youth who “fail” to conform to normative gender roles, their education and sometimes their life is at stake.

A clip from the film Straightlaced.

/vlog/player/flvplayer.swf

  • How do you think a person’s race or ethnicity might be connected to expectations they face about how their gender is supposed be performed?
  • Why do you think that stepping outside of gender norms is so often associated with being gay or
    lesbian?
  • Do you think there are certain stereotypes for males of certain races? Females? Why do you think that is?
  • What were some of the pressures students face  in relation to sex, dating and relationships, specifically in relation to their gender identity?
  • How are these pressures different for guys and for girls?

Jonathon Escobar gets kicked out of school for self expression
School District Translates as Failure to Properly Perform Masculine Gender

/vlog/player/flvplayer.swf

Jonathan Escobar says he chooses to wear clothes that express himself.  Skinny jeans, wigs, “vintage” clothing and makeup are the staples of his wardrobe.  The 16-year-old–after getting permission from the school district–says an assistant principal at North Cobb High School told him in October he needed to dress more “manly” for school, or consider being home-schooled.

WHAT? The school system refers to the dress code to reign in Jonathon Escobar’s fashion statements; however, the principal clearly indicates that it was Jonathon’s gender that was in question.  Escobar’s masculinity was “read” as a failed masculinity to the North Cobb High School in Kennesaw, GA. Jonathon Escobar may not consider himself a transgendered person, however, the principal’s comments places him squarely outside “the gender box.”

Transgender is an emergent “term” being used increasingly by organizations and institutions to provide social services for trans people of all kinds. (Valentine, David. “Imagining Transgender: An Ethnography of a Category“, Duke University Press, 2007.)  Transgender as both a category and a field of knowledge demonstrates that  gender is regulated.  Gender norms are used as mechanisms of disenfranchisement, discrimination, and violence when they are violated. Viviane Namaste, a transsexual activist and scholar, argues that transgendered people “pose a fundamental challenge to public space and how it is defined and secured through gender [norms]” (“Genderbashing:  Sexuality, Gender, and the Regulation of Public Space,” p. 589, The Transgender Studies Reader).

While, Jonathon Escobar does not claim this “identity” category, the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network (GLSEN) released a new report that indicates that people who are viewed as “outside of the normative” gender box often are killed because of this.  See this entry about Lawrence King a thirteen year old boy who was killed last year at school by a male classmate.   Escobar was not killed, but he was denied a public education, and that is a violence against this youth.

According to their below report:

  • Almost all transgender students had been verbally harassed (e.g.,called names or threatened) in the past year at school because of their sexual orientation (89%) and their gender expression (87%).
  • Over half of all transgender students had been physically harassed (e.g., pushed or shoved) in school in the past year because of their sexual orientation (55%) and their gender expression (53%).
  • Many transgender students had been physically assaulted (e.g., punched, kicked, or injured with a weapon) in school in the past year because of their sexual orientation (28%) and their gender expression (26%).

Take a look at GLSEN’s report: Harsh Realities: The Experiences of Transgender Youth in Our Nation’s Schools.


Jonathon Escobar

Check out this entry, which will take you to a clip of a young man who lost a bet and went to his prom dressed like a woman.  This version of male femininity was not “read” as a threat, but Escboar’s feminine masculinity was–after three days and when he had permission.  What is really at stake in the school district’s dress code to prevent feminine gender expression in men?

Jonathon Escobar powerpoint

BHR teaches students that “the gender box” is foundational to power and privilege and demonstrates that “the gender box” is held in place through a variety of means, including racism, sexism, classism, and homophobia.  Julia Serano, a trans biologist in Whipping Girl: A Transsexual Woman on Sexism and the Scapegoating of Femininity (2007), breaks down sexism in a really interesting way that is helpful to unpack the heterosexual imperative of the gender box.

Serano argues that transphobia and homophobia (see entry on Lawrence King) are rooted in “oppositional sexism, which is the belief that female and male are rigid, mutually exclusive categories, each possessing a unique and nonoverlapping set of attributes, aptitudes, and desires (13).”    What is being banned in Escobar’s case is the expression of male femininity.

Traditional sexism is the “belief that maleness and masculinity are superior to femaleness and femininity (14),” according to Serano.  Finally, Serano wants to make it clear–it is her manifesto–that “misogyny is the tendancy to dismiss and deride femaleness and femininity.”

Serano argues that transmisogyny explains the jokes “at the expense of trans people” (like Micah’s prom above), but she goes on to argue that the majority of violence directed at trans people is directed at trans women.  Serano argues that “men” who wear women’s clothing are pathologized, while the reverse is not true for women who wear men’s clothes: it is trans-misogyny.

More on prohibition of male femininity……………………..

Morehouse, an all male traditionally black college (also in Georgia), recently added a prohibition of “feminine attire.” The code specifically reads “no wearing of clothing usually worn by women (dresses, tops, tunics,purses, pumps, etc.) on the Morehouse campus or at college-sponsoredevents.”

—–

March 25, 2011

Martinsville Shooting Not about Bullying, but Gender Norms & Compulsory Heterosexuality

by Preventionista

This morning a young man, 15, shot another 8th grader at a middle school in a rural-ish Indiana town called Martinsville.  Like the other reports of school gun violence of this sort, the assailant was a young white boy who was angry with his peer.  The assailant was ending a long series of fights between the two boys.  (This post discusses another shooting, this time gender based.  The boy who was shot int he stomach this morning is alive and in the hospital.  Apparently the police have detained the shooter.

My eight year old daughter Morgaine asked me, “what kind of parents does that boy have, mom?”  Indeed, what kind of parents have guns available to their children?  My best friend does.  She lives in rural town, USA where hunting is part of one’s identity as a masculine “cowboy” guy’s guy.   She is a parent who also takes firearm education courses with her boy and then goes hunting with him.  My point is that I absolutely agreed with Morgaine—its a great question to ask.  I was conversing with Dr. Scott Little this morning and he argued that guns are instruments.  Human beings pull the trigger.

I read this as a comment on the socialization of youth today.  Bullying has been a recent topic in the local and national news. Mothers of children who go to the Martinsville school commented repeatedly this morning that “they have bullying under control at that school” (Fox News).

This event was not about bullying.

Fox news was taking phone calls from students who go to the middle school or were at the scene of the crime.  One girl reported that the two boys involved in the shooting “fought all the time” (Fox News).  When the anchors pressed the young women about motives for the arguments, she reported that the boys were fighting over “girls.”  Thus, this shooting is fundamentally different from the infamous initial Columbine school shootings where (if I recall correctly) the young men seemingly responding to consistent goading by other young men at school.  THAT IS BULLYING. ( see Jackson Katz on the Columbine shootings and masculinity).

Today’s shooting seems to be directly related to heterosexuality (Adrienne Rich describes it compulsory) and it really demonstrates just how extremely performative and fragile normative GENDER is.  American boys go to extreme measures to establish masculine dominance and power over others.  Indeed, as the shooting this morning shows, young white heterosexual men kill to protect their masculinity—and get the girl.  The motive for this specific violence seems to depend upon the two young men and their relationship to young women.

Compulsory heterosexuality sexualizes masculine dominance over women.  This incident in Martinsville, IN demonstrates the violent characteristics of hegemonic masculinity.  Hegemonic, or idealized, masculinity, changes over time and is never completely attainable, however, it is normative.

An ideal standard or model. Prescriptive (what one should do or ought to be) rather than descriptive (what actually is). Normative is not the same as normal or average, rather it is a privileged way of interpreting the world in which we live.

The normative conception of sex and gender as a binary model (which may differ from everyday/lived/subcultural and analytic understandings of sex and gender) is that they are 1) Aligned – assumed equivalence between sex, gender, and thus sexuality; 2) Invariant- fixed and constant across the life course; and 3) Dimorphic- with two distinct, mutually exclusive sexes.

Note that pleasure and desire are absent from these understandings.

These gendered practices, such as boy shoots other boy over girl, serve to create masculine hierarchies in which femininity–or is it the promise of female sexuality– is the pivot.  These are gender and sexuality practices that serve to support gender inequality.

March 6, 2011

Is our perception of beauty based on real women?

by Preventionista

You might recognize this ad from Dove. . .

  • Where you aware that images in the media are mediated by their producers with products like Photoshop?
  • What do you think of the billboard?
  • How would you define “beauty”?
  • What does this ad say about needing beauty products to be beautiful?
  • How does that reconcile with Dove as a large beauty corporation?

If this media representation of women can be said to comment on beauty image standards, it might be interesting to contrast that with Jackson Katz onrepresentations of masculinity in popular culture in the 1990s.

Check out this more in depth (5 min.) investigation into how beauty in mass culture–one aspect of “the gender box”–is constructed using computer programs.

BHR teaches students that “the gender box” is foundational to power and privilege and demonstrates that “the gender box” is held in place through a variety of means, including racism, sexism, classism, and homophobia.

March 6, 2011

Gender Play Okay, Except When “Realness” is in Question

by Preventionista

Check out this entry called “questioning the boundaries of the gender box.”  Jonathon Escobar is a boy who was kicked out of North Cobb High School because he was not “manly enough,” according to the high school principal. 

Compare these clips to ask questions about social norms and understandings of femininity/femaleness in the clips and the real life consequences outside of the media involved.

 

Comparing Versions of Masculinity

  • What is the difference between these two clips in terms of the boys’ expression of femininity?
  • What is your view of the “bet” versus Escobar being run out of school for his gender identity?
  • Why is one boy’s gender expression more threatening than the other?
  • What is so threatening exactly?

What about when male femininity is not made a joke or discredited by the man or boy expressing it?

A 13 year old boy is killed for his gender identity


Take a look at what this blogger had to say about Lawrence King,a 15 year old young man who was slain by a middle school classmate Brandon McInerny, 14 years old.  This case went largely unnoticed in the media as there were a series of “college shootings”–where singular male students open fire on large groups of students and teachers.  Lawrence King PPT with discussion questions.

From a new story: “Prosecutors would would not say why they filed a hate-crime enhancement with the attempted murder count, but several classmates said the 15-year-old victim, Lawrence King, sometimes wore makeup, high heels and other feminine attire.”

Ellen on Lawrence King tragedy


  • What sort of pressures do boys, in particular, face during their middle and high school experience?
  • How do these differ from the pressures girls face? How are they similar? Can these pressures lead to violence? Why does it seem to happen in some cases, and not in others.
  • Why do the media tend not to focus on the gender issue when boys, or men, are the perpetrators?

See this entry on questioning the gender box for more on men who choose “feminine” gender expression.

February 19, 2011

Price Gouging based on Gender

by Preventionista
from Ms. Magazine

Gendered Price Gouging

Does this infuriate you? Well, it should. If you are my student, you may respond to this challenge set forth by ms. Magazine to earn up to ten extra credit points.

February 6, 2011

Youth kicked out of school for failing to express masculinity

by Preventionista

 

Jonathan Escobar says he chooses to wear clothes that express himself.  Skinny jeans, wigs, “vintage” clothing and makeup are the staples of his wardrobe.  The 16-year-old–after getting permission from the school district–says an assistant principal at North Cobb High School told him in October he needed to dress more “manly” for school, or consider being home-schooled.

WHAT? The school system refers to the dress code to reign in Jonathon Escobar’s fashion statements; however, the principal clearly indicates that it was Jonathon’s gender that was in question.  Escobar’s masculinity was “read” as a failed masculinity to the North Cobb High School in Kennesaw, GA. Jonathon Escobar may not consider himself a transgendered person, however, the principal’s comments places him squarely outside “the gender box.”

Transgender is an emergent “term” being used increasingly by organizations and institutions to provide social services for trans people of all kinds. (Valentine, David. “Imagining Transgender: An Ethnography of a Category“, Duke University Press, 2007.)  Transgender as both a category and a field of knowledge demonstrates that  gender is regulated.  Gender norms are used as mechanisms of disenfranchisement, discrimination, and violence when they are violated. Viviane Namaste, a transsexual activist and scholar, argues that transgendered people “pose a fundamental challenge to public space and how it is defined and secured through gender [norms]” (“Genderbashing:  Sexuality, Gender, and the Regulation of Public Space,” p. 589, The Transgender Studies Reader).

While, Jonathon Escobar does not claim this “identity” category, the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network (GLSEN) released a new report that indicates that people who are viewed as “outside of the normative” gender box often are killed because of this.  See this entry about Lawrence King a thirteen year old boy who was killed last year at school by a male classmate.   Escobar was not killed, but he was denied a public education, and that is a violence against this youth.


According to their below report:

  • Almost all transgender students had been verbally harassed (e.g.,called names or threatened) in the past year at school because of their sexual orientation (89%) and their gender expression (87%).
  • Over half of all transgender students had been physically harassed (e.g., pushed or shoved) in school in the past year because of their sexual orientation (55%) and their gender expression (53%).
  • Many transgender students had been physically assaulted (e.g., punched, kicked, or injured with a weapon) in school in the past year because of their sexual orientation (28%) and their gender expression (26%).

Take a look at GLSEN’s report: Harsh Realities: The Experiences of Transgender Youth in Our Nation’s Schools.

Jonathon Escobar powerpoint

BHR teaches students that “the gender box” is foundational to power and privilege and demonstrates that “the gender box” is held in place through a variety of means, including racism, sexism, classism, and homophobia.  Julia Serano, a trans biologist in Whipping Girl: A Transsexual Woman on Sexism and the Scapegoating of Femininity (2007), breaks down sexism in a really interesting way that is helpful to unpack the heterosexual imperative of the gender box.

Serano argues that transphobia and homophobia (see entry on Lawrence King) are rooted in “oppositional sexism, which is the belief that female and male are rigid, mutually exclusive categories, each possessing a unique and nonoverlapping set of attributes, aptitudes, and desires (13).”    What is being banned in Escobar’s case is the expression of male femininity.

Traditional sexism is the “belief that maleness and masculinity are superior to femaleness and femininity (14),” according to Serano.  Finally, Serano wants to make it clear–it is her manifesto–that “misogyny is the tendancy to dismiss and deride femaleness and femininity.”

Serano argues that transmisogyny explains the jokes “at the expense of trans people” (like Micah’s prom above), but she goes on to argue that the majority of violence directed at trans people is directed at trans women.  Serano argues that “men” who wear women’s clothing are pathologized, while the reverse is not true for women who wear men’s clothes: it is trans-misogyny.

Jonathon Escobar powerpoint

—————————————————————————-

More on prohibition of male femininity……………………..

Morehouse, an all male traditionally black college (also in Georgia), recently added a prohibition of “feminine attire.” The code specifically reads “no wearing of clothing usually worn by women (dresses, tops, tunics,purses, pumps, etc.) on the Morehouse campus or at college-sponsoredevents.”

February 6, 2011

Hypermasculinity & "Rape Culture"

by Preventionista

Thanks to my friend Ben Atherton-Zeman for inspiring this post.  Ben is an advocate against violence, particularly gender-based violence, and a one man show called “Voices of Men.”

A prime piece of popular culture from the late 1970s, this Rocky I clip shows us that heterosexual male sexuality is actualized via the “wearing down” of a woman’s sexual boundaries, until submission.  Thirty three years later, in 2006 the Mystery clip (below) teaches straight men about the “art of seduction” by “disarming” a woman’s defenses.   While Rocky is a movie, in the contemporary clip below real men are learning how to get any woman to submit sexually. There is a continuum upon which violent and public sexual permissiveness to women’s bodies occurs and this has only increased in the media since the late 1970s.

Rocky Balboa and Adrian on their first date, from Rocky I (1976)

This scene is the end of Rocky and Adrian’s first date. After asking Adrian five times to come inside, Adrian finally relents and enters Rocky’s apartment. The clip begins once Adrian is inside.


(See this post for full 12 minutes scene.)

  • How does Adrian react to Rocky’s multiple advances and how does he respond in turn?
  • How do the camera shots contribute to the gendering of “space” and what does this add to your reading of the situation?
  • What is your reaction to the “wearing down” of Adrian?

Despite the fact that Adrian relents to Rocky–she does not consent. (See the Control and Power Wheel in this entry).  Sure, this is a movie from more than 30 years ago; however, this sexualized violence has become ritualized within the media. If we look at the broader context of American popular culture, advertisements, magazines, newspapers, blogs, we can see that this portrayal or representation of masculine (hetero)sexuality has not much changed in 33 years.

Hegemonic American masculinity, or as I am calling it, hyper masculinity, contributes to an understanding of male (hetero)sexuality that fetishizes sexualized violence against women.  Kimmel (see below) and other writers have indicated a correspondence between the sexualization of women through media and the American “rape culture” (RapeCulture Powerpoint Presentation—please view for more advertising images like the ones included here).

Britney Spears’s ad is yet another attempt to capitalize on sexualized violence (or just the hint of it).  Rape fantasy or not? Certainly this ad contributes to stranger rape myths, but it also hints at stereotypes about female sexuality that desires male domination. Rape is about power and control.

So, Miss Britney certainly wants you to think it is sexy to  be curious about strange leering faceless men lurking in a dark hallway.  According to U.S. rape myths, this is form of femininity is SEXY, but what does this say about that guy lurking there?

Michael Kimmel on the “traditional rules of American manhood”
Michael Kimmel argues there are four “traditional rules of American manhood”  (Kimmel reading available at the end of the post):

  1. “anti-femininity: males are encouraged from an early age to avoid behaviors, interests, and personality traits that are considered “feminine.” Among these are expression of feeling, emotional vulnerability,sexual feelings for men, and feminine profession (e.g.,elementary schoolteacher, nurse, secretary).”
  2. “Status and Achievement: Men gain status by being successful in all that they do, especially sports and work. Powerful men earn the respect and admiration of others.”  (7)
  3. “Inexpressiveness and Independence: Men are expected to maintain emotional composure and self-control even in the most difficult of situations, to solve problems without help, to keep their feelings tothemselves, and to disdain any display of weakness.”
  4. “Adventurousness and Aggressiveness: Masculinity is characterized by a willingness to take physical risks and become violent if necessary.”    (8)

The idea that men always have to be aggressive and daring becomes a problem for men because hegemonic masculinity is a relentless pressure against a spectrum of “ways of being” men.  This model of masculinity has been challenged practically in a variety of ways, chiefly by the women’s movement.  Gay and Lesbian studies, Queer studies, African American studies and Gender studies have all contributed to a body of knowledge that challenges our ideas of normativity.

The posts above are all about popular culture, but what about actual men who fit into this stereotype?


Meet “The Pick Up Artist” – Erik James Horvat-Markovic

MysteryMystery is “peacocking” in this image  (drawing attention to himself for the purposes of breaking ice) and is credited with coining a number of terms and concepts in the “seduction community.” He had an MTV show called “The Pick Up Artist,” so he is not completely removed from the realm of popular culture, however, he does have a thriving business that teaches men the same skills as featured in the show.  Below is a clip of a workshop attended by men around the world.

Isn’t it interesting that Mystery’s appearance in the image above is similar to Jonathon Escobar’s, in terms of expressive fashion; however, Escobar’s style is “read” very differently.

  • What is it that changes our perceptions of these men?
  • What is the roll of femininity or the sign of femininity in these clips?

This form of male sexuality (heterosexuality) is built around “accumulating partners (scoring), emotional distance, and risk taking.” (Kimmel).  Micheal Kimmel Reading, Michael Kimmel, “Men, Masculinity, and the Rape Culture” in Transforming a Rape Culture,Revised Edition (Minneapolis: Milkweed Editions, 2005), 139-157.

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