Category Archives: Deconstructing Masculinity

Equal Price=Equal Rights?

As I considered Den Hollander’s lawsuit against NYC clubs and bars for their discrimination against men by hosting “ladies’ nights,” I realized that perhaps it should be women suing for these same policies. Although it might be nice for the women to have a little extra cash, it comes at the price of knowing that women are seen as sexual, marketable objects in these spaces. Both Kimmel and Hollander agree- women are let in for free so that these spaces will be more appealing to men and they will come and spend more money on buying women drinks. So, who is really more “discriminated against” by these events- women or men? Should women counterintuitively insist on paying the same price as men?

Merits in the MRA Movement?

After reading about the Men’s Rights movements, I decided to look at some MRA webpages. I found one blog written by a woman who was a Men’s Rights Activists. She describes worries about false rape accusations, the breakdown of the family, and the unfair judgment that Nazis face. Overall, she speaks out against feminism, saying that feminism belittles women and treats them as perpetual victims. What does it mean that women are a part of the Men’s Rights movement? What does it mean that women feel attacked by feminism or feel that feminism steals agency from them? Might some of the arguments by MRA groups actually be effective in liberating all people?

Pros and Cons of Hegemonic Masculinity

I know this isn’t one of my original expert questions, but it has been lingering on my mind.

 

Are there pros to 👊? The way we’ve defined it in class, technically no. But what about the camaraderie that could be a consequence to  👊 ? 👊 is a complex topic, and I was wondering if there anything good that comes out of it.

 

 

👊 Hegemonic masculinity

Male Sexual Victimization

In class we focused on how the standard narrative for sexual assault is so feminizing and therefore exclusionary to male victims. How can we construct support groups so that men feel comfortable reporting incidents? Anonymous hotlines? Mandatory self defense workshops for everyone? How can we do that at Bowdoin with safe space and student led support groups? Or does it start with changing porn, an unregulated platform everyone has access to and perpetuates the stereotypes that “men are sexually virile enough for mulitple women” and therfore should feel ashamed if they get raped by women?  (Weiss)

Sports as a Generator of Hypermasculinity

😎 can be positive role models for young athletes; they are “🌲 parents.” They do their best to help guide players through the game, providing both strategy and emotional support/advice for their teams. However, 😎 main goal is to win. In order to do so they often push onto their🏃a “win at (almost) all coast” mentality. Sometimes this comes out as playing dirty other times as aspiring for domination. But the😎 don’t always emphasize a on the🌲 mentality vs an off-the-🌲 mentality. In fact,🏃 are often encouraged to apply their “game modes” to the working world. At times this seems to become confusing as 🏃 have proven they too deeply internalize these values.

Moving forward, 😎 need to employ methods to separate the way people are on the 🌲  and off it. What might be constructive in one context (i.e., in game) can be harmful in another (domination complex). 😎 need to make learning about how to be off the 🌲 as much of a part of their job as on it.

 

Or do these ideas need to change all together?

🌲= Field

😎= Coaches

🏃= Player/Athlete

Men’s Rights Movements

The class had a strong opinion in the arguments presented by the men’s right campaign as we saw on Wednesday. Although we didn’t get to my question, I thought it was very interested to see how this group felt about the unfairness in a nightlife space where ladies were free on certain nights. This is a trend that I have experienced and has proven to be systemic in other communities other than my own starting from the age of 13.

At home, kids, teenagers and young adults will rent out American Legion halls and Firefighter Club spaces to recreate this type of environment where we see that girls and ladies either come in for free before a certain time or at a discounted price. Also, in these spaces men tend to buy drinks for women in order to flaunt their wealth and come off as attractive or appealing. Some of these men expressed this as being put at a disadvantage and gives the women the upper hand in determining how the night goes.

To refocus this idea and pose a question about how we operate as a college, how does the power that is equalized by the absence of fees for admission and drinks for women in order to impress them change the power dynamic of a typical party, college house or otherwise, at Bowdoin College?

Thinking about Demobilizing Rape

  1. If rape is considered gendered dominance, then anything that promotes “🚹=💪” also promotes rape culture, such as the Mile in 👠 and My 💪 campaign, as well as things like 🍤 and locker room 💬

2) We spend so much 🕒 thinking about how things don’t work and the negative aspects of movements but less 🕒thinking about how we could create more effective movements.

3) I wonder how much things that subvert the common narrative and promote “🚺= 💪” demobilize rape.

4) Maybe effective rape prevention are smaller things, like showing women with powerful jobs, teaching all children about bodily autonomy, etc

4) There is a lot of power in any message, so it is important to think critically about how/how not campaigns/actions/words mobilize or demobilize rape.

KEY:

🚹 = men

💪 = strong/strength

👠 = her shoes

🍤 = shrimping

💬 = talk

🕒 = time

🚺 = women

Heteronormativity in Sexual Violence Prevention Work

Gender norms play a huge role in the way we discuss 💋👊. Discussions of 💬🗨 are often 👫 and frame 💬🗨 exclusively as 👦 asking 👩 to have sex.

💋👊  is a 👩’s issue in the sense that it historically has affected 👩 at higher rates, but 👦 survivors of 💋👊  often get left out of the conversation.

Young boys and girls are socialized to believe that only 👩 can be sexually harassed, assaulted, etc. This makes it harder for 👦 to recognize and identify 💋👊 that they might experience.

All of this being said, gender norms appeal to some 👦 and can be used to effectively teach 👦 about 💋👊. The “My Strength is Not for Hurting” campaign appeals to 👦 by using hegemonically masculine ideas/images.

I’m still not sure if such campaigns are worth it. They teach about important topics like 💬🗨 and advocate against 💋👊, but reinforce 👫 gender norms that contribute to rape culture and leave queer people out of the conversation.

👫 – heteronormative

💋👊 – sexual violence

💬🗨 – consent

👩 – women

👦 – men

Male Victimhood’s Impact on Feminism

As Kimmel says, the 😣😣😣↗↗↗ often views college campuses and classes as being dominated by the toxic religion of 👫👫👫.  They specifically focus on how 👫👫👫 in classes and social settings  “further marginalizes” men.  With this 😣😣😣 ↗↗↗ competing with 👫👫👫, how do these ideas impact 👫👫👫 today?

Do they force 👫👫👫to justify it’s existence/validity and distract from it’s goals? Does this ↗↗↗ push 👫👫👫 to play into the politics of respectability and neglect the major issues at hand?

Or do they make 👫👫👫 seem more important and obviously necessary to people who might not otherwise feel that way?  Also, do ↗↗↗ like the pro-feminist ↗↗↗ push👫👫👫 to think more about important issues (like the impact of the gender binary on cis-men or trans people)?

key:

Male victim = 😣😣😣

Feminism = 👫👫👫

Movement = ↗↗↗