Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Toxic masculinity at a sports bar

Toxic masculinity is so toxic it poisons men themselves. At my job as a hostess, I’m required to open the door for everyone that is leaving. The insane thing is how many men get mad at this. They say, “It’s ridiculous that they make you open the door for us.” They even try to trick us by saying that they’re just going to the bathroom and then make a run for the door to get it for themselves. Women always just call it great customer service. Men either take it as an emasculation or an opportunity to flirt with us. Working at a sports restaurant/bar already means that the testosterone is running high, with men constantly screaming at the TVs when their team wins/loses. They yell for everything. They display hegemonic masculinity constantly, asserting their dominance whenever they can over us as hostesses or servers (there’s only two male servers in the whole place). The first night I worked there, a drunk man grabbed my hand and kissed it, and then proceeded to say “nothing bad happened” when my manager came to kick him out. The managers, despite all being men, are on our side. One of my managers is much younger than the rest, and I think him being a millennial is one of the reasons why he’s so proactive in making sure that all of us are protected. Another one of my managers said if someone grabbed me anywhere, I could “slug them” and he would escort them right out. Still, working there has made me notice even more that this culture of toxic masculinity poisons men themselves. Even if I was at the mall, I would hold the door for the people behind me because it’s common courtesy to me. But every time I put my hands on that door handle, men feel this slight emasculation, because it’s ingrained in their brains that to be a man, to be masculine, they have to complete actions like opening the door for women. It’s just one of many examples of how hegemonic masculinity dominates a man’s life if they really want to be considered the stereotype of masculinity. 

Breaking News: Being a Responsible Father is Now Not Masculine


In a growing list of things (such as umbrellas, phone cases, red/rose gold iPhones, baths, juice, candles, coats, listening to John Legend, finding gay girls attractive, finding themselves attractive, thinking your eyes look good, etc.) that men can no longer do or have and still be considered masculine, they can no longer hold their children. Especially out in public.

Toxic masculinity has a long history of taking things away from men, usually simple pleasures. However, posts like the one by Piers Morgan crosses the line in a new way. Even if it's just trolling, he's not just saying that Daniel Craig is less than a man because he's enjoying something feminine. He's saying Craig is less than a man because he's a father and participating in his child's life. He's shaming Craig for taking responsibility for his baby and loving his baby, for wanting to bring his child out in the world with him. And in a time when too many men are already unwilling to do so, we certainly don't need anyone famous reassuring those men that taking a step away from childcare is the right thing to do.

Blurred lines...of sexual assault

This past week we talked about rap and hip hop songs, and how incredibly degrading they can be to women. It teaches young men that women can and like to be treated like sluts, essentially. This really resonates in today's society because we have a president that says things like "grab em by the pussy" and has affairs with porn stars and acts like all of this is perfectly acceptable. I'm not saying that everyone has to be perfect, but I do believe that people in power, especially our president, should be held to a higher standard. This is already true in women with power. How they conduct themselves outside of work is just as important as how they conduct themselves at work. Shouldn't men be held to the same standard? But, I digress...

I thought a lot about the music I listen to and how even from a young age I sang these songs without even fully realizing what they all meant. I remember growing up and listening to Christina Aguilera, and she came out with a song called "Dirty". People were calling her a slut because she talked about wanting and enjoying sex. Another song was by Jessica Simpson called "Sweetest Sin," also about sex. People were flabbergasted. They were supposed to be role models and they were women talking about enjoying sex! The blasphemy! However, men- especially rappers, can talk about sleeping with multiple women in one night, violence against women, and sexual assault and that's fine because "boys will be boys?" I'm not having it.

Here is a song I have always hated, and here is why.


Robin Thicke "Blurred Lines"

In this song, he sings "I hate these blurred lines, I know you want it, I hate them lines, I know you want it, I hate them lines, I know you want it, But you're a good girl, The way you grab me, Must wanna get nasty, Go ahead, get at me."

Let's discuss. Does he really hate them blurred lines, or just he just want to know for sure he can take you home so he doesn't have to waste anymore time and/or money on you? Also, this is basically sexual assault. I have actually had men say to me several different times they could tell I wanted it. I guess its common enough to make a whole song out of it. As a woman, if you tell me I want it, even if I did, I now don't want it even a little bit. When he said "the way you grab me, must wanna get nasty" is nasty. Can a girl dance with a guy and even touch him without wanting sex? Yes, the answer is yes in case people don't know. Men assuming things can definitely lead to sexual assault. In the song Thicke is also talking about getting drunk and "blasted." How does this song end? If she is blasted, she probably cant give consent.

There are so many songs like this out there, and it allows men to blame rape on "blurred lines" and the ability to blame how they were having fun and drinking together so she must have wanted it.

Just because the lines are blurry does not mean the lines don't exist. 

Thank you for coming to my Ted Talk.

Wednesday, October 10, 2018

Keep Ya Head Up

Some say the blacker the berry, the sweeter the juice
I say the darker the flesh then the deeper the roots
I give a holla to my sisters on welfare
2Pac cares if don't nobody else care
And I know they like to beat you down a lot
When you come around the block, brothers clown a lot
But please don't cry, dry your eyes, never let up
Forgive, but don't forget, girl, keep your head up
And when he tells you you ain't nothing, don't believe him
And if he can't learn to love you, you should leave him
'Cause, sister, you don't need him
And I ain't trying to gas ya up, I just call 'em how I see 'em
You know what makes me unhappy? When brothers make babies and leave a young mother to be a pappy
And since we all came from a woman
Got our name from a woman and our game from a woman
I wonder why we take from our women
Why we rape our women, do we hate our women?
I think it's time to kill for our women
Time to heal our women, be real to our women
And if we don't we'll have a race of babies
That will hate the ladies that make the babies
And since a man can't make one
He has no right to tell a woman when and where to create one
So will the real men get up?
I know you're fed up, ladies, but keep your head up

Keep ya head up, ooh, child
Things are gonna get easier
Keep ya head up, ooh, child
Things'll get brighter
Keep ya head up, ooh, child
Things are gonna get easier
Keep ya head up, ooh, child
Things'll get brighter

Ayo, I remember Marvin Gaye used to sing to me
He had me feeling like black was the thing to be
And suddenly the ghetto didn't seem so tough
And though we had it rough, we always had enough
I huffed and puffed about my curfew and broke the rules
Ran with the local crew and had a smoke or two
And I realize momma really paid the price
She nearly gave her life to raise me right
And all I had to give her was my pipe dream
Of how I'd rock the mic and make it to the bright screen
I'm trying to make a dollar out of fifteen cents
It's hard to be legit and still pay the rent
And in the end it seems I'm heading for the pen
I try to find my friends, but they're blowing in the wind
Last night my buddy lost his whole family
It's gonna take the man in me to conquer this insanity
It seems the rain'll never let up
I try to keep my head up and still keep from getting wet up
You know, it's funny, when it rains it pours
They got money for wars but can't feed the poor
Say there ain't no hope for the youth
And the truth is it ain't no hope for the future
And then they wonder why we crazy
I blame my mother for turning my brother into a crack baby
We ain't meant to survive, 'cause it's a set-up
And even though you're fed up
Huh, you got to keep your head up

Keep ya head up, ooh, child
Things are gonna get easier
Keep ya head up, ooh, child
Things'll get brighter
Keep ya head up, ooh, child
Things are gonna get easier
Keep ya head up, ooh, child
Things'll get brighter

And uh, to all the ladies having babies on they own
I know it's kinda rough and you're feeling all alone
Daddy's long gone and he left you by your lonesome
Thank the Lord for my kids even if nobody else want 'em
'Cause I think we can make it, in fact, I'm sure
And if you fall, stand tall and comeback for more
'Cause ain't nothing worse than when your son
Wants to know why his daddy don't love him no mo'
You can't complain you was dealt this
Hell of a hand without a man, feeling helpless
Because there's too many things for you to deal with
Dying inside, but outside you're looking fearless
While tears is rolling down your cheeks
You steady hoping things don't fall down this week
'Cause if it did, you couldn't take it
And don't blame me, I was given this world, I didn't make it
And now my son's getting older and older and colder
From having the world on his shoulders
While the rich kids is driving Benz
I'm still trying to hold on to surviving friends
And it's crazy, it seems it'll never let up
But please, you got to keep your head up


A "Scary" Time

A response to the current talk about it being a "scary" time for boys and men in light of the Kavanaugh hearings. Thoughts?

Cause: Rap Music


This article expresses the change from rap music being taboo to popular. The problem is the underlying misogynistic tones and hypersexualization of women. These lyrics had proven to have a negative impact on wellbeing according to the "Demographic Research." The article strives for rappers to make a change in the music they produce but I also think it needs to call upon the consumer to stop supporting these messages. As consumers, we have to power to make a change with what we buy, because if the rap industry began to lose money on this they would stop producing this imagery.

Sunday, October 7, 2018

Violence Against Women -- It's A Men's Issue

Violence Against Women -- It's A Men's Issue

The TED talk above highlights the responsibilities men hold in taking accountability, policing other men, and preventing violence against women. As the speaker Jackson Katz discusses, when men hear the topic of "gender issues", they immediately assume that to not pertain to them as they are the dominant group and don't have issues to be addressed.

A very prolific point Katz makes is:
"This is one of the ways that dominant systems maintain and reproduce themselves, which is to say the dominant group is rarely challenged to even think about its dominance, because that's one of the key characteristics of power and privilege, the ability to go unexamined, lacking introspection, in fact being rendered invisible, in large measure, in the discourse about issues that are primarily about us. And this is amazing how this works in domestic and sexual violence, how men have been largely erased from so much of the conversation about a subject that is centrally about men."

I'm usually very weary about consuming media pertaining to women from white men, as they inherently aren't able to speak on the subject authentically. However, as violence against women IS a men's issue, I wanted to see what Katz would have to say on it and I was pleasantly surprised on how respectfully and eloquently addressed the subject.

Wednesday, October 3, 2018


Hello everyone!

In light of the recent news, I thought this Ted Talk was relevant and insightful. Not to get too political, but if anyone watched the Ford and Kavanaugh testimonies last week, you are familiar with his gross display of aggressive entitlement. There are many layers in this topic, but I think masculinity is one of them.

Why Women Stay Silent After Sexual Assault

Sunday, September 23, 2018

Boys to Men


This is an article on boys entering puberty like discussed in our readings. I find it interesting because it discusses overweight boys entering puberty as well. They have noticed that overweight white boys tend to enter puberty at a younger age than average weight boys. In African American boys they found that overweight boys entered puberty eleven months later than. They say it is complicated and it is hard to determine the exact point boys begin to mature.

Tuesday, September 11, 2018

7 Positive Phrases we should be teaching America’s Boys about Masculinity
In changing our language, the goal is not, as critics of progressive masculinity tend to suggest, to teach our boys to be more feminine, but to teach them to be themselves, on their own terms. In speaking to our boys (and to each other), we should strive to be more accurate, more clear and more inclusive with our language. Following are some phrases our boys could benefit from hearing more often:
1. "Communicate."
We tend to encourage boys and men to "suck it up" when they experience something upsetting. Internalizing distressing emotions works for some men, but prevents others from overcoming them properly. Our boys should feel comfortable figuring out the most effective way for them to communicate and with asking for help when they need it. 
2. "Crying does not make you weak."
Tears are a natural part of intense emotional responses, but for men, they have long been shunned as a sign of weakness. Despite this cultural stereotype, science shows that crying helps regulateemotional stress and is widely considered a healthy outlet. Additionally, it is an effective way to self-soothe and to communicate distress, which means crying is healthy, it communicates clearly and works it independently — all masculine qualities. Boys not only do, but will cry, and they should feel that it is acceptable.
3. "No means no."
We have, for good reason, been hearing a lot about rape recently, with some debating the merits over controversial terms like "gray rape" or attempting to insist that victims and survivors are partially responsible for their assaults. As many Millennials get closer to having children, we have an important opportunity to teach the next generation about the clear lines of consent and the difference between persistence and harassment. (This is not to suggest that all men are born rapists, of course, but with epidemic levels of both male and female sexual assault survivors, we are clearly failing in our efforts to make these lessons clear enough.)
4. Be gender-neutral when referring to a boy’s future partner.
Boys may not know or be totally comfortable with their sexual orientation until later in life, and they shouldn't feel boxed in by conventional expectations while they figure it out. Beyond the obvious and more extreme examples of homophobic rhetoric and slurs, we should strive to replace phrases like "When you're married one day, your wife might..." with "If you get married one day, your partner might..."
5. "Brave up."
A few years ago, the Economist's language blog attempted to brainstorm a less gendered alternative to the phrase "man up." The blog settled on the alternative "brave up," which has a pretty nice ring to it, actually. After all, the blog claims, "man up" is really supposed to invoke being "tough, upstanding and responsible" — all gender-neutral qualities better illustrated and suited to a similarly neutral (not to mention evocative) adjective. Since the phrase hasn't caught on in the mainstream, you have the chance to start using it before it becomes cool. 
6. "Be responsible."
Teaching responsibility is obviously not a novel idea, but we can expand its meaning into the context of our boys' masculinity as well. Responsibility implies honest ownership — of thoughts, emotional responses, actions and words. As they get older, boys should feel comfortable owning their unique masculinity, whether that means being stoic, gregarious, serious or goofy. Consider how, for example, such a diverse group of high-profile men such as Clint Eastwood, Will Smith, Russell Crowe and Bill Murray are all considered masculine for these different reasons.
7. "Be confident in who you are."
Self-confidence is so important, whoever that inner self turns out to be.The problem is, simply saying "be confident" is incomplete and sort of pointless — we all want to be more confident. But encouraging boys to be themselves will foster their ability to be confident, no matter what their body type, interests or sexuality ends up being. Make clear to boys that their identity is theirs and need not be instructed by what they see around them, on TV or even by you.

Original article: https://mic.com/articles/93303/7-positive-phrases-we-should-be-teaching-america-s-boys-about-masculinity#.9qn5XGMj7

Title: Seven Positive Phrases We Should be Teaching America's Boys About Masculinity

Author: Jack Fischl

Monday, August 27, 2018

Mass Shooting Ratios

Here is a link to the statistics of mass shooting genders.

In "The Mask You Live In," they discuss the ratio of male shooters vs female shooters. As you can see on the chart, the ratio of male shooters is significantly higher than female. It calculates from the year 1982 to 2018 and shows significant proof of higher male shooters. But why? Males have been known to bottle up all their emotions and when it reaches tipping point they lash out in aggressive ways. This seems to be the only emotion they are allowed to express but also know how to express. There needs to be a shift in how the male gender is able to express themselves all the time.

Saturday, August 25, 2018

Boys will be boys

"when she was 7, a boy pushed her on the playground
she fell headfirst into the dirt and came up with a mouthful of gravel and lines of blood chasing each other down her legs
when she told her teacher what happened, she laughed and said ‘boys will be boys honey don’t let it bother you
he probably just thinks you’re cute’
but the thing is,
when you tell a little girl who has rocks in her teeth and scabs on her knees that hurt and attention are the same
you teach her that boys show their affection through aggression
and she grows into a young woman who constantly mistakes the two
because no one ever taught her the difference
'boys will be boys’
turns into
'that’s how he shows his love’
and bruises start to feel like the imprint of lips
she goes to school with a busted mouth in high school and says she was hit with a basketball instead of his fist
the one adult she tells scolds her
'you know he loses his temper easily
why the hell did you have to provoke him?’
so she shrinks
folds into herself, flinches every time a man raises his voice
by the time she’s 16 she’s learned her job well
be quiet, be soft, be easy
don’t give him a reason
but for all her efforts, he still finds one
'boys will be boys’ rings in her head
'boys will be boys
he doesn’t mean it
he can’t help it’
she’s 7 years old on the playground again
with a mouth full of rocks and blood that tastes like copper love
because boys will be boys baby don’t you know
that’s just how he shows he cares
she’s 18 now and they’re drunk
in the split second it takes for her words to enter his ears they’re ruined
like a glass heirloom being dropped between the hands of generations
she meant them to open his arms but they curl his fists and suddenly his hands are on her and her head hits the wall and all of the goddamn words in the world couldn’t save them in this moment
she touches the bruise the next day
boys will be boys
aggression, affection, violence, love
how does she separate them when she learned so early that they’re inextricably bound, tangled in a constant tug-of-war
she draws tally marks on her walls ratios of kisses to bruises
one entire side of her bedroom turns purple, one entire side of her body
boys will be boys will be boys will be boys
when she’s 20, a boy touches her hips and she jumps
he asks her who the hell taught her to be scared like that and she wants to laugh
doesn’t he know that boys will be boys?
it took her 13 years to unlearn that lesson from the playground
so I guess what I’m trying to say is
i will talk until my voice is hoarse so that my little sister understands that aggression and affection are two entirely separate things
baby they exist in difference universes
my niece can’t even speak yet but I think I’ll start with her now
don’t ever accept the excuse that boys will be boys
don’t ever let him put his hands on you like that
if you see hate blazing in his eyes don’t you ever confuse it with love
baby love won’t hurt when it comes
you won’t have to hide it under long sleeves during the summer
the only reason he should ever reach out his hand
is to hold yours"
Original Article:  http://madgirlf.tumblr.com/post/74807553342/when-she-was-7-a-boy-pushed-her-on-the-playground
Title:  Boys Will be Boys

Author:  Fortesa Latifi

Thursday, August 9, 2018

What are the responsibilities of pro-feminist men in the Michael Kimmel case? By Robert Jensen

"Prominent sociologist and pro-feminist, Michael Kimmel, has been accused of unethical conduct. What should the response of academics and activists who identify as pro-feminist or feminist be?"

Read full article: What are the responsibilities of pro-feminist men in the Michael Kimmel case? By Robert Jensen

Friday, December 8, 2017

Tef talk from Justin Baldoni: Why I am done trying to be man enough https://www.ted.com/talks/justin_baldoni_why_i_m_done_trying_to_be_man_enough/up-next

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Violence and Masculinity

Are violence and masculinity tied together?  For some, the idea of masculinity means having dominance over something subordinate and for some subordination requires violence. From my experiences and observations, violence usually ensue after one feel that they have been tested or deemed inferior whether physically or mentally and that usually causes violence. In Ben Atherton-Zeman’s Men's Manifesto from the text Men Speak out he discussed a lot about learned masculinity and violence as part of securing a masculine image. The fact that no other men are challenge the idea of violence as part of masculinity, allows for cycles of abuse to occur, especially towards women. In the text Men Speak Out Zeman writes, “One of the reasons our brothers and fathers have abused their wives, girlfriends and partners is because we haven’t said, with a unified voice, that this not a “manly” thing to do.”(144) Men are not the ones saying abusing women to prove masculinity is not okay, which allows perversion and violence to persist. This may make it seem as though the two are tied, but they can be challenged and separated as we learn more about male fragility, develop new ideas of masculinity and seek to overall reduce violence as a precursor to dominance.

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Creating Feminist Male Heroes

I came across this blog post while researching more on writing: http://kancrum.com/post/78193898068/writing-feminist-boy-protagonists
This blog post comes from an author, who shares their thoughts on creating protagonists that are feminists.
What struck me about this post is how nothing about their list is about male characters engaging in feminist discourse, nor is it about male characters speaking feminist theory or rhetoric. Instead, this is about the character trait used to construct male protagonists as people. I think this is immensely valuable.
Yes, being able to engage in discourse is useful, but when considering the landscape of fiction, especially fiction for young adult audiences, it's also important to consider how characters behave and present themselves. My first reaction to this blog post was that nothing about it was inherently feminist, yet upon further consideration I realized that yes it is.
When considering the landscape of fiction, male heroes follow a few general stereotypes, and we can find plenty of examples of toxic masculinity in media geared towards men. Video games and action movies have plenty, and when we consider this, we can see that there aren't many examples of positive male role models for young boys to be found in media that is specifically targeted towards them. In which case, subverting harmful tropes such as aggression, coldness, misogyny in male characters will help change the landscape. If we endeavor to show that there is more than one way to be a girl, we should as well provide boys with alternatives to normal masculinity, and show them that there are other more healthy ways of being a man. If we can associate more positive traits with masculinity by portraying boys differently, then maybe we can help undo the damage of toxic masculinity.

Hip-hop, masculinity and the black male youth: How does hip hop influence masculinity

I have always questioned what influence Hip-Hop music has on young men and their violent and  misogynistic personas, but it was not until after I watched Hip Hop: Beyond Beats and Rhymes that I have been able to think about the music we listen to and its influences on male minds. Especially young and black male minds. Over the years I have noticed that though rappers, their clothes, and the beats of music have changed, their misogynist and violent lyrics and videos have not. Exploitation! Is the word that comes to mind when I think of hip hop and the black masculine community. Through the film, I am able to observe as the director/producer questions the music he loves and how it influences masculinity in the black community. When Hurt starts to describe what embodies the idea of manhood within hip-hop: be tough, be mean, be strong, have a lot of women by being a player or a pimp, dominate women (sexism)  and other men (power) usually through verbal or physical violence, have financial provision (to afford flashy things to appear to be in power), got to be in control of your surroundings especially through violence. From my understanding and observation, I believe that a lot of artist put on this façade to sale records at the expense of the youth and especially, the women in their community. Hip hop seems to exhibit hyper masculinity by making men appear violent, rude, sexist and dominant over anything and anyone within their spaces. This is being viewed by young black men who can not separate the music from their lives and end up become what they see in the hip hop videos and lyrics to prove and ensure their masculinity. I do not believe that violence, sexism and money are the basis of hip-hop, but I can not dismiss the fact that it heavily influences it.

Link to film:https://ucf-kanopystreaming-com.ezproxy.net.ucf.edu/video/hip-hop

Kevin Spacey and Male Homosexuality In Society

As the struggle for LGBT+ rights continue, a topic of discussion that is come up is the various ways lgbt people experience discrimination in society, and the overall progress society has made in accepting lgbt people. One thing to always consider is how race and gender comes into play, how these other social aspects affect lgbt people, and in what ways these other "labels" add to the disadvantages people experience from society.
One thing I have noticed being discussed is how sexuality is being viewed in society. Many have argued that cis white men are becoming the face of the LGBT+ movement, while other sexuality and orientations are still being shunned much more by the rest of society. The argument is that cis white men are still closest to upholding the image of normative masculinity, thus society more readily includes or tolerates gay men who fit closest to the mold of traditional masculinity, compared to society's treatment of transgender people, queer women, and people of color.
While it's important to recognize cis privilege, male privilege, and privilege on the basis of race in order to analyze the power structures at play and to make the right steps towards equality, it's important not to slide down a slippery slope and make claims that any sort of "ultimate acceptance" for a marginalized community has been achieved.
Someone like Kevin Spacey and his recent actions show how easily threatened any sense of normalcy for marginalized people really is. Kevin Spacey tried to hide behind his title as a rich white man to shield himself from accountability, but at the same time he also came out as a form of distraction from accusations that he is a child predator. The reactions from gay men and other LGBT people showed that many were rightfully upset, because Spacey just through an entire group of people under the bus in order to try and excuse his actions. In doing so, he reinforces a negative, harmful stereotype that have harmed gay men for generations. The work that gay men have had to do to distance themselves from the stereotype that male gayness is inherently predatory was not easy, and yet in one statement Kevin Spacey threatened that progress completely by trying to equate the two.
I think that this shows that no one can claim any marginalized group's work is ever done, because the myths society creates against groups are so pervasive and harmful, and can indeed affect men too.

Positive Image Masculinity at Richmond College

I was researching The Man Box and trying to find something interesting to blog about when I stumbled across Richmond College's section of their website about "Authentic Masculinities." From reading it's a program they off to "help our students understand the impact of masculinities in today’s world."

They had a whole section of The Man Box:
"The term implies a rigid set of expectations, perceptions, and behaviors of what is “manly” behavior. Because it is a hierarchy, Hegemonic masculinity marginalizes men who do not perfectly fit the description of a “real man.” Because no man perfectly fits the description, all men are limited by hegemonic masculinity through policing of behaviors seen as “violations” (Edwards & Jones, 2009)."

It was the information about The Man Box that lead me to their website, but I stayed for the section called "Postive Image of Masculinities." They go into a description about how to be a "real man" starts with discovering your best self. They also break it into three different elements of acting with sound judgment, demonstrating a generosity of self, and living with confidence. 

Thank you, Richmond College, for trying to help break down the walls of our hegemonic masculine society and helping make men into better people.

Sex or Gender: what influences masculinity the most?

It seems that everyone around me are having babies this season and every other season. I have had a lot of my friends invite  me to their “sex” reveal party or as they said it in the stone ages, “gender” reveal party. I was sitting at karen’s baby shower when her aunt leaned into me and said “sex reveal? Why not gender? What the hell is the difference anyway?” I answered to her and said that as the child grew into adulthood, it would grow into its own person and decide its own gender identity. I told her that the baby’s sex would be related to its genitalia and its social experiences and performances would influence its gender. I think I put it as simple as I could without confusing myself or her. She then looked at me and nodded, without saying another word. Six seconds later, she mumbled “this generation is so f***ed up. Sex reveal!” I ignored her mumbling and thought about what might have caused her confusion. Has the ideas of gender and sex definitions really changed that much overtime? It seems that the definitions of both have not changed, but people have become more mindful of the distinction between the two. Sex is more biological and anatomical while gender is based on social roles/ performances. It seems simple right!? Wrong! With trying to understand the the difference between sex and gender, I always wonder if either influence masculinity. Does genitalia or roles make you more masculine or a combination of both? If I have male genitalia am I more likely to be more masculine versus if I am treated and perform what would be traditional male roles. I feel like this is a question I feel fail to answer myself and understand. I strongly believe that experiences (I guess gender identity) make people more masculine, but as a woman I do not believe I truly understand what masculinity is aside from its basic definition. I always think about effeminate straight men. Are they not masculine enough? I found a few videos on the internet that gauged my question about and this one stuck out to me the most.

Phallus Obsessed Masculinity

See Article Here

I found this article really interesting. I wanted to blog about hegemonic masculinity and I wanted to blog about how it still affects us today so I was looking for more current articles and I found this one from October about phallus obsessed toxic masculinity.

It goes over the description of several different types of masculinity but says that is it hard to but masculinity into one category because it's "strong, brave, power-hungry, in control, unemotional unless angry or in competition – is just an expression of one hegemonic metaphorical form: penis-obsessed and power-hungry phallic masculinity."

Phallic masculinity has been a way of representing masculinity for centuries. The phallic art form has existed since ancient Greece and even earlier than that. "Phallic masculinity underpins the social formation of patriarchy. Yet its early manifestations were not equated with the lust for power that defines it today. The earliest phallic objects, found in southern Germany, are some 28,000 years old."

I appreciated this article because it also went over testicular masculinity, seminal masculinity, and tender masculinity. Testicular masculinity is what it sounds like, as is seminal masculinity. They are all very similar the phallic masculinity. Tender masculinity is a way that masculinity is changing to be more tender and calm and welcoming. A masculinity that is catching up with the times. The final paragraph is a good place to end, "The ConversationThere’s an old adage that unless behaviour changes nothing changes. But unless the way we think changes, new behaviours tend to revert to type. New practices need new modes of representation, new ways of thinking. Constructing a more tender and adaptable form of masculinity is not a matter of winning, or of refusing to compete. Instead, we must learn to speak differently."

Masculinity in Children’s Disney Movies

Like many people, I grew up watching and loving Disney’s animated movies. Even now, at 21 years old, they are still a source of immense comfort and nostalgia!
However, as I’ve grown up and developed an understanding of the role media plays in our lives, I’ve tried to reexamine the media I’ve consumed. Of course, even my childhood favorites had to be examined, as I’ve tried to understand how my formative years have been shaped by the values and roles presented to me when I was small.
As a feminist, I thought I had to spend the majority of my time examining how women have been presented in our pop culture. Without a doubt, I’ve spent a lot of time considering Disney’s female characters and princesses; what values they represent, what messages they send to girls about femininity, beauty, love.
Yet I’ve spent so little time evaluating something that’s equally important, and equally worthy of discussion: masculinity in Disney movies. Once I realized this oversight of mine, I also realized that it’s not a topic that’s never come up. On the contrary, I’ve heard comments on “Disney Masculinity” often, mostly from men. What is the general consensus that I hear, though?

“Disney movies give girls unrealistic expectations.”

Expectations about what, I’d ask. Specifically, expectations about love and men. “You can’t expect any man to treat you like that”, they’d say.
I think a lot of criticisms of Disney are valid. We should always be examining how we present ideals of beauty, relationships, race, gender, etc to our children, and it’s undeniable that Disney is a powerful force in most of our childhoods. Disney often only depicts one form of love, one form of body type, one idea of beauty. For many, Disney represents a sort of status quo, a machine that spits out cultural norms and doesn’t do enough changing with the times.

However, the idea that Disney gives girls unrealistic expectations of men has rubbed me the wrong way for a long time, especially because it has been men that voice this opinion. It wasn’t clear to me at first why, but then it dawned on me that none of this was about, for example, criticizing women’s lack of agency in particular movies, nor was it about criticizing the idea that for women, journey and adventure must include romance. It wasn’t about criticizing how our culture is blasted with images of women who need rescuing, and while Disney has moved away from this trope, it has been guilty of using it. Women don’t need princes, certainly, but why is it that men are so adamant about these “princes” not being realistic? Could it be, really, that men have a problem with the way masculinity is being presented in Disney movies?
Because really, how is masculinity portrayed any better in media designed for boys? All the same harmful tropes still exist, women still get saved by men, and to boot rarely is there ever a rose-colored romance between the male protagonist and a woman he adores. Not the way these romances appear in Disney movies. In Disney movies, men are brave, heroic, daring, and charming, but are also sweet, kind, and wholeheartedly devoted to the woman they are in love with.
So, I’d like to know, what is it exactly about Disney heroes that girls should not expect to see in real life? When women criticize Disney, I hear them talk about the fast romances, passive heroines, etc. Men, on the other hand, seem to recognize that they don’t behave the way they’re depicted on screen. Masculinity doesn’t present itself as tenderhearted and romantic like it does with Disney princes. Male heroes for male audiences take the heroism but cut out any inkling of care or even common decency towards other women.

Yet, instead of recognizing toxic masculinity in our real, daily lives for what it is, some would live to instead shift the blame on women, and media coded “for” women. It’s women, then, who shouldn’t have all these idealizations. It’s women’s fault, for growing up with expectations. It’s never men’s faults, somehow, for failing to meet them, for not trying to be better. Because I really don’t think that Disney Masculinity is all that bad, in the sense that women should expect to have men who treat them well, treat them kindly, and treat them lovingly. If not all that, then what should women be expecting men to treat them like? And Why?

Men who rape

I came across this article which details the research done by a P.H.D. graduate candidate about men who commit rape. He set up a hotline in 1976 and posted an ad in the newspaper encouraging rapists to call in anonymously in the hopes that he could find some similarities between the many men who called in. Ultimately the group seemed to be more diverse than similar, though they seemed to have all started at a relatively young age. Even in repeat studies and surveys done it seems that a rapist will likely deny having raped though he will admit to having non consensual sexual interactions (a synonym for rape). It is seen in repeat studies that rapists do not think that what they are doing is problematic or wrong. These studies further show that there is not one type of rapist.

One must learn masculinity before they can do it

Thinking about the idea of masculinity, I always think about my little brother that is the only boy with tons of sisters. I remember when I was younger, I would think that because my sisters and I were not masculine enough, our feminine behaviours would influence my younger brother into homosexuality. I was very young and naïve and feared an unknown. As I got older and went off to highschool, I did a lot of research on gender and sexual identity. In tenth grade, I wrote a research paper for my biology course on how men and women may learn to do masculine and feminine things despite biology. Throughout my research, I learned a lot things I thought were common sense. What is masculinity and how can it be done? I asked myself those two questions as I searched the web and thought of my younger brother. After my research, I concluded that masculinity entails any characteristics that would be associated with the male sex or gender depending on what discussion you are having. Okay, I thought I had a grasp on the concept of masculinity. With further research and understanding, I learned that performance plays a part in the idea of masculinity. The concept of “doing” masculinity comes after one has internalized what the idea of masculinity is. The idea of gender roles popped into my head. What could I do to make me more masculine so I can use that to influence my younger brother and make sure that my feminine traits did not influence him. I learned that even though my brother is surrounded by women, him and societal influences would be the ultimate determinants of how “masculine” he would be. He would need to learn what masculinity means in our western society before he could do “masculine” things. In our society, what makes a male masculine is his dominance over others through violence, control and other hegemonic ideals. These do not sound like something i would want to teach a younger male to make sure he is masculine. I have attached a link to a very interesting article that shares what it means to be masculine and how one must do a certain way in society to secure his masculinity.

Uchiha Itachi: Dissecting the Intersections of Masculinity as They Have Permeated Global Culture

Content Warning for: gore/violence, Naruto spoilers

As we know by now, gender-related issues (especially misogyny) affect the entire world, not just our society, and with that it is important to note that there are of course going to be many similarities in how toxic masculinity, for example, manifests itself in multiple cultures. In watching one of my favorite shows (Naruto: Shippūden), I have noticed several cultural similarities between misogyny in Japan and the United States.

Today I am going to focus on one of my favorite characters from the show, a young man named Uchiha Itachi. The reason I choose to focus on him is because he grew up in an environment that (to me) screams patriarchal ideals and put pressure on him to uphold "traditional" masculine roles. The Uchiha clan makes up the police force of Itachi's village, and his father is the chief. He was born into an elite clan known for its exceptional fighting skills and overall power, and he himself was considered among the most gifted of the members in his lifetime.

Throughout the show, it is referenced (sometimes explicitly, sometimes subtlely) that Itachi does not understand why gender-based assumptions are placed on him, and that he wishes to uphold his own ideals as a persxn rather than as "a man". Many expectations are placed on him, like that he is supposed to contribute to "protecting" his family (what men are supposed to do; what boys are raised to do). Since being a good fighter is seen as more manly/more acceptable for males, and Itachi is blessed with skills to the level that he is referred to constantly as either a "genius" or a "prodigy", generally masculine characteristics are often either assumed of him or otherwise expected from him, despite his personal distance from such notions. It appeared to me from throughout the entire show that Itachi never understood gender roles/expectations; he just saw people as people.

It was imposed upon him from the time he was a child that he, a male, must protect his family through use of physical force, so he dedicated his life to honing his fighting skills in order to follow the path he was allowed to take. This was in order to both keep his loved ones safe and do his due diligence as the police chief's eldest son. Truth be told, he never wanted to fight in the first place, but the rigidity of the system ruled by toxic masculinity surrounding him left him with no choice.

By the time he was 13, he had learned a great deal about the world and about love, and his love had grown to be shared with his entire village, rather than just his family. As he grew, however, his family planned to stage a (what would definitely be violent) coup d'etat in order to gain power in their village. Because his father was leading this "revolution", Itachi was expected to serve as his right-hand man, because that was his duty as a son and as a man of the Uchiha clan. Caught between his village and his family, he was forced to make a choice as to which side of the carnage he would be on. Manipulated by these gender norms (which, to me, seem reminiscent of male gender norms I've seen my whole life in the U.S.), his options were to either help commit violence on a mass scale against an innocent village with whom he shared his heart, or turn on his own family and shed their blood instead. Essentially, it was a choice between turning on his family or help to start a war which would result in far more casualties (of people who were innocent as opposed to the Uchiha, who were seeking blood to gain power).

The fact that masculinity put him in this place to begin with, that any of this was expected of him, that masculinity's desire for power (especially through physical violence) was responsible for so much bloodshed is something that rings universal to me. Though this is fictional and though this is a Japanese show, this reads to me as a global issue. The template is toxic masculinity and the ink used to fill that template in is the blood, sweat, and tears of people masculinity claims as its victims.

Are fraternities going too far?

College campuses, like University of Michigan, have seen a rise in toxic Greek life behavior, more specifically within their fraternities. The degree of hazing seems to be sending more men to the hospital after serious injury with that specific university citing more than 30 hospital transports during one game weekend. Why is it that men haze one another in a more violent way than women? This year alone there have been deaths at Florida State University, Louisiana State University, and Texas State University that occurred due to fraternity hazing. This idea that men have to be tough in order to be cool seems to play a large role here. In order to make it into a highly sought-after position in a fraternity it seems as though eighteen-year-old college students must prove that they can drink incredible amounts of alcohol and withstand large amounts of torture. It appears as though there is a “tough guy” mentality that runs deep in fraternities across the US and students are dying due to it's perpetuation.

 Colleges are suspending Greek life. Don’t expect the ban to last.

Who owns the guns in the US?

As I get to know more men in their twenties to forties I realized that many of them own guns. Not only do they own guns but they have had their guns either on their person or in the car at some point in time while I was out in public with them. Comparatively, I cannot name a single female I know who has a gun license let alone carries a gun. Upon looking up gun ownership in the US, I found an article from Pew Research Center that states that males make up 62% of gun owners in the US. It also went a little further and pointed out the differences in the way men and women approached gun ownership. It seems as though the majority of women own guns strictly for protection whereas most men also cited recreation as a reason why they might own a gun. Most men tend to have their guns loaded and readily available in their home while less than half of the female gun owners indicate that they have their guns loaded and available at home. Men are also more likely to get their first gun at a significantly younger age than women. This research indicates that men are more involved gun owners when it comes to going to the shooting range, carrying their weapons, and watching television about guns. For most male gun owners this seems to be almost like a lifestyle as opposed to a method of protection. 

Pew Research Center: How male and female gun owners in the U.S. compare

The story behind male rompers?

Image result for male romper meme 

The male romper craze that has been happening has anyone to took the time to see that rompers are worn by prisoners for decades?