Thursday, September 29, 2011

Congratulations, Television! You Are Even Worse At Masculinity Than Femininity

Click the title for a link to a great NPR article on the ineffective representation of masculinity in television. It mainly critiques a new show, How to Be a Gentleman, that premieres on CBS tonight and literally is about one man training another to be a "real man". I can't think of anything more pertinent to this class!

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

My Love Hate Relationship With Feminism

Today has been a tough day for me. I have a lot of anger, better explained as rage, directed to men. Before this class I was one of those people that rationalized masculinity and its oppressive nature as "boy will be boys" and "this is how men act". I am not going to go into detail of where most of this anger originated, but to provide some background from the age of 7 i promised myself I would not be "that girl". The images of women I had were very feminine, loving, and strong women but at the same time inferior. From this age I knew I would not have a man dictate how I live my life. I remember the exact day where the seed to this rage was planted and from this day on I became power hungry. I wanted control. I wanted independence. I did not want to be weak therefore I could not be feminine.

Fast forward to the present I have not done so bad for myself. The point I wanted to make is that after taking this class I have become more deeply disgusted with the system/society that has allowed these ideas of masculinity to dominate. I am now concious that instead of rebelling to this gendered image of a female I have done nothing more than attempt to be more masculine. And well we have thoroughly discussed and will continue to discuss how oppressive our American culture has constructed masculinity.

I love this class because I am learning. I love this class because I am becoming more aware. I love this class because it is relevant. I feel priveleged to say that I am receiving the type of college education that many of my peers miss out on. Then again I hate this class because the behavior that I used to excuse is now something I can no longer tolerate. I hate that I can no longer be one of the boys without being disgusted by how many of "my boys" think, speak, live! Days like this I love/hate everything that I have learned. I have a stronger drive to become an activist, but a deeper confusion of who I am or need to be.

Dr. Pepper is Not for Women

Advertising executives sit around all day trying to think of clever ways to get consumers to buy their product. Dr. Pepper TEN should be easy enough. It's Dr. Pepper! With ten calories! Luckily, in America, we love learning new ways to lose weight. Ta-dah! Easy sell, right?

It must be much more complicated than I thought. For you see, Dr. Pepper TEN is not for women. The site doesn't say why. I can only imagine that should a woman take a swig of Dr. Pepper TEN, she'll have sudden desires for motorbikes, wrestling, and beer, and that would ruin everyone's precious sensibilities of masculinity and femininity. On a lark, I'll take a guess that Dr. Pepper TEN plans on advertising itself as a MAN's drink. Since, you know, men and women are the only genders to exist in the lovely binary paradise that is commercials.

If you think that Dr. Pepper TEN can, in fact, be consumed by women, here's some ways to contact customer service.

Telephone: 1-800-696-5891

Online Customer Service Form:

Also, ladies? Feel free to ride motorbikes, watch wrestling, and drink beer. It's all good.

"Straight White Male" by Andrew Jackson Jihad

Alright guys, I was at a show tonight and one of the bands, Andrew Jackson Jihad, played a song that fit beautifully with a lot of what we talk about in class. I've provided a link to a youtube video of the song if you click the title of this post. The quality isn't great, so if you have a service like spotify that might be a better option. Here are the lyrics (and fyi, there are some swears in case that bothers you):

I am white and I've got everything I need.
No one clutches their purse when they're in a room alone with me
and I can drive through any neighborhood
I please at any hour and the police don't do a thing.

So if I see a penny on the ground,
I leave it alone or fucking flip it.
I'm a straight white male in America.
I've got all the luck I need.

I'm a guy getting paid more than a girl with a degree
and I can walk down the street at night and no one wants to rape me.
And I can get a girl pregnant and just as easily flee.
Just like my straight, white male dad did to me.


I've got a pile of broken mirrors and I'm walking under ladders
and I'll spill a ton of salt because to me that doesn't matter.
'Cause my skin and my gender and my orientation
are the best things to have when you live in this nation.
I recommend it highly.


Shit's gonna work out for me.
I'm a straight white male in America.
I've got all the luck I need.

Monday, September 26, 2011

As With Most Men

Click the link to watch Mark Gonzalez's spoken word piece 'As With Most Men'.

Here's a transcript for those that need it:

"As with most men it is easier for me to give hugs than to accept them

Lest the truth be known that men are nothing more than emotional sky-scrapers built with glass infrastructures spray painted the colour of steel and nick named strength

Strange isn’t it?

What walking contradictions are we called men

Men are taught to colonise at the age of 5 through gangs like cops and robbers, cowboys and Indians

At the age of 8 we are given helmets, and told to
hit each other in the head with it, bleed but do not bleed, cut but do not cry, be a man, join the military, die for your country

And if death comes to you look it in the eye and say “bring it on motherfucker I fear nothing…but intimacy”

When it comes to intimacy men quiver like fault lines,
crumble like cities

What walking contradictions are we called men.

Men sign peace accords while abusing their wives, Accept the Nobel Peace Prize while reducing health care, Pledge to rid the world of terrorism while simultaneously denying government aid to any country that defends a woman’s right to choose

During the 1970s, the US government forcibly sterilized an estimated 50% of the indigenous population of America’s mid-west, telling them the process was reversible.

Can you say ‘biological terrorism’?

And in a global war against terror maybe testosterone is the real terrorist

And if so, how many of these star spangled singing,
flag waving citizens would continue to do so if terror was not racialised. But gendered?

Would the US military turns its guns on itself
For its sex crimes throughout South East Asia, Africa and the Americas?

Would MTV be firebombed for its objectification, hypersexualisation of our womens of colour’s bodies?

Would we stop looking towards the Muslim world for misogyny and instead turns our sights to Madrid, Montreal, New York Los Angeles

And now I understand my sisters when they say “every woman has a story that’s been told a maximum of once or maybe less”

And that is why you will never hear me call a women slut, bitch or dyke. No matter what she does. Cuz I do not blame her.

I blame the men who have emotionally and physically raped her. I blame these corporations whose images tell her they hate her. And I put my arms on her shoulder and tell her how grateful I am to God that she created her.

Men take note this is how you give love this is how you receive hugs

Press flesh to flesh ‘til breasts crumple

Like emotional origami."

Are Men Finished?

Found this the other day. You can read the transcript of the debate by clicking on the link at the left (it's in a PDF format). Does anybody else have thoughts on the debate?

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Allowing Teenage Boys to Love Their Friends

I found this article on the New York Times website. The article discusses the book "Deep Secrets: Boys' Friendships and the Crisis of Connection" by NYU professor Dr. Niobe Way. The article highlights boys fear for being seen as "too girly" or gay for expressing or feeling attachments to one another. The article also notes boy's lack of expression of vulnerability and how these stereotypes are reinforced in our society- it reminded me a lot of the "Dude, You're a Fag" article we read for class from "Men's Lives". Dr. Way's book is a compilation of 20 years of interviews and reminded me of a format similar to "Men Speak Out". Exciting news is that it is ALREADY being taught at three different schools and required reading for faculty at another- just one step closer to exposing and dismantling patriarchy's harsh effects on men and boys and solving the male crisis.

Hip-Hop has translators!

Just in case you always wanted to know what was really being said during a rap battle, Two guys figured out a way to do so. Funny or stereotypical? You decided.
Hip Hop Translation

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Caveman Rationale

In watching the series premiere of the new sitcom, Whitney, I thought it was very interesting to come across this reference to caveman masculinity.  I always thought, after reading the Caveman Masculinity article, that this was something relatively common and very interesting, but I have never noticed it so much in popular culture until now! This man's rationale is seriously flawed, as he implies that men are inherently against monogamy. I do love how Whitney's boyfriend replies to his ignorance, though!


"If cavemen were monogamous, there would only be like six people."

Friday, September 23, 2011

The Short Man Stigma

Thought I'd post this interesting Bitch Magazine article. It discusses the gap in pay for short men when compared to that of taller and average men. It also briefly discusses the social stigma and, often, demasculization of shorter men.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

The Role of Hip Hop (Or Lack Thereof) in My Life

Last night in my Theories of Masculinity class, we discussed black masculinity and subsequently discussed the effect of hip hop music on the black community and the world and vice versa. One of the topics brought up was the staggering percentage of white hip hop consumers. As I think about a few of my white friends, I realize how much they utilize rap in their everyday lives. They freely use the word "nigger" in the "rap context." While I am positive they understand the historical context of the word and that they are not attempting to use it in that way, it still agitates me. Why must we continue to use words that have the ability to subjugate a group?

Granted, I have never been a hip hop fan because of the sexist statements that emanate from the music (at least most of the music I have heard). Also, I have and never will be a proponent of the word "nigger" being used by anyone because of the hurtful historical connotations (once again, i am sure that not all of the rappers utilize this term). These reasons have always been my central reasons for trying to ignore the music. However, while I understand that some rappers do express their previous upbringing or lifestyle, their statements perpetuate themselves throughout the global community. The idea that scantily clad women and "bling" are upheld as the ultimate representatives of a man's worth is devastating and sad. It is not a healthy message to perpetuate ONE image of black men and women.

These images of rappers are circulated everywhere from television to video games. In fact, as I watch a couple of friends play a rap karaoke video game that plays the song with the corresponding music video, I am totally disgusted. While many of the words are cut out, the images are still present. Furthermore, it has a "Teen" rating which means that any child could convince his or her parent to buy the game. Beyond that, any child could just go on YouTube and hear the uncut version of the song. This is one of the negatives and positives to the global community we live in. Easy access.

Friday, September 16, 2011

UCF Men Can Stop Rape Facebook Page

Join our NEW Facebook Group!

Being Gay in the Hip Hop Community

"To date, there hasn't been a single mainstream rapper to publicly state that he or she is gay or bisexual."

This article talks about coming out as gay within the Hip Hop Community. While it generally reiterates issues we've already spoken about in class, I was particularly glad to see the call on the Hip Hop community to be more receptive to homosexuality. It directly points out that more people would come out and be true to themselves if the community was more receptive and compassionate. It's the responsibility of the community to make a safe safe for people to be themselves... we cannot expect the individual to put themselves in a dangerous situation just for the sake of "coming out."

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Bisexual Men Walk Among Us

Shocking, isn't it?

Although a study in 2005 said that there wasn't sufficient evidence to prove the existence of bisexual men, new research has been put forth to suggest that they do, in fact, exist.

It took six years, sure, but it's good to know that science no longer erases the sexual orientation of very real men.

In Marcus C. Tye's essay "Bye-Bye Bi? Bailey, Biphobia, and Girlie-Men", the writer notes the shortcomings of the 2005 study and its media coverage. The media seemed rather keen on shoving the straight-gay binary and completely ignoring the fluidity of sexuality.

Okay, it's 2011, a new study has been released and NYT has published an article that addresses the existence of bisexual men. All good, yes? Perhaps. But the scientific method of gauging one's sexual orientation by how the subject tests' penises react to different types of porn is still limiting.

The president of the Bisexual Resource Center in Boston, Ellyn Ruthstrom, says it best with her quote in the NYT article:
“This unfortunately reduces sexuality and relationships to just sexual stimulation. Researchers want to fit bi attraction into a little box — you have to be exactly the same, attracted to men and women, and you’re bisexual. That’s nonsense. What I love is that people express their bisexuality in so many different ways.”
It's great that bisexual men exist, scientifically speaking. Nonetheless, we still might want to reevaluate how we quantify or measure sexual orientation.

Perhaps in another experiment, we can study the existence of Women's Studies majors. I've already got a great headline: Philosophy, Political Science, or Lying?

Thursday, September 8, 2011

My boyfriend shared this with me tonight because he was shocked at how offensive it was. So I thought I'd share it here.

There's quite a few other videos along the same "manbulance" theme. My main thought on this whole advertising strategy is (other than finding it offensive) that I'm confused as to why a company would willingly alienate a huge product base? Are women incapable of eating a slim jim?

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Black Stacey; Saul Williams

I'm what you call a "shower performer." I entertain entire Broadway musicals in my bathtub. It's a fucking production--lights, props, curtain call and all. But tonight, instead of my usual line up of whimsical, feel-good, all-the-world-is-candy-and-rainbows line up, I found myself humming along to Black Stacey. Maybe it's all the man-talk lately, but I've definitely been gravitating towards this song for the past couple of days.

I'm a huge fan of Saul Williams. If you haven't seen any of his other work, I highly recommend doing a quick youtube search. I DARE you not to love this man. (Note: It's very difficult, if not entirely impossible)

Lots of ideas regarding masculinity, black-male identity. Best of all, it's a call to action.


I used to hump my pillow at night
The type of silent prayer to make myself prepare for the light
Me and my cousin Duce would rank the girls between one and ten
And the highest number got to be my pillow's pretend
Now I apologize to every high ranker
But you taught me how to dream and so I also thank you
I never had the courage to approach you at school
We joked around a lot and I know you thought I dressed cool
But I was just covering up
All the insecurities that came bubbling up
My complexion had me stuck in an emotional rut,
like the time you Flavor Flav'd me and you played me
"Yo Chuck,
They say you're too black, man."
I think I'm too black
Mom, do you think I'm too black? I think I'm too black
I think I'm too black,
I think I'm too black, black, black, black, black

Black Stacey
They called me Black Stacey
I never got to be myself 'cause to myself I always was
Black Stacey
In polka dots and paisley,
A double goose and Bally shoes,
You thought it wouldn't phase me
I was Black Stacey
The preacher's son from Haiti
Who rhymed a lot and always got
The dance steps at the party
I was Black Stacey
You thought it wouldn't faze me, but it did
'Cause I was just a kid

I used to use bleaching creme
'Til Madame CJ Walker walked into my dreams
I dreamt of being white and complimented by you,
But the only shiny black thing that you liked was my shoes
Now, I apologize for bottling up
All the little things you said that warped my head and my gut
Even though I always told you not to brag
About the fact that your great grand mother was raped by her
Slave master

Yeah, I became militant too
So it was clear on every level I was blacker than you
I turned you on to Malcolm X and Assata Shakur
Iin the three quarter elephant goose with the fur
I had the high top fade
Wwith the steps on the side
I had the two finger ring, rag top on the ride
I had the sheep skin, name belt, Lee suit,
Kangol, acid wash, Roscoe's chicken and waffle.

Black Stacey
They called me Black Stacey
I never got to be myself 'cause to myself I always was
Black Stacey
In polka dots and paisley,
A double goose and Bally shoes,
You thought it wouldn't phase me
I was Black Stacey
The preacher's son from Haiti
Who rhymed a lot and always got
The dance steps at the party
I was Black Stacey
You thought it wouldn't faze me, but it did
'Cause I was just a kid

Stick up, ha ha ha stick up
Stick up, ha ha ha stick up
They say I'm too black
They say I'm too black

Hold up, y'all
Here we go

Now here's a little message for you
All you balla playas got some insecurities too
That you could cover up, bling it up
Cash in and ching ching it up
Hope no one will bring it up
Lock it down and string it up

Or you can share your essence with us
'Cause everything about you couldn't be rugged and ruff
And even though you tote a glock and you're hot on the streets
If you dare to share your heart, we'll nod our heads to its beat
And you should do that, if nothing else, to prove that
A player like you could keep it honest and true
Don't mean to call your bluff but
mothafucka that's what I do
You got platinum chain then, son,
I'm probably talking to you
And you can call your gang, your posse and the rest of your crew
And while you're at it, get them addicts and the indigent, too
I plan to have a whole army by the time that I'm through
To load their guns with songs they haven't sung, like,

Black Stacey
They called me Black Stacey
I never got to be myself 'cause to myself I always was
Black Stacey
In polka dots and paisley,
A double goose and Bally shoes,
You thought it wouldn't phase me
I was Black Stacey
The preacher's son from Haiti
Who rhymed a lot and always got
The dance steps at the party
I was Black Stacey
You thought it wouldn't faze me, but it did
'Cause I was just a kid

Black Stacey
They called me Black Stacey
I never got to be myself 'cause to myself I always was
Black Stacey
They call me Black Stacey
Ah, Black Stacey
Ooh, Black Stacey
Ooh, Black Stacey
Move Black Stacey
Shake Black Stacey
Make Black Stacey
Cry, cry
No, not I.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Bronzi di Riaci

Here are the Italian "male ideal" statues referenced in class tonight... Google "bronzi di riaci" for more. I am going to read more about them before commenting but wanted to post the pics I found while we were still thinking about Mr. Perrotte's talk about Italian masculinity (which I would love to hear your thoughts on, by the way).

Surprise--Another Sexist Ad from a Beer Company

Well isn't this lovely? Dr. Santana (Director of Women's Studies at UCF) spoke last week about gender and advertising and brought in several sexist ads for discussion--including this one. I'm linking it to an article which briefly discusses/critiques it, but it reminded me of our discussion about "caveman masculinity" and a comment in tonight's class about colonialist-inspired masculinity. Unfortunately one does not have to look far to find ads as explicitly offensive as this, even--or maybe especially--today. This saddens me not only because I am reminded of how socially acceptable sexism and racism continue to be, but also because I actually enjoy Dos Equis and now I am going to have to stop drinking it. Put your money where your mind is. Write letters. Tell your friends. Be critical consumers.

Monday, September 5, 2011



From the director, Krista Amico: 
"After working on The Vagina Monologues for three years, I began to discover that, although Eve Ensler’s fight for women was very successful, the issues faced by today's women now differ from those at time The Vagina Monologues was composed. Written in the 1980’s and primarily focusing on middle-aged women, The Vagina Monologues has made its rounds. It’s time for the younger generation to speak up about current issues; not just women on women's issues, but people on gender issues. Times have changed. Women have come a long way in the fight for equality. But progress has not fully erased issues of sexism and gender bias. Changing times bring changing problems. It’s time to discuss those problems. It’s time to whip out the “no-no-not-at-the-dinner-table” conversations. The F Word is about redefining current women's issues within our college community, about giving everyone a chance to speak out. The purpose of the show is to open up a dialogue about these often unspoken concerns, as well as bring to light the many different programs provided to offer aid for such problems. Just like Eve Ensler, we want to reclaim a word. This time, the word is 'feminist.' We want to hear what you have to say. So spread the word. The F-Word."


We are looking for any and all commentary pertaining to modern women's issues. If you have something to say on the subject, please tell us, be it an inspiring, life-changing, or downright hilarious story. All perspectives are wanted and welcome: male, female, transgender, straight, bi, and every color of the rainbow. What issues are still relevant today? What is feminism now? What does feminism mean to you? Using these anonymous submissions, our creative team can gather a broader understanding of the outlooks on current women's issues within our university. The stories that you share with us will be used to create a devised play, called The F Word as a reference to the taboo surrounding the word 'feminism.' The show's goal is to reflect contemporary women's issues that occur every day on our campus and in our lives. We want to give the community a voice.

Drop off your stories in the locked boxes located on the first floor of Colbourn Hall 118 or catch up in front of the Student Union on Wednesday with NOW. This is a safe place in which to express yourself freely. There is no need to censor. Your stories will be kept completely anonymous. The locked boxes are picked up every day and your stories go straight to the stage manager and director, after which they will be placed into a submissions file. 
If you would rather email your submission, you can directly email the director:

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Music and Masculinity

In researching popular culture/music and masculinity for one of next week's readings, I came across an interesting article regarding masculinity in popular music. I just thought I'd share a link to this article, which is interesting and also poses a different perspective about masculinity and music. The author, Cristophe Den Tandte looks also at the idea of the male homosocial within popular music/culture.

The article is titled "From Craft to Corporate Interfacing: Rock Musicianship in the Age of Music Television and Computer-Programmed Music," by Cristophe Den Tandte. You can find this article through the UCF Library Database systems (MLA International Bibliography or JSTOR). Just search the author's name and/or the title of the article. The first one or two sections are about masculinity and music.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Neuroscience: A Connection Between Sex And Gender

In this article scientists look at brain activity and hypothesize that there is a link between an individuals sex and the way they think/act. Their findings support the idea that in parts what we constitute as gender may be biological. Their research is restricted by the use of MRI scanners and PET machines that are immobile. The subjects are then given scenarios and are not taking part in real life events. Continued research would be interesting. How much of what different sexes think is linked to biology and how much is it taught? While reading this I wondered maybe males use different parts of their brains because they are socialized to think a certain way from birth.
What do you think?