Saturday, December 8, 2012

Rethinking Masculinity

   Often throughout this course, I've been thinking on ways to solve many of the problems masculinity creates.  How can we do this by allowing men to keep things about their identity?  Now I'm not saying that we should try to keep sort of the negativity with those traits, but we can we do create a new identity for men while still the uniqueness of their sex.  What are some of the things could masculinity keep that can allow for a healthier environment.  Because in the readings masculinity can't even be defined by certain physical traits because those are culture specific?  Which breaks this down even further.  Should we value gender expression any different because as men, women, anything in between or completely different we all identity as something.  How we express that is completely different.   Should the struggle in the future to promote non oppressive forms of gender expression, and what could that look like?  I guess time will only tell.

Prison Industrial Complex

  Something that comes up quite often in the news when the legislative cycle becomes active again we hear a few words: education, healthcare, and  corrections.  One of those things contributes to many systems of racism, violence, and brutality in this state and it isn't education or healthcare.  Why I speak about this is because of Privatized Prisons.  Now why is it a problem to privatize prisons?  It makes crimes and turns them into profit for any given company, this is because the majority of these contracts make it so that they have to have a occupancy rate that's close to 90% at all times.  This makes them lobby the state government to target some of the people who are the most disadvantaged in society and make sure to target them for insanely little things which does two things.  It prevents them from having a voice in society by preventing them to vote to change these laws and it creates a school to prison pipeline to many of florida's youth which only continues the cycle of violence. 

Trans* Health Care

I got into activism around Trans* issues after two of my closest friends came out as Trans* roughly around the same time.  Normally I don't really touch on this subject too often, but lately the subject has been coming up around the subject of health care and equal access.  Because of how the standard of care for trans folks (WPATH) is structured up until recently, most Trans* people can't have access to hormones without going to therapy for about a year.  Granted they recently changed that, but because it, it causes a lot of stress on most people going through the process because for some reason adults can't make their own decisions about their own bodies.  Some places called informed consent clinics due exist which allow Trans* people access without going through the vast amount of counseling that's required which saves them time and money.  Sadly this doesn't exist in the State of Florida right now, so the problem of access comes up quite often, and since there's no one to tackle this issue in this state it becomes pretty difficult for Trans* folks to be even be able to live in this state.

Supreme Court to Hear DOMA/Prop 8 Case

Just a bit of an update on that.  One of my hobbies is constitutional law, and I wanted to give a brief analysis on the upcoming case.  Basically it's looking rather good for striking down DOMA as it stand right now considering Justice Kennedy was the swing vote in Lawrence v. Texas, but it's not so clear what the ruling will actually bring.  They have an opportunity to bring a rather wide interpretation to the DOMA case which I see as the least likely thing to happen because of a few factors.  One being that Justice Roberts would probably also swing in favor of striking down DOMA as it stands because he would be able to assign who writes the decision of the court.  Which would result in a 6-3 ruling, and he would probably go for the interpretation that government can't discriminate, but as it currently stand he'll probably leave it up for the state to decide.  There's also a off chance that he might just make a wide interpretation allowing the marriage equality on a national level, simply because the supreme court doesn't like hearing the same case twice, and it  will come up again if the likely outcome of the case would happen.

Violence Against Women Act

The Violence Against Women Act is up for renewal in Congress.  Many conservative republicans are against the act, some claiming that it promotes divorce and man-bashing.  The current issue is that Joe Biden wants to extend the act to include same-sex couples, Native Americans, and illegal immigrants.

As of yesterday, it has been reported that House Majority Leader Eric Cantor will agree to renew the act if they exclude some rights to Native American women who are victims of violence by non-Native American men. 

The rate of domestic violence, rape and murder of Native American women is horrifying.  And the fact that anyone can look at the statistics and try to deny these women human rights is appalling.

You can read more here


Who's to blame for violence against women?

This is a clip from Fox News where a debate about gun control turns into a discussion about women protecting themselves from violence from "larger, more powerful" men.  What I find scary about this clip is that the only female involved in the discussion states that women need to "make better decisions" to avoid violence.  The focus is about how women bear the responsibility of protecting themselves, not on how men should not be committing violence against women.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

TEDtalk on Gender Dysphoria

The Video

Alex gives a rather informative lecture on the gender continuity that even though I didn't post during the discussion of queering masculinity I feel gives an adequate education on what it's like to be transgender through the lecture.  The subject of Gender hasn't really been touched on to recently by the TEDtalks excluding the TEDxWomen conference would actually touched on several subjects of sexism in online communities.

Awareness is one of those things that's rather important to the Trans* community, because not a lot of people are even aware of their existence within some LGBTQ groups which blows my mind.

Monday, December 3, 2012

Modern Threats to Manliness




Even though I already made my 5 contributions, I really wanted to share yet another Cracked article I had been reading for my own leisure. It deals with how certain things affect testosterone production in men and how many habits that we have may be detrimental to the production of this chemical thereby reducing our ‘manliness’. It is a humor article but it does cite its sources and while the information itself is medically interesting if you particularly like the subject of hormones, I think that the most interesting part is what the humor inadvertently displays. Many jokes are cracked that a lack of testosterone is threatening, to the point where diabetes seems like it may be worth it. It also illustrates many stereotypes and notions of manliness. For example, it talks about how low carb diets and high protein diets are definitely manly but reduce testosterone. It’s interesting to see the countless ways in which the article simply assumes that there are certain things unrelated to our sexuality (such as preference in food) that go hand in hand with our masculinity nevertheless.
http://www.cracked.com/article_20133_5-reasons-modern-life-driving-manliness-to-extinction_p2.html

The War on Men




This is an article on Fox News’ opinion page by a woman who speaks about how feminism has actually hurt heterosexual relationships. The article cites polls that show that males have decreased their desiring for marriage while females have increased theirs. The article says that males crave their rightful place as the head of households and simply want to provide for their families because that’s their nature.  One of the more notable parts to me was when the author mentioned that through feminism, women have gotten off the pedestals they were convinced they did not have in order to topple men from their own, leaving them with no place in society. I think it is interesting to see that people still believe that inherent to masculinity is the dominance within a heterosexual relationship and that males simply lose their place when confronted with an egalitarian proposition. It was also striking that the author noted that many males complained that women aren’t women anymore. Patriarchy has some very blatant benefits, but could it really be that so many males are happy to knowingly give women the shorter end of the stick (though the article argues that women get a different but equal place) in order to preserve these benefits? I find it a bit insulting toward men and it troubles me that some people still view masculinity in this light and even worse, applaud it.
I share this article that I very much, as I suspect a lot of you will too, disagree with because a lot of the time when dealing with gender issues in most classes. We tend to mostly read literature that favor feminism but I think that it is important to hear an opposing view, if for nothing else, to exercise our critical thinking muscle.
http://www.foxnews.com/opinion/2012/11/24/war-on-men/#ixzz2DunwgFlT

female masculinity

Finally, I would like to share this beautiful 
montage of female masculinity by Meiko Elias.  

Another video discovered via research that I failed to share earlier-lol! I find these women incredibly brave to enact their gender as they see fit and are most comfortable with.  Initially, I thought that drag kings were the only women to completely immerse themselves into the posturing, dress, and style of the brand of masculinity we see in this video.  

However, these are not simply "butch women"- they are women who gender identify as this particular construction of masculinity: 
amazingly beautiful and infinitely courageous.



Masculinity in Disney

Unsure as to why I have not been sharing my research along (lol) I thought this student project surrounding masculinity in Disney films should be shared here. For me, I have been so fixated on "undoing" the effects of unattainable images that my nieces get from these films, that I have rarely focused on the masculinity viewpoint as it concerns my nephews.  Nonetheless, I have become more aware of the socialization of my nephews as of late and was researching this a few months ago.  The creator and narrator of the short points out that in the end, these films wind up "leaving many boys feeling physically inadequate and emotionally detached".



note the bodies of all family members: the daughter is super thin the mother is shapely 
the father is huge and the son is following suit



the importance of not dismissing violence against men...

It is easy to get caught up in the fact that heterosexual men are statistically more likely to be the perpetrators of violence domestic or sexual violence. However, I feel it is really important to point out that men can be the victims of violence by women and gay or transgender men and women can be the victims of violence by other men and/or women as well.  Most often, this is sexual abuse by women to boys- not that it is statistically common but it is real and does not lessen the pain and destruction that boys (that grow into men) experience.  Men are less likely to report domestic violence or if they do, they are often not taken seriously on the grounds of acting "like a woman" or "not being man enough" to "handle your woman" or any other stereotype of hegemonic masculinity. As feminists, I think it is our duty to not be dismissive of these men and their experiences. Here are some sources for men who are dealing with the fallout of sexual abuse as a child or otherwise and domestic violence.







Why We Need to Reimagine Masculinity

http://www.thedailybeast.com/newsweek/2010/09/20/why-we-need-to-reimagine-masculinity.html via @newsweek

Misogyny in Rap Music

http://jmm.sagepub.com/cgi/content/long/12/1/3

On Being Inspired...

The film "War Zone" by Maggie Hadleigh-West really inspired me to confront men on the street about how they treat women, both in regard to myself and other females. This weekend I went out to one of the local bars and vowed to respond to and acknowledge remarks made to me and other women by strange men.

Well, as fate would have it I was spoken to by males I didn't know. Some said, "hey girl!" or "hello beautiful", and the occasional "hey...hey...HEY!" to get my attention. To their surprise, I reciprocated their cat-calls with exactly the same language and attitude that they initially directed towards me. I responded with, "hey boy!" and "what's up lil' mama?"...their faces were priceless. Men really detest when women do not adhere to the precedent placed on socialized silence. They expected passivity in an area usually reserved for shy smiles, frowns, or a frustrated blush. I saw another woman being harassed by three male individuals who were all trying to get her number at once, yet, she did not appear to know them. I took her aside and said, "you should give them more information than they truly expect, just start talking about menstruation, ovulation, or any-ation for that matter." I didn't stand around long enough to watch the outcome, but I hope it helped.

Here is another article that discusses cat-calling's irritating effects by Emmie Mears:

She aptly sizes up the harmful effects these types of remarks made towards women and girls in a PG-13 post  that I think all of you will find horrifying but very very informative.

http://emmiemears.com/2012/09/09/why-catcalls-feel-threatening/

Boys and their Toys

While making dinner the other night, my son was at the table playing with his latest toy obsession - Lego Ninjago.  After a quick battle, he turns and says "It's a shame you aren't a boy Mom so you could play with Legos like me."  Needless to say, after I picked up my dropped jaw I responded with "What makes you think that I can't play with Legos because I'm a girl?"  His reply "Well, there aren't any girl Ninjagos."


Later that night, my husband listened to my "rant" as I wondered what it would be like if "girl" shows had more fight scenes in it and superheroines were not only a side note to the popular superheroes.  I love anime, even though I am well aware of their distorted images of male and female bodies, and I find that women are not seen as inferior to men when fighting in anime and it is not uncommon to see a male fight a female, even though the Japanese culture is extremely patriarchal.  What if the content of "boy" shows was replaced with the content of "girl" shows how differently socialized those kids would become?  What if instead of resorting to fighting, the boys talked to each other to work out their problems and if girls were told to combat problems with physical strength?  Since the female body is often portrayed as weaker than a male body, what would the impact on girls be to see buffed female bodies that were confrontational?  Would men still be the main perpetrators of violence?  I wonder....

Touching and insightful Domestic Violence Presentation by Marianna Rader

Them Gays Documentary by Theo Ferguson

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Not Without My Daughter

Not Without My Daughter is a 1984 film. It is based on a true story and I recommend you all to watch it.

Here is the trailer for it =)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-L-Ykkz7AJw

Domestic Violence PSA's around the World

Domestic Violence for both men and women are common.
Here are a few links that show you how each country reacts to domestic violence.

Domestic Violence PSA from Wales
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z6pDemPpJig

Keira Knightly for Women's Aid
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rt7JZSrDJA8

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MyD1lK8qr14&feature=endscreen

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WL3rfk2iFww&feature=endscreen

Australian PSA
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r_lWQJPLd-8&feature=endscreen



What's Wrong with Sluts?

I was reading an interesting article on "Slut Walks" by columnist Melanie Phillips who writes for the website dailymail.com . She wrote a riveting article concerning the stigma attached to women who dress in a "provocative" manner. Slut walks are a response to the idea that women ought to be held to a double standard to men in regard to what they wear. I think Phillip's cheeky piece is a wonderfully balanced social commentary on a very real problem in America. A woman should not be blamed for her own rape for simply wearing clothing. Furthermore, there is a precedent set on teaching women how to NOT BE raped and by far less literature and awareness teaching men how not to RAPE.  Here is the article below:

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/debate/article-2002887/Slut-Walks-prove-feminism-irrelevant-womens-lives.html



Would you let your kid gender-bend for a day?


What Would You Do? is a series that acts out scenes in front of unsuspecting people to see how bystanders would react. Typically they deal with a whole series of social justice issues such as racism or poverty. I stumbled upon this video in which they have a little boy ask his mom if he could be Belle for Halloween because the male characters tend to be too violent and the mom refuses. It is interesting to see that most bystanders actually side with the mom. The bystanders also had a tendency to comment on the fact that you have got to intervene on these behaviors while they are young so that they don't become habits. It was a bit chilling, knowing what I know about gender to see regular people enforcing it in such a blatant manner. It was also interesting to see how the reactions subtly change when the role is reversed toward a girl who wants to be Spiderman.
If you have the spare 7 minutes, I think it is well worth it to watch this video.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e6tW57bmkfY

Trophy Wife

We all either know a trophy wife or secretly may even want to become one. 
I heard about Sandy Riccardi through a friend but never actually saw any of her work. 
She is a comedian and I have to say she is quite hilarious.

She wrote a song called "Trophy Wife" which is sung through the Trophy Wife's perspective. If you have 3:21 seconds to spare, I definitely recommend this video.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HeaUGuoVLtc

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Mansome

Hey everyone, there's a movie on Netflix instant-watch which I would completely recommend. It's called Mansome, it was made by Morgan Spurlock who you may remember from the documentary Super Size Me. Its lighthearted and features many comedians. It deals with men's struggle to define manliness, especially as current times have ushered an era where it is constantly being redefined (like with the metrosexual movement). It includes interviews with experts and men with varying opinions on the matter.
Here's a trailer!
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m8JL78Pf8Ok

Friday, November 30, 2012

Atheism, Feminism and The Bible

 I was browsing random videos on youtube and typed in feminism and the Bible and came across this video.Dr. Ravi Zacharias is a very adamant and profound speaker.

I hope you all enjoy this video =)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wIr_KgaIjMs

Disturbing Abuse Stories

Male Masculinity has opened my eyes to so many new ideas and topics out there in this world. For my service project I volunteered at a Women's Abuse Shelter and it definitely was a life changing experience.
The link on this post is to a website that has true, un-edited stories about women who have gone through it all. Reading through these will make you either cringe, upset, cry or a combination of all three.
I hope this will help you help someone who is going through a tough time.
http://www.womensselfesteem.com/abuseandsurvival.html

More Google Searches

Today I typed the word 'sexy' into Google Images. It brought up approximately 200 images on the first page, with about 10 photos of men. The other 190 were women in almost no clothing and sitting in suggestive poses. The few men that are featured in the images are Brad Pitt, Jay-Z, and Channing Tatum. A few thoughts entered my mind while looking at these images.

First, all the girls look just barely nourished enough. I know very few women who actually look like this. So, what does that say about society's thoughts on sexiness. If sexy is requires eating very little, is that a healthy attitude? Also, do men actually view this as sexy? I imagine they do, but I think they probably also find the women they encounter in their every day lives to be sexy.

The other frustration I felt when looking at the images is that they were nearly all women. Men are sexy as well, but society only emphasizes the sex appeal of women. It creates unrealistic standards for women and takes away the importance of being intellectual, funny, charismatic, etc.

What do you think? Does society put too much pressure on women to be sexy? Do men find these images to be what is sexy, or is their view of sexy more broad?

Gender Stereotypes Over History


Today I am posting yet another Cracked.com article (I promise to post about something else next time!)
This article deals with gender stereotypes through history. Throughout this class we have tried to get a sense for what masculinity is and have looked at the topic from a wide variety of angles. I think this article humorously highlights just how hard it is to define gender and how easily our schemas could go the exact opposite way. While most of its content is shocking, I think that the most shocking part for me was when I read that pink used to considered a manly color while blue used to be considered a feminine color and the roles were only recently reversed. It's interesting to see how many things we take for granted while they truly do not have to be the case.
http://www.cracked.com/article_19780_5-gender-stereotypes-that-used-to-be-exact-opposite.html

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Sexism Ads

In doing research for topics for this blog, I entered the word 'sexism' into Google. Up came an article showing an old ad for Chase and Sanborn coffee. In the ad, a husband is bending his wife over his lap and spanking her for purchasing the wrong coffee. There's so much wrong with the ad, I'm not even sure where to start. First of all, the man is in the power position and 'punishing' his wife with a spanking as some do with children. Secondly, the wife is, of course, the one responsible for doing to grocery shopping. It applies stereotypes to the roles of both the woman and the man. The woman is serving her family, while the husband is in control.

I believe ads like these are still made, just in a less obvious way. Everywhere we look, we are sent messages about what we should be doing in the role of man/woman. So, the sexist message is less blatant, but still exists.

Here is the image:


misogyny & casal



(click link above to listen)
photo: news.wisc.edu



Mixed with the Beach Boy's back beat for "Good Vibrations", Rafael Casal speaks honestly- as he seems to typically do- in his song "Misogyny". Truthful, heartbreaking, and to me frustrating- this song shows how elements of self-image, self-preservation, and misunderstanding collide with socially constructed ideas of gender that only serve to divide- not unify- us as whole.  Casal's willingness to grapple with these issues and speak openly about them in a song is great. I just find it interesting (and frustrating) that it takes a bit to hunt things down like this that question and challenge the hip hop norm of misogyny.....and if you look for the opposite- you will find actual misogyny so easily! grrrrrr......

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

When I became a Man

A video that connected Manhood  it elaborates the Bible’s presentation of masculine v.s Gender today  describing the the interaction between the Creator and the Creation with  in attempting to shed light on Biblical Manhood ...Enjoy    http://youtu.be/QRISRapn4zI

Men Growing Up to be Boys


 The article discuss Madison Avenue  who cultivates a Peter Pan version of masculinity  it talks about  how the era has shifted with  many dominant image of manhood:  http://www.inthesetimes.com/article/2526

Meat & Masculnity


Researchers are finding a link with meat and masculinity they are finding that men who eat steak are more macho vs. men who eat veggie are lame and even correlates with health .
http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/health/2012/05/18/men-meat-and-masculinity-linked/

back off -masculinity-patrol

Decades after women were not allowed to wear pants and play sports;  The  article discuss the dominant discourse on women and gender roles and expectation .Today the  the culture is finally expanding its definition of masculinity. http://prospect.org/article/back-masculinity-patrol

A Husband Accused: Holding His Wife Hostage


Watch Dr. Phil as he interviews  Valerie  who is a victim of domestic violence who says that for nearly four years, her husband, Chris, kept her trapped like a prisoner.  In this video we see the relationship power in terms of both perceptions of absolute power and satisfaction with current relationship power. She suffers after her years of abused.   http://drphil.com/shows/show/1888/

The minimalist guy


 The article discusses going from a minimalst guy into enhancing the power  masculinity it it served as a man-box standard of the enhancement to become more a man ...a stereotypical of gender and sexism ,of http://www.theminimalistguy.com/power-of-masculinity/
Thinking about my own experiences with domestic violence growing up, I can’t help but remember not only witnessing my mother being brutally attacked, but my father as well. We must not only encourage the schooling about woman victims of domestic violence, but also men. Here’s my story: Studying late one night in my room circa 1997, I could hear the arguments of my stepmother and father saturating the air with the intimidating voices calling out to each other. Once again, I try to ignore. Tonight was different. I heard a scream, a male voice calling out for help. I know that the only male in the house is my father. “Call 911”, “Help, she’s attacking me!” my father cried out. I felt numb, helpless, scared. I was a teenager, but already exposed to violence, except in reverse. I couldn’t understand why my father wouldn’t defend himself; I saw it happen before with other couples. My father would not budge; he let her put his hands on him. Strong men do not hit woman, no matter if she is the attacker. My father stayed strong. He finally was able to get to a phone and dialed 911, luckily he did, and I remember something being said about her possibly having a knife. As I looked out the window that dark stormy evening, I saw the blue flashing lights. I saw my stepmother taken away in handcuffs, as she glared back towards the house. The police did right by my father that night. My father stayed strong. He showed that he was a strong and masculine that night, he did not fight back. http://www.batteredmen.com/bathelpnatl.htm

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Meat-eating make Men feel Manly

Stockbyte / Getty Images Man cutting turkey By Maggie Fox NBC News updated 11/21/2012 3:09:00 PM ET Print Font: As red-blooded Americans dig into their Thanksgiving meals this week, it’s safe to say most are eating turkey. It’s also likely there will be some manly activities – watching football, maybe even playing some football. The two aren’t unrelated, says Hank Rothgerber of Bellarmine University in Louisville, Ky. In fact, some research he’s done suggests that eating meat is deeply intertwined with American perceptions of masculinity. “There is a group of manly men who swear off what they call chick food, and they seek a double whopper to declare their manhood,” Rothgerber told NBCNews. “It makes them feel like real men,” he writes in a study published in Psychology of Men & Masculinity, a journal of the American Psychological Association. “Meat consumption is a symbol of patriarchy resulting from its long-held alliance with manhood, power, and virility.” For more of the news story, click on the link below http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/49920136/ns/health/t/why-real-men-eat-meat-it-makes-them-feel-manly/

The sick results of the 'man's world' false paradigm

This is the horror of Southern backwards thinking brought to its logical (err, illogical) conclusion. And THAT'S my problem with the South. We spend so much time patting ourselves on the back for our hubris-laden ignorance, we won't even ad
mit just how twisted and sick are the very cultural foundations of our region.

In contrast—and in an attempt to transcend the Southern folk tradition of the braggart—I won't say anything about the aggressor here; I am certain he will receive his due justice. I only hope that Southerners can take a step back and look at the culture of violence and willful ignorance and just for a moment imagine that young Mallory Owen was your daughter...because she is. She is all of our daughters and we have let her down—BIG TIME.



http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/11/26/mallory-owens-alabama-lesbian-thanksgiving-anti-gay-attack_n_2194044.html

Men: Feminists or Pro-Femenists?

Today, many male activists are considered to be either feminists or or pro-feminists. For many women however, this is disrespectful and unacceptable as they consider it as a disservice to the movement and progression of feminism. The burning question is why? Are women really being mocked by male supporters even though their contributions seem to be helping advance women's rights and equality?The websites below offer their opinions on the matter; by giving a better insight to people's feelings regarding this ongoing debatable issue.

http://www.newstatesman.com/blogs/lifestyle/2012/08/can-men-be-feminists
http://www.opendemocracy.net/5050/gavin-thomson/can-men-be-feminists

Whitney Scott

Are Muslims allowed to beat their wives?

Men should never hit their wives, girlfriends or partners. That is a universal rule every man should follow. A girl attacking a guy physically is not as scary as a guy attacking a girl. I know we are playing a double standard rule but it is true. 
What if a religion tells you, you could go ahead and hit your wife? What if your wife is your property rather than your other half?

The video link provides you with complete understanding of the Muslim religion allowing and encouraging their men to beat their women.

I found this video to be very interesting and gives you an insight inside the Muslim religion. Unfortunately, the video is lengthy but totally worth the 23 minutes. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eI85xl4CCR8

Monday, November 26, 2012

Can a gender-neutral pronoun eliminate the concept of gender?

That's what Sweden has proposed. Sweden is the most gender-equal country in the world, according to the World Economic Fund. Boosting the highest proportion of woman working in the world. In the country's quest to become even more gender-neutral, Sweden has introduced a new genderless pronoun "hen". Instead of referring to people as he (han) or she (hon) people can use the term "hen".

Will this word catch on or will it just lead to more confusion? I guess time will tell. I suppose that the use of the world can help alleviate gender biases when referring to people. For people that have preconceived notions of the sexes, like "women are not as smart as men", perhaps using a genderless word to identify people in texts or dialogue will help prevent people from dismissing certain people simply because of their gender.

This article is almost 8 months old, so I do not know the current status of this issue or if the word has been fully implemented into the Swedish vernacular.

You can read the article here: http://slate.me/IBa37M

'Manliest' Way People Hunt for Food

I am really embarrassed to say that I had completely forgotten about this blog until today when I was double checking the syllabus for the class and had a horrible moment in which I realized that I hadn't kept up with this. Its been a hard semester... but I guess partial credit is better than no credit, right?
Well today I contribute to this blog an article from one of my favorite websites: Cracked.com which outlines some of the 'manliest' ways in which people hunt for food around the world. I found it particularly interesting because despite the fact that the article is meant to showcase manliness, at one specific point (the part about castrating reindeer) they specifically talk about a woman who does the job. I found it interesting that in this case the notion of manliness transcends actual sex/gender but rather stands for things such as risky, tough, bold and other things that I suppose society has taken for granted as being paired with masculinity.

Bit of a warning if you want to click on this link, the article is about hunting animals and does include details that are graphic and uses some foul humor at times. If you are easily offended, I would recommend that you skip the actual article.
http://www.cracked.com/article_20121_the-6-manliest-ways-people-still-hunt-food.html

Sunday, November 25, 2012

A better way to talk about rape

I thought this editorial was refreshing. I get so tired of America's collective past time: judging other people.

http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/donald-dhaene/rape-women-fight_b_2151490.html?utm_hp_ref=fb&src=sp&comm_ref=false#sb=95276,b=facebook

Images

Today I went to Google Images and typed in a few different words to see what would pop up. First, I put in the word 'masculine'. I saw pictures of extremely in-shape and muscular men posing without their shirts and flexing their huge biceps. When I enter the word 'feminine,' pictures of women show up, mostly with pink in the background, and in small bikinis that show off their figures, which of course are thin with big breasts. So, my question is, is being feminine or masculine solely defined by sex appeal and outer appearance? For me, my feminine identity includes fashion, jewelry, and make-up, but even more so it has to do being intelligent, a good mother, level-headed and strong. I enjoy being a woman, I like things that are seen as 'girly,' but I also don't want to be boxed-in  or expected to  be a certain way. I find strong, female athletes to be very feminine and sexy. How do you define your masculinity/femininity or both?

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Sexism, Strength and Dominance: Masculinity in Disney Films

http://youtube.com/8CWMCt35oFY

Friday, November 23, 2012

Chameleon

Rudy Fransisco is a spoken word artist who covers a variety of topics. In this particular piece he touches on our societies twisted views of masculinity and points out the harm that can come from it.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Domestic Violence- thoughts and survey

My Service Learning project for class this semester has revolved around domestic violence. As a wrap up to my project, I created an online survey to analyze others' views and experiences with this issue. It would be great if anyone would quickly fill it out, and it is 100% anonymous! http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/GVPZSR3

Seeing male victims of domestic abuse in the media and online seems to be far less common than seeing female victims of domestic abuse. I'd like to share a Tumblr post a male victim of domestic violence wrote, which has currently received over 48,000 notes and comments on Tumblr. Warning: some of the images attached are graphic. http://an0m0ly.tumblr.com/post/8309236833


Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Police Families and DV

Police Family Violence Fact Sheet Two studies have found that at least 40% of police officer families experience domestic violence,in contrast to 10% of families in the general population. A third study of older and more experienced officers found a rate of 24%, indicating that domestic violence is 2-4 times more common among police families than American families in general. A police department that has domestic violence offenders among its ranks will not effectively serve and protect victims in the community. Moreover, when officers know of domestic violence committed by their colleagues and seek to protect them by covering it up, they expose the department to civil liability. Domestic violence is always a terrible crime, but victims of a police officer are particularly vulnerable because the officer who is abusing them: has a gun, knows the location of battered women's shelters, and knows how to manipulate the system to avoid penalty and/or shift blame to the victim. Victims often fear calling the police, because they know the case will be handled by officers who are colleagues and/or friends of their abuser. Victims of police family violence typically fear that the responding officers will side with their abuser and fail to properly investigate or document the crime. This fact sheet is from the National Center for Women & Policing.For more info their website is: http://www.womenandpolicing.org/violenceFS.asp I feel it is important for these families to get help. There needs to be more counseling available for law enforcement families and perhaps more vigorous training to the officer who abuses. Although there is no excuse for domestic violence, but perhaps we can encourage officers to get adequate help for their issues and also more support for the families affected without fear of repercussion or loss of income. This will serve the public as well, as it may reduce the possibility of police brutality.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Masculinity is not just about gender, according to study

I read an article in "The Times of India" about a study conducted at the Indian Institute of Technology Gandhinagar (IITGN). The study, which comprised of 50 students, showed overwhelming that the majority of students think "masculinity" has more to do with your social influences and behavior. I agree with this. Unlike the previous post I made about the documentary "Mansome" which focuses more on physical characteristics of masculinity, I feel that being a "masculine" person has more to do with how you carry yourself and how you interact with other people. Common stereotypes of masculinity do deal with being a leader of men and a positive role model, but I think the physical attributes associated with masculinity are commonly over emphasized.


You can read the article here: http://articles.timesofindia.indiatimes.com/2012-11-17/ahmedabad/35171341_1_masculinity-iit-gandhinagar-technology-gandhinagar


What's In A Name?

What's in a Name and do males name make them more or less masculine for that matter? Many believe that choosing the right name ultimately determines a males masculinity and the type of person they will be. A brief history of some popular male names is also given to explain the background and importance of each name given. The websites below give a better insight and examples to this topic overall.

http://www.kabalarians.com/cfm/whats-in-a-name.cfm
http://www.esquire.com/the-side/feature/old-fashioned-names-100510

Whitney Scott

Thursday, November 15, 2012



Everybody meet David:

David is another friend of mine that had the "courage" to put on a dress. I know this might seem a tad redundant seeing as my last picture was also a man in women's clothing, but I think I have a progressive idea going. The last individual (his name is Andrew) I blogged about [see October posting] is a heterosexual man, and I attempted to analyze/listen to his attitude regarding wearing female articles of clothing--all of which was very illuminating. However, David is not a "straight" male. Instead, he identifies as "gay", and is living quite contently with his sexuality. I was interested in how David would react to wearing a dress compared to the reaction of a heterosexual guy. I'm aware that not all homosexual males enjoy wearing blouses, skirts, dresses etc...and that there are many strata which construct sexuality and its physiological expression, however, this was a little experiment on my part to understand why one guy would feel more comfortable/less-comfortable than the other. David's reaction being in the dress was, to say the least, nonchalant (if not just plain giddy) and he was visibly more at ease than my initial victim. There was no nervous gait or slightly furrowed brow; only a placid sense of well-being. I suppose it may have coincided with the style of dress selected for each party; Andrew's was shorter and showed more surface area, and David's was long, exposing less skin. But David urged that it's not the "style" (he exclaimed that he would wear a shorter one) but he liked the way the dress felt; the softness of the material.

More to come...




Masculinity

The following is a video I found a Youtube. I found it to be funny and somewhat offensive at the same time. The man in the video believes all men (with the exception of gay men) are sexist by nature and will always look at a woman's breasts before her face. What do you think? Are men born as sexists?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lLAlQKFvdIE

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

"It"

This is one of my personal favorite spoken word performances. While it touches on many different issues it also easily shows how the lines between masculinity and femininity are blurred. It shows that masculinity is not necessarily a trait only of men, but that women can and do possess it too. It also shows the struggles of those who do not feel they fit into this either/or cookie-cutter shape of masculine or feminine.

Monday, November 12, 2012

"Mansome"

I found a trailer for a documentary about male masculinity. I have not yet seen the film, but it seems to be about men and trying to look as physically attractive as they can. I know that there are some men that take grooming a little too seriously. I guess it all comes down to culture and how society says you should appear. A lot of guys I know, don't care too much about what they wear or how they look, at least not to the extreme that some men and a lot of woman do. If I can wipe 90% of your beauty off with a tissue, there's got to be an emotional reasoning behind it, it sure can't be based in reason.

Here is the trailer:





Saturday, November 10, 2012

The Influence of Masculinity in the Presidential Election

Now that the Presidential Election has ended, I am interested on hearing people's views on masculinity regarding our President Barack Obama and fellow candidate  Mitt Romney. During this election, I believe many people took their political stance not only off of their religious beliefs and etc., but of who they thought was a better  leader and exuded masculinity more overall. As a result, I have to question what contribution the media and people's beliefs on masculinity played in this election.




abcnewsradioonline.com
specfriggintacular.wordpres...
 
Whitney Scott

Friday, November 9, 2012

Do we still tend to engender violence and abuse?


(click above links to view)

****BOTH ARE GRAPHIC****

A bus driver is harassed by a passenger and then punches her in the face. He also throws her off the bus- she gets back on and he grabs her by the hair to get her off. As I am watching the argument between them escalate I cannot help but wonder why he did not just stop the bus and tell her to get off. Supposedly, the argument began over non-payment or delayed payment of her fair.  I would imagine that there is procedural ways of handling an irate / non-paying rider.  However, this was not the case.  The two exchanged words as the other passengers videoed, laughed, and commented on what they observed.  Finally another woman went to the front in an attempt to disengage the escalating circumstances; but to no avail she returned to her seat. As insults are hurled back and forth, the woman eventually places her hands on him in some capacity. He reacts by hitting her so hard she falls down.  

I have heard all the arguments for and against the male driver hitting a female passenger. But the angle I wish to take here is more about the fact that what socially constructed masculinity and femininity were at work here as the argument escalated?  You can hear derogatory comments from both parties.  You can hear laughter of the passengers as they passively watch (with the exception of the one woman who tries to intervene).  I wonder who the man in the orange work vest is that he would be standing right next to the driver.  Was he a bus aid? A friend of the driver? A passenger? 

In any case, the driver felt he needed to show power and authority when he chose to treat the woman as he would have treated another man (by his own admission). His choice in displaying his masculinity was still grounded in verbal and physical assault as much as he rationalizes his actions by claiming that if she wanted to act like a man she would be treated like a man. 

Was the passenger acting like a MAN though? 

She was arguing just as much as he was; calling him derogatory names just as much as he was her; and she sought to escalate the conflict with physical violence as he did.  The difference being is that perhaps she did not physically cause pain, but verbally and emotionally she did by taunting him instead of sitting down to ride the bus. 

I do not condone violence nor do I subscribe to the idea that 'she deserved it' (as I have seen and heard a lot of people- male and female- claim). Neither one of them deserved to be the recipient of violence.  But violence is not just physical- it is verbal, emotional, and spiritual at times. 

Was the driver coming from a place of masculinity that dictated he must keep control of his environment with whatever means necessary? Did he feel emasculated by her physical assault? Did he feel the other passengers were viewing him as less than a man because he could not verbally control a woman and her actions? Did he not follow any proper procedural means to remove her because he would have delayed his passengers and they would have complained and /or thought less of him as man and /or a driver?

Was the passenger coming from a place of femininity that dictated she must also control the situation to her benefit by any means necessary? Did she feel the need to prove herself as a woman in front of passengers that were laughing and passively condoning her and the drivers actions? Or did she feel she had to "act like a man" (stereo-typically) and fight with the driver in order to heard or seen?

Do they both have a personal history of dealing with anger and conflict with violence and abuse? People who choose to deal with conflict or anger with violence are not just men- they are women too.  I think that if either one acted out of socially constructed norms surrounding masculinity and femininity as they pertain to strength, control, and power- then they they'd likely rationalize that they did what they both saw fit in an attempt to control the other. I think what additionally speaks volumes is the other passengers apathy insomuch as many were willing to video, comment, and laugh about the violence and none were willing to call the police and report it. 


Further reading 
(which inspired me to look up the details of this conflict):

A website called colorlines.com has a piece in which Akiba Solomon talks about 
gendered violence and  about the "camera phone savagery" that turns "viral".





Thursday, November 8, 2012

Maryland and Maine voters say Yes to same-sex marriage

Voters in Maine and Maryland approved a measure that will allow same-sex couples to marry and be recognized as such under state law. I think that this shows that at least in American culture, the concept of masculinity is changing.  Although it was a close vote, the majority of voters in each state approve of same-sex marriage. Either people are becoming more open and accepting of gay and lesbian couples or with all the hype about the issue in the media that past few years, people are coming "out of the closet" with their acceptance of it, given it's been mostly a taboo issue for such a long time.

But the more I think about it it, the more I wonder. At least when it comes to male couples, does this mean the concept of what masculinity is is changing or do most people still think gay men are less masculine and just don't care about what they choose to do? Biologically it makes no sense, but at least socially it is becoming increasing more acceptable by the mainstream.

You can read an article about this by CNN here: http://www.cnn.com/2012/11/07/politics/pol-same-sex-marriage/index.html


Movemeber

 
I found this video interesting.  It is a video for Movember, a month where men grow mustaches to raise awareness for male cancer.  The actor Nick Offerman suggests "manly" things that men can do to help grow their mustache, like hammering a nail and eating a raw onion.  He also pokes fun at men that cannot grow a mustache, as they are not "manly" enough to do so.

I realize that this video was made in fun and made to support a good cause.  I just wanted to point out that even humorous videos support ideas of maleness that are unrealistic.  Nick Offerman's role on Parks and Recs, RonSwanson, promotes the same idea of this stoic, meat-eating, unfeeling man. 


Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Election News

Once again we find that it is the fast-rising population of voting minorities, young adults and women voters that are deciding the sway of elections.  The first openly gay female senator was elected in Wisconsin and there are more women in Congress that before.  I think it is no surprise to men that women who are better educated and living more independently than in previous generations are demanding issues that affect them be brought to light.  I heard on NPR different views people had about the election results and one reporter mentioned how the Republican party is having difficulty reaching women and minority voters.  Not choosing to start a political debate or party blame, but I have to think that such news cannot be a shock.  Women have made amazing strides in the political arena with the support of men who had the courage to think alternatively.  Women have proven that their issues are issues for everyone and about everyone.  As Gloria Steinem said in her UCF campus visit last month, even something like giving women equal pay for equal work is an economic issue as well as a woman's issue.  And with so many single parents out there, isn't it time that those women working 2 or 3 jobs just to make ends meet could have the equal respect they deserve by enforcing an equal pay?  I am very grateful for the strides we, as a country, have made in exercising our voice as women voters who know the rules as well as what to do about them.  Politicians  cannot hide their true feelings about what issues are important to them and if all this sisterhood can be channeled to political action, then men, step aside for there is some work to be done!

Friday, November 2, 2012

Central Florida 33 arrested: operation strongarm

After doing module 4 homework, This video came to mind and I thought the was almost similar to what the assignment consisted of. Right in your own city, These young black men may not be well known around the world but inspired upcoming artist in gangs. They live they everyday lives preforming gang related acts and eluded acts, also known as rackateering just two weeks ago.



http://youtu.be/zbH31t23ZJc

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Where Does Domestic Violence Come From?

Violence against women is becoming more prevelant in society today due to the repressed emotions of men, as well as the media's and others influenced definition of masculinity. The article below focuses on domestic violence in relation to  a study found regarding why this abuse occurs.


http://researchnews.osu.edu/archive/violstres.htm

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

How Rap Can Help End Rape Culture by Michael Jeffries

Check out this article (and listen to he track) from The Atlantic"Angel Haze is proof that hip-hop can be both a warzone and a weapon, especially for young women of color. Hip-hop has long rewarded artists who break the silence, and that may end up being the case again."

banner_angelhaze.jpg

Bad Bic!

                Thank God I am not the only one who thought this was insane!  I recently saw a clip from the Ellen DeGeneres show where she talks about Bic’s new product, pens for women!  Give that marketing head a huge raise for setting the women’s movement back to when wearing jeans was scandalous!  Pens, yes those writing utensils that will most likely soon be obsolete by the technology craze, are now made specifically for women.  Please note that I myself love to write in the color purple (see?) because it IS my favorite color but I have always bought pens with purple ink that were not labeled “for her” so were those all masculine pens that are now seen as inferior male pens?  As we’ve discussed various stereotypes about masculinity, this exemplifies how completely condescending such stereotypes are – to both men and women!  For all the feminists out there – male, female, and every degree in between and outside – this is insulting.  Feminist men must be bothered to no end by constantly having to stand up to such stupidity – men think only women should write in purple or pink, that the hands of a woman are ergonomically different than those of a man, that women require their own writing utensils, etc.  Feminist women must be bothered to no end by constantly having to fight products that are labeled “for her” only to be the same product in a different color, to be seen as mindless consumers “oh it says “hers” so I know that it must be for me” as if we needed to reaffirm our femininity at the checkout line.  Is this a rant, most likely, but I think it’s long overdue and it should stop before it gets even further out of hand – toilet paper for her (because our behinds are more sensitive), tissues for her (because our noses are more delicate), eating utensils for her (because our hands are so different and the other utensils are probably too heavy anyway for our weak wrists), plates for her (because we eat less in order to maintain our proper weight), paper for her (because nothing says girl like pink scented paper).
While my writing might be angry, I had to laugh at the absurdity of it all. I’m not going to protest Bic with signs and petitions, but I will make my choice where it will hurt them the most – at the checkout line.  To see Ellen’s take, watch the enclosed YouTube clip from her show.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Ellen v. Steve



Tonight PBS showed Ellen DeGeneres receiving the Mark Twain Prize, an award for humor.  One of the people honoring her was the multi-talented Steve Harvey, who made a comment about not having homosexuality as a common denominator, as other guests like Jane Lynch and Lily Tomlin.  It was quite funny as he put out there, “You’re gay. I’m black. I have my own issues to work out.”  He was not saying it meanly, but I don't think he fully understood the repercussions of such a statement.  It reminded me of the difference between White masculinity and Black masculinity, as Reeser states.  I am also reminded of Gloria Steinem’s visit in which she states that all issues are women’s issues.  Her example was how people discuss economic stimulus pros and cons and yet if women across the board truly received equal pay as they are guaranteed by law doing so would provide a much needed healthy economic stimulus. (see http://www.nationalpartnership.org/site/DocServer/Ledbetter_Fair_Pay_Fact_Sheet_2009.pdf?docID=4661).  My mind then races to the coming election and how ideologically driven it has become with what seems like clear lines being drawn by both sides.  I see how dysfunctional politics can be as well as how invisible most of these differences are, until you choose to see them.  I see parallels to how masculinity, regardless of color, is still nevertheless affected by color and I wonder if it will always be a wedge.  Will the world always be so Black/White, Female/Male, Homosexual/Heterosexual, Masculine/Feminine, split by binaries that exist as barriers to peaceful cohabitation.  Will issues of masculinity receive the same light as issues of femininity, finally understanding how the issues are cyclical and interrelated?  I guess I would tell Steve Harvey that while I am not black, I can still fight for his cause because I am a woman and I too know about injustice and stereotyping.  That I too will take up his cause because it is my cause – equality.

Monday, October 29, 2012



Hello everybody! I know there have all ready been pictures posted of men in dresses, but I thought one more couldn't hurt. The back story behind this photo is certainly worth writing about. To start, the individual pictured here is a very good friend of mine. He is a guy that is pretty secure with his sexuality, and didn't have any reservations about dressing in women's clothes; it was after all his Halloween costume. I understand that a lot of men dress in drag or cross-dress to make fun of women in an overt or exaggerated way, but my friend's intentions were much purer than the usual myriad of mindless intention; he portrayed the "female" form with dignity and respect--not steeping to the depths of caricature. When we went out in public, I expected a fair amount of stares or muffled comments of judgement, instead, we encountered smiles and appreciation from men and women alike. I was really taken back by the positive reciprocation that my friend received in all sorts of public spheres. I'm astounded by the progressive-mindedness that now exists on college campuses and other urban environments. One young man actually came up to my friend and said, " Wow, you don't see a lot of dudes around here that are brave enough to wear a dress. People might think your'e gay or something, but I think you pull it off, bro. Your'e a braver soul than I." So it seems in regard to a man wearing a dress, there is a perceived notion of EXTRA "courage" or EXTRA "bravery" involved in the act. I cannot discern what this absolutely means for mankind, but I think that if feminine expressions of constructed gender are so terrifying to "straight" males then that indicates troubling, even negative, associations with women. There is a blossoming acceptance for changing gender norms, yet, we have a long way to go before masculinity reaches equilibrium with femininity.

Male Body Image



This is a pretty simple video about how media has influences male body image.  It shows the results of using steroids and how huge muscles have now become the new male norm and how steroids are used to reach this norm. 

I found this relevant to our module on male body image.  I personally find these body images unappealing.  But children, teens and young adults see these images and try to replicate them. 

Just recently Lance Armstrong conceded to using steroids, causing a huge scandal.  There are also constant scandals of other professional athletes using steroids. young people idealize these athletes.  These athletes are sending the message that you can only achieve status and wealth by using drugs to alter your body and/or your performance.