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."


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  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.

Male Behavior

This is a documentary about Pit Bulls (bull terriers), mastiffs and other big dogs but I found it relevant to this course.  It talks about the idealized male thug image and how having a ferocious dog increases male status on the streets.  How American hip hop videos with rappers showing off their fighting dogs has influenced male behavior in the UK.  How violence is seen as masculine.  How animal abuse is normal male behavior.  How it is OK for men (or anyone for that matter) to beat their dog as a puppy to teach it dominance and obedience and instill aggression..   How entering your dog into fights is masculine.  How giving your male friend’s dog a rabbit to kill so it will learn the taste of blood is a normal display of male friendship. 

Ok…I admit that my stance on animal abuse lead me to this documentary and was a factor in me wanting to share this.  But you cannot deny the relevance it has to this course.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Confessions of a Recovering Misogynist

Don't be turned off by the length of this article... it's worth it. Kevin Powell tells his personal story of how he went from a woman hating misogynist to an activist who freely talks about and calls out sexism. It is an inspiring story and shows that people can change, even when we think they are too far gone.

Reddit board: "Men's Rights"

A while back I discovered that the popular social news website has a "subreddit" board called Men's Rights, which boasts over 50,000 followers and claims to be "a place for those who wish to discuss men's rights and the ways said rights are infringed upon." Many of the posts I've found on Men's Rights tend to be anti-feminist or claim that feminists are trying to "emasculate men." It made me wonder, what does our class think of the Men's Rights board? Does feminism infringe on masculinity? Do the posters on Men's Rights have any accurate points?

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Domestic Violence Leading to Murder

Over the past several weeks there have been numerous murders and shootings related to domestic violence. There was an incident at a hotel and a beauty salon. Both of these women were believed to have been involved in abusive relationships and had to seek protection by having restraining orders enforced. This is extremely disturbing and causing me to pose the question of   "What is causing these men to snap and not only aim the gun at their ex's but at other innocent bystanders that they don't even know?"

Here are the links to the articles of these gruesome attacks below.

Whitney Scott


Meredith Vierra Flirts with Contestant

I've recently been noticing how female hosts on TV flirt with male guests in a way that wouldn't be accepted if the sexes were reversed. I noticed it first in an interview in which Kelly Ripa flirted with Ryan Lochte. However, I couldn't find that video on Youtube, but in my search I came across this video. Here, Meredith Vierra actually refers to herself as an "old, horny woman" and jokes that the contestant can" put it anywhere you wanna put it." I believe if Vierra was a male host and the contestant a female, there would be a public uproar for these comments. Because a woman makes them, they are somehow acceptable. Take a look!

Macho Men

                While flipping through the channels the other night, I saw a clip from the show “101 Cars You Must Drive” on the Speed channel hosted by comedian Alonzo Bodden.  I could not control my laughter as I watched this extremely hyper-masculine man (who I would never have guessed is a comedian by trade) explain why one of the cars was on the list.  Dressed in a tank top to show off his bulging arm muscles this man was yelling the whole time, heavy metal music was playing in the background, using violent words to describe the car like “it will crush the competition”, “the other cars will be begging for their life” and basically how domineering and violent you can be while driving such a car.
                I went online to try and find the video clip of this part and the website was even more stereotypical – the left side menu was a selection of various photos of the “hot grid girls” and other bikini clad “dreamgirls”.  This isn’t the clip that I saw, but my argument still stands.  This clip has the host talking about destroying the environment by wasting gas in a Hummer because “that’s what you do”.  For those of you who are car enthusiasts, here is the link for the 101 cars  I'm not against amazing cars, but I certainly think that amazing cars are not men's territory only.
- Jennifer Rey

Monday, October 22, 2012

Human Sexuality is Complicated

A student in my Introduction to Women's Studies class shared this and I thought it was appropriate for our Masculinities blog so here it is. On sex/gender/'s more complicated for some folks than others!

Monday, October 15, 2012

As I was working on Module 4, I came across this really interesting article and was excited to share it. hopefully it can help us frame Asian masculinity more clearly.


Sunday, October 14, 2012

Men Can (and Should) Be Feminist Too

We talk so much about men being feminist and their role in feminism and this is an interesting take on it--men do not need to find a place within 'feminism' but rather to make their prominent space in society feminist. What do you think about this quote?

Saturday, October 13, 2012

NBC Is Stuck in a Century in Which Guys Taking Care of Kids Is a Hilarious Concept (by Dan Treadway)

I was at my sister's the other night and she wanted to watch the new sitcom Guys with Kids. I had seen previews and suspected it would rely on the standard 'guys as incompetent caretakers' stereotype so avoided it until then. While it was slightly 'better than expected' in this sense, it is still guilty of reinforcing the message that men caring for children is a foreign concept and that they require the everpresence of a woman to keep them in check. I think this article sums up the issues quite effectively...

"Ultimately, the underlying message dictating that there's something bizarre about a man capably and willingly taking care of his child is at best a dumb commentary and at worst a harmful one. There are now more women receiving a college education than men, and this trend is likely only going to increase in coming years. Given the demographics, it's senseless and ignorant to suggest that despite achieving higher than their male counterparts education-wise, it should be a natural given that women should be the ones forced to put their careers on hold to in order to raise children. From a sheer economics standpoint, we should want to encourage the more educated segment of our society to contribute as much time to their jobs as possible. And thus, it's long past time we fully retired this notion in the entertainment industry that dictates that male characters are meant to be providers and female characters are meant to be nurturers -- and anything deviating from this is somehow a 'hilarious' happenstance."


Friday, October 12, 2012

A Simple Yet Brilliant Analysis of Gender Roles.

A little girl named Riley explains her views about what is wrong with marketing and gender roles. She takes less than two minutes but what she says is powerful!

Thursday, October 11, 2012

"Who You Callin A Faggot?"

Today in society, slurs such as faggot and  homo are used to de-masculize a individual by questioning their masculinity.  The slurs are used commonly and are even directed at non-gay and homosexual men. Used as slang and comedic dialogue for describing something or someone as lame or stupid, these sayings have caused much controversy as members of the gay community find the slurs to be both offensive and ignorant.  The article "Who You Callin A Faggot", is an excellent example of how the use of such derogatory words can negatively impact and affect the individuals for whom these slurs are directed at.

Whitney Scott