Saturday, October 31, 2015

F%CK Boy!

Today I read an article on Facebook about a man who killed his wife and 3 children. He has a history of physically abusing women and has been arrested for domestic violence in the past. After reading the article I began to scroll down and noticed someone left a comment that read "This is the DEFINITION of a FUCK BOY!" This comment received over a thousand likes. Although I am familiar with the term fuck boy. I decided to look up the definition on urban dictionary for a better understanding of the term. According to urban dictionary a fuck boy is "A person who is a weak ass pussy,that ain't bout shit."
This derogatory term is meant to insult men however, its origin is degrading towards women. "Pussy" refers to a woman's vagina. If comparing a man to a woman is an insult what does that say about how society views women?
Are women weak because they have a vagina?

The man who killed his wife and children used his strong and dominant force to abuse women and murder his family. If being strong is a good thing why is he a fuck boy?...........Vocabulary plays a vital role in how we view gender and masculinity. There is power in naming. This derogatory term supports the notion that women are weak thus you must be strong if you want to be masculine. This idea is a complete contradiction to the article yet it received so many "likes." Before we use words to contradict ourselves and support oppression we must pay attention to who and what we are naming because there is power in the name. 

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Are boys just being boys?

The other day I was on my to class and I ended up walking behind this group of guys. This group of guys would be stereotyped as the typical fraternity guys; complete with Sperry's, shorts above the knee, and button down shirts. As I was walking I happened to overhear a part of their conversation. Their topic of conversation was all the girls that they had hooked up with at the party they had attended. This group of boys were all bragging to each other about the number of girls that they had gotten with, their rating of how "hot" the girls were, and the physical characteristics of them; making these girls nothing more than their physical features. I had no intention of hearing all of this but after hearing so I became immediately disgusted. I don't understand why society can make a male (specifically in this example) feel more masculine or "manly" because he was able to hook up with several girls. Why does society and our culture make it alright to just see women as a number or a sexual object, only viewing her as female parts such as breasts or genitalia? We should not have a generation that makes it okay for women to be talked about like this or get treated as just a number. Boys are not just being boys here, being immersed in a culture where it is becoming an encouraged norm to sexualize and objectify women to be considered masculine. The last question I have and may be the most important, is why is this all a competition to see who can get with the most girls in one night; being a gentleman is not that much to ask.

Australian Suicide Rates and Men

According to an article written by Susan Beaton and Dr. Peter Forster in InPsych of 2012, “suicide is the number one killer of men under 44 …” (Beaton) in Australia.  The rate of suicide among men versus women (all ages) is 3 – 1.  According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) in 2012 young men between 15 – 24 were twice as likely to die of suicide than women and with regard to “Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders, the rate of suicide in male youth from 15 – 19 was over 4 times higher than other Australian youth” (ABS) and the highest rate of suicide occurs in young aboriginal men between the ages of 20 – 24 yrs.  It should be noted that the median age for suicide is going down and in the past year there were two cases of boys as young as 11 killing themselves.  This is a crises and we need to understand why so many of our young men are choosing to end their lives.


It is widely know that mental health issues are a huge factor in the reason people commit suicide.  While Australia has worked extremely hard to ensure services are available the very culture of masculinity prevents many males from seeking the help they need.  In fact according to Cassie White in her article Boys don’t cry: young men and suicide, “… only 27 per cent of men seek professional help, compared to 40 percent of women” (White)  Don’t cry, be strong, work through it, all terms slung at boys and young men as they navigate through their life.  They fear turning to family members as they are afraid of being classified as a sissy, so in turn they internalize their problems and eventually, for some, this becomea too big a burden and they end their lives.  The Aussie culture evolves around a strong bloke.  This is an oversimplification of the root of the problem, as there are multiple factors that come into play, abuse, rape, poverty, race, culture, etc. however, I believe that young males are less likely to seek help on any of these issues because of the way they have been taught to act within the realm of their masculinity and the culture of the country.  In order to cope with the stressors they are experiencing, young men often turn to alcohol or other destructive behaviors as a way to survive.  This exacerbates the problem and actually puts them at a higher risk of hurting themselves.


I cannot leave this blog without speaking to the disparity between Aboriginal youth and other Australian youth. Firstly, the indigenous population in Australia make up approximately 3% of the population and they experience higher rates of poverty, physical abuse, illiteracy, unemployment and substance abuse than other groups in Australia.  Therefore, when we see figures, stating that the rate of suicide for young Aboriginal men is 4 times higher than their Australian counterparts, it becomes clear that this specific group of men are in a clear crises mode.    

 Australian Bureau of Statistics, (2012) Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Suicide Deaths.


Beaton, Susan & Forster, P. (2012) Insights into men’s suicide. InPsych August 2012

White, Cassie (2013) ABC Health & Wellbeing

Why can't men be friends with other men without criticism?

With sexuality and gender being such hot topics these days, the overuse of slang terms is becoming extremely common and sadly, damaging. In the film No Homo, Rapper Cam’ron stated the phrase “no homo” is something you say after you “say a gay thing by accident" (No Homo). What exactly is a gay thing to say? Rapper Kayne West admits to discriminating against gay people as well. Not to get off topic, or start a new rant, but if he discriminates against people who are deemed as “different” in his eyes, I can’t help but wonder what he thinks of his in-law Caitlin Jenner?

Although, this doesn’t just go for rap music. Boys in school that get close to their male counterparts say this as well. Usually this happens after two male students engage in a close friendly relationships or if a hugged is exchanged between them. Since this action of showing emotion is viewed as feminine, it must mean that the boy is gay. So the term ‘no homo” is used to clear the air of awkwardness. Since when is someone automatically labeled gay if they show affection to a friend of the same sex? Here is an interesting song on the term “No Homo:”


Mathews, Kevin. ""You Don't Say" Campaign Prompts College Students to Reconsider Offensive Phrases." "You Don't Say" Campaign Prompts College Students to Reconsider Offensive Phrases. Care2, 25 Apr. 2014. Web. 16 Oct. 2015.

“No Homo-Masculinity, Homophobia, and Hip-Hop Culture.” YouTube. Film.

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

You've probably already heard of this...

This news story is going around right now and it's really disgusting, what law enforcement is capable of. You might have seen it, but it involves a 15 year old girl and a grown resource officer for the South Carolinian high school. The girl is accused of making a scene, or causing a disturbance, and refused to leave. The officer rips her off her chair and drags her across the classroom. This is captured on a cell phone camera. Ben Fields, the officer, has been linked to several previous cases where he was abusive and too forceful with black students. When watching the video, you see the girl is just sitting there, not yelling, not hurting anyone else, and Fields' excessive use of force is uncalled for. She wasn't hurting anyone. He obviously has extreme racial prejudice against black people, and how he has not yet been dismissed is mind boggling to me. Fields probably suffers from incredibly high opinion of himself, and he thinks that he is a true man, but how can throwing a child around really make you a man? It just makes you a piece of garbage. The FBI is now investigating, and I hope he gets whats coming to him. Warning, the videos are hard to watch.
News Article NBC

You Look Marvelous/Handsome Today!

The pictures below are from a restaurant where one of my roommates works. Needless to say, I’m a relatively frequent customer seeing as though I usually get hooked up with a sweet employee discount. Before I was enrolled in Theories of Masculinity, I never really thought twice about the mirror in the female restroom that reads, “You look marvelous today.” During one of my recent visits it struck me as something worth ruminating on, so I decided to investigate the mirror in the male restroom. Low and behold, the mirror reads “You’re a very handsome man.” My first thought was why even have a distinction? Doesn’t it stand to reason that the majority of customers won’t ever know the mirrors have different messages? And can’t generic messages of affirmation about our physical appearances be the same? It reminded me of the fragility of masculinity, and how even words like marvelous are gendered. Not to mention the mirror in the ladies’ room didn’t have to mention the implied target for the message. The mirror in the men’s room is a perfect example of how the very concept of worrying about your appearance or craving some sort of reassurance about one’s looks is tinged with femininity. While men face very real traumas related to body image and beauty standards, theirs is an experience compounded with the societal ignoring of that particular side of the male psyche. I was also reminded of how ostracizing public restrooms can be to nonbinary and trans folks. Messages like “you’re a very handsome man” can be yet another reminder of a person’s feelings of isolation and unsafety due to not identifying as a man, or feeling as though they do not fit into “the man box.”

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

I have recently heard the new Selena Gomez song called "Good for you". I heard it because a young girl was singing it at the restaurant that I work at. I didn't think anything of it until I heard "gonna wear that dress you like, skin tight" and I felt really weird about it. What are those lyrics teaching this young girl? I later went home and listened to the whole song and looked up the lyrics to share with everyone. The fact that the chorus is "make you never wanna leave" and "i just wanna look good for you" is disturbing. I believe this teaches young people that you need to make yourself into something desirable for someone to want you. It certainly does not promote self respect and love because she is trying to make herself beautiful and desirable by putting on jewelry and fancy clothes. I hope that people see this song for what it is and don't promote this unhealthy way of thinking.
I'm on my 14 carats
I'm 14 carat
Doing it up like Midas, mhm
Now you say I got a touch
So good, so good
Make you never wanna leave
So don't, so don't

Gonna wear that dress you like, skin-tight
Do my hair up real, real nice
And syncopate my skin to your heart beating

'Cause I just wanna look good for you, good for you, uh-huh
I just wanna look good for you, good for you, uh-huh
Let me show you how proud I am to be yours
Leave this dress a mess on the floor
And still look good for you, good for you, uh-huh

I'm on my marquise diamonds
I'm a marquise diamond
Could even make that Tiffany jealous, mhm
You say I give it to you hard
So bad, so bad
Make you never wanna leave
I won't, I won't

Gonna wear that dress you like, skin-tight
Do my hair up real, real nice
And syncopate my skin to how you're breathing

'Cause I just wanna look good for you, good for you, uh-huh
I just wanna look good for you, good for you, uh-huh
Let me show you how proud I am to be yours
Leave this dress a mess on the floor
And still look good for you, good for you,

Uh-huh, uh-huh, ah...
Uh-huh, uh-huh, ah, mhm...

Trust me, I can take you there
Trust me, I can take you there
Trust me, I, trust me, I, trust me, I

[A$AP Rocky:]
Hold on, take a minute, love
'Cause I ain't trying to mess your image up
Like we mess around in triple cuffs
Stumble 'round town, pull your zipper up
Pants sag like I don't give a
I ain't trying to mess your fitness up
And I ain't trying to get you into stuff
But the way you touchin' on me in the club
Rubbin' on my miniature
John Hancock, the signature
Any time I hit it, know she feelin' for it through
And every time we get up, always end up on the news
Ain't worried bout no press and ain't worried bout the next chick
They love the way you dress and ain't got shit up on you
Jackpot, hit the jackpot (Whoo!)
Just met a bad miss without the ass shots (Whoo!)
You look good, girl, you know you did good, don't you?
You look good, girl, bet it feel good, don't it?

I just wanna look good for you, good for you, uh-huh
Baby let me be good to you, good to you, uh-huh
Let me show you how proud I am to be yours
Leave this dress a mess on the floor
And still look good for you, good for you, uh-huh, uh-huh, ah...
Uh-huh, uh-huh...

Trust me, I, trust me, I, trust me, I

Monday, October 26, 2015

Silent, but sexist

I recently came across this video in my Facebook feed. At first watch (if you turn off half your brain) it may be humorous, a cop pulls over a man. Discovers a woman in the trunk, the woman begins talking through her gag, the cop shares an understanding with the man and puts her back in the trunk. There is no nudity, no profanity, and no direct violence, but this is one of the most offensive videos I have seen in a while. A police officer is supposed to be a symbol of justice, responsible for upholding the law and what is right. He is a role model to be respected and regarded with attention. The man, a father with his young son in the back seat, has decided the woman (presumably his wife) talks too much. So, he gaged and tied her and stuck her in the trunk. This is clearly similar to something a criminal would do and that is where the humor comes from. When the officer pulls her out of the trunk and listens to her thee is a moment of clear male bonding happening in the silence. Above what is right and what should happen (this woman is just talkative, what takes away her human rights and says she deserves to be tied up and gaged?!), the officer takes pity on the man and puts the woman back himself. The woman is clearly being handled like an animal, an object. And whats worse is the young boy is right there to see all of this happen.  What does this say about being a man? The father, whether he knows it or not, and the officer are both modeling behavior for the son. I wonder what his future will hold. When his girlfriend shares her opinions ten years down the road will she be gagged and stuffed in the trunk too? Or worse. Needless to say, I reported the video and unfriended the person who posted it.

Bond, James Bond

James Bond is a pop culture icon and has been since the early 60s, spawning twenty-five movies, soon to be twenty-six with the release of "Specter" next month. James Bond is an undeniable modern symbol of masculinity and what many consider to be the ideal man. He is physically attractive, white, flamboyantly heterosexual, and always ready for a fight. Among his other traits Bond is highly intelligent, cocky, and highly chauvinist. Just ask the man who revived the franchise, Daniel Craig. He calls bond an uninspiring misogynist and he would rather "slash his wrists" than play him again. This coming from the man who knows Bond inside in out and has played him for four films. After so much success in his career due to this movie series I think it really says something that Daniel Craig feels strongly enough to comment on the nature of the character, despite the lash back he will likely get. From the article, one thing that really stuck out to me is that though this character is so revered and looked up to by men everywhere. When asked "What can we learn from James Bond?" by an interviewer Craig responded simply, "Nothing".

See the article

Saturday, October 17, 2015

12 Reasons Masculinity Is Terrible For Men

Everything in this article doesn’t have to be catered to men because I know a lot of women who eat meat, take physical risk and smoke, but most of these things are more associated with men. For example, it mentions not wearing sunscreen, and I can agree that I notice a lot more men not doing this. Every time I go to the beach I’m the only person in my family who wears sunscreen, whenever I tell my brothers to put it on they say nothing will happen to them. Another thing is going to the doctor. Men have this stereotype of never wanting to go to the doctor. This is something that needs to change because they are slowly killing themselves. This is just a fun article that points out things "men" do that are bad for them.            

If you want to read the article yourself you can find it listed below:

Thursday, October 15, 2015

To the Society of Uncompromising Men

     Wiser's, a Whiskey company, released the following commercial:

     The commercial is a light humored piece that features a couple walking by a store. The woman sees something inside of the store and quickly hands her purse to the man. The man looks down at the purse in confusion, and quickly drops it on the ground. He then goes to pick it up and cover it by using a shopping bag as "protection", almost like someone picks up after their dog. A group of sophisticated men start clapping in respect, and you hear "Welcome to the society of uncompromising men. Welcome to the Wiserhood."A promotion then comes up for Wiser's whiskey.
     This commercial really stood out to me because of how strongly it personifies masculinity. A purse, a symbol of femininity, is viewed as an undesirable object that cannot be associated with a man. The actor drops it almost in disgust, and is looked upon with honor from the other men. He is described as "uncompromising," and then is paralleled to Wiser's whiskey.
    I feel that whiskey is often seen as a "man's drink." I've even noticed that if I order it when I'm out with male friends, since it's my favorite type of alcohol, they view me with more respect and almost surprise. After they hear my order, I'm often greeted with eyebrows raised and a nod of approval. Does this mean that they wouldn't respect me if I ordered a glass of moscato wine, or a pina colada? How does even alcohol choice begin to categorize what is considered masculine and feminine, and why does one deserve more respect than the other?

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Warning: The Growth of Violence and Explicit Content

Violence in music is a growing problem. The film Hip-Hop: Beyond Beats & Rhymes states that homicide is at a high. Maybe that could be attributed to the growing violence in music. As we all know sex, and violence sells. Look at movies, commercials, TV shows, and even magazine covers. Its all ran by big-wigs at large corporations. As in all music videos and radio songs, corporate media picks and chooses what they air on the radio and television. Sex, and violence sells, so some non-violent rap music might not be heard by the normal radio channel-flipping listener. It is no secret that violence in music has been normalized. Could the growing violence in music be contributed by the patriarchal abuse that singers have witnessed growing up? Is this what they think is normal?

I also found this article interesting. Do you think hip-hop, and other violent music and television/movies have contributed to gun violence?

Taking Back Halloween

     October is without a doubt my favorite time of the year. Although the slight change of weather that calls for some light cozy sweaters has something to do with it, it really has everything to do with Halloween. As a kid I would anxiously wait all year to dress up as my favorite character or something altogether spooky and scary. As we grow up though, we begin to see the negative side of everything, and look beyond the pretty and perfect exterior of things. Aside from the holidays immense issues of cultural appropriation, there is also the issue of gendered and blatantly sexist costumes. Recently, this image of a little boy named Caiden dressed up as Elsa from Frozen has gone viral. Attached to the image was not only his father's approval, but passion and enthusiasm as to why this isn't more widely accepted. His message stresses for us to remember what dressing up as a child on Halloween is truly about, simply being your favorite character, regardless of their gender. While I don't agree with his choice in using the word 'slutty' to describe the slew of over-sexualized female costumes that are being targeted every year to younger and younger girls, it was impressive to me how he addressed how the issue is harmful to everyone and how they negatively play into societies gender roles. Tolerance is no longer acceptable, it's not enough to just apathetically sit back and let things unroll, instead we need more father's and men to actively and enthusiastically support decisions that go against our cultural norms of what is acceptable for men and boys.

Read more here!

Monday, October 12, 2015

What Makes A Man?

      I love BuzzFeed articles because they are always talking about something interesting. In this article there is a link to a video they did where a group of men are asked “ What makes a man?”.  Some of the comments include to not back down from anything and to not be afraid to pick up fights. Watching this video was sad because you can sense the pain some of these men feel. There are a lot of things boys are taught at a young age to prove that they are a man such as suppressing their feeling. In order for us to stop this kind of thinking we need to come together and bring awareness.

If you want to read the article yourself you can find it listed below: