African American Gender Roles

1826 Words8 Pages
Society has always forced women and men into gender roles that dictate what types of behaviors are acceptable, desirable, and appropriate for them despite their actual or perceived sex. Gender is a socially constructed form of identity but it is also racially constructed as well. Gender can be displayed through intersectional perspectives, you can discover many ways to display gender specifically in the culture of African Americans and how they differ from the dominate white culture. I am a Haitian American female and I found that through the pictures I captured of my friends, family members and I were of us inexplicably participating in gender and displaying femininity. I also observed my friends and family especially the men participating…show more content…
Rather than a single standard of masculinity to which all men and boys are taught to aspire to, studies have documented a variety of masculinity that define manhood differently across racial , ethnic, class, sexual , and regional boundaries.(Kathleen Blee) In this quote the author states that due to intersectional differences, different racial groups of men might have different definitions on what it means to be masculine and what it means to perform masculinity. Gender roles are also modified by life experiences over time across racial groups. In the next images I presented are all images of my guy friends and cousins. More specifically they are all images of African American males in my life choosing to participate in gender and masculinity. I noticed that all of these boys and men tend to pose in pictures the way that they view is the most masculine.They often hold up the middle finger, or throw up gang signs, or make belief signs in pictures to appear manly and more like thugs despite the fact that none of these boys are in any type of affiliation with local gangs. I also noticed when showing affection these men do not hug often instead to show friendship they do them in funny elaborate handshakes or daps which only happen in the black community. I know all of them very well and not any one of these male figures can be called actual “thugs”, in disregard to the pictures they are all extremely normal, kind, and good hearted people. And I found it very interesting that their ideas of masculinity differ far more greatly than that of a white male around their age. It all comes down to how what type of ideas they have of being masculine.The male figures represented by African Americans in the media are usually negative. Movies and music tell African American males that masculinity is in drugs, sex, violence, and gangs. The poses they
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