To begin, masculinity is a central trait through which men try to compensate for their race and class subordination. Men use masculinity in an attempt to acquire social status and avoid being subordinated. However, among delinquent boys, masculinity is formed through negative encounters with probation officer, the police, juvenile hall, and school discipline. On the other hand, masculinities are also shaped positively by authority figures in the appropriate circumstances. Manhood is also accomplished through the subordination of women and through culture.
Kupers coined the term toxic masculinity to describe those aspects of masculinity that are harmful to men, women and/or society, like domination, devaluation of women, homophobia or violence. Not all aspects of traditional Western masculinity are considered negative and toxic masculinity excludes neutral or positive attributes. However, this begs the question whether positive and negative traits can be separated and whether traits are unambiguously negative or positive or if some are more ambivalent, depending on the context or intensity of the trait. The concept of psychological flexibility, the ability to adapt to a situation on different levels, might in some cases be an important complement to understand if a trait is toxic or
Arising from these challenges came a certain crisis of masculinity where traditional and previously unproblematic notions of masculinity were now being seen as problematic (Page, 1999). Masculinity is contexted in gender relations, the practices through which men and women engage, and the effects of these practices in bodily experiences, personality and culture (Connell 1995). Masculinity is interpolated by cultural, historical and geographical location, and in our time the combined influence of feminism and other gender movements has exploded the concept of uniform masculinity. Even sexuality is no longer held to be fixed or inborn. When we relate masculinity to culture it immediately becomes evident that in terms of acting out, masculinity is a varied, movable, even unstable, construction.
Further, Behavioral Mimicry concept delineates the process to adapt to masculinity. A. Hegemonic Masculinity Hegemony is an umbrella concept regarding domination process from a group against other groups (Adams & Dickey, 2000; West & Turner, 2007). In achieving its goal, hegemony can not stand alone. Gramsci (in Przeworski, 1985) argues that hegemony owes its existence to the material base. The perpetuation of hegemony occurs thanks to consent from the oppressed that even strengthens hegemony itself (Gramsci in Adams & Dickey, 2000).
As constant as change, historical development of masculinity and gender stratification in Mexico and for Mexican Americans had been continuously occuring. Lies behind that development are myriad of factors and concepts that can be acceptable to many however prone to create critiques to others as well. In a working-class neighborhood in Sto Domingo Mexico, where Matthew Guttman conducted his ethnographic field work to delve into the changing males identities, several factors lead to a deeper understanding of this dramatic tranformation of what it really means to be a man and or a woman. Gender relations is always brought back by the shadow of historical past, which can only be revealed by tracing the roots using the national and cultural histories of Mexican Culture and exploring the differences particularly on how male and female played a significant role. Masculinity had been always synonymous to the word macho.
Hegemonic masculinity usually consists of practices and attitudes which maintain heterosexual male domination over and the subordination of women (Weitzer and Kubrin 5). It represents a cultural idealized form of breadwinning and manhood and can be a personal as well as a collective undertaking. Moreover, hegemonic masculinity is “exclusive, anxiety-provoking, internally and hierarchically differentiated, brutal, and violent. It is pseudo-natural, tough, contradictory, crisis- prone, rich, and socially sustained” (Donaldson 645). Based on male dominance, it resembles “an economic and cultural force, and [is] dependent on social arrangements.” (645).
Cultural identities are identified using various factors, a few of which are ‘race’, ethnicity, gender and class. Foucault’s work on asylums and insanity allows for a different and unique take on the evolution of the modern self. In his 1977 work, ‘Discipline and Punish’, Foucault breaks down and analyses the connections that exists between power and knowledge. He examines these connections in relation to those in charge, which due to societal circumstances are deemed in power over the masses as they exert and impress their form of identity onto those over whom they are in control. The social construction of sexuality revitalises an even stronger argument for cultural identity and its link to power and overwhelmingly dominant discourses.
Connell (1995: 78) reinforces the idea that hegemony relates to cultural dominance in the society as a whole and thus within the overall framework there are specific gender relations of dominance and subordination between the groups of men. One may note that oppression positions homosexual masculinities at the bottom of the gender hierarchy among men. According to Connell (1995:78), ‘’gayness, in patriarchal ideology, is repository of whatever is symbolically expelled from hegemonic masculinity , the items ranging from fastidious taste in home decoration to receptive anal pleasure’’ (Connell, 1995: 78). Thus if one looks at masculinity from a hegemonic lens, being gay or homosexual is easily and effortlessly assimilated to the notion of femininity and can thus lead to ferocity of homophobic attacks within a society (Connell, 1995:
hypermasculine views on society Hypermasculinity, defined, is the physiological term for the exaggeration of male stereotypical behaviours, such as an emphasis on physical strength, exaggeration and sexuality. To put a long story short, Hypermasculinity is the idea that men have to appeal to the ideal standards of a man in society. ‘men don’t cry’ ‘man up’ ‘stop acting like such a girl’ these derogatory terms are just examples of the hypermasculinity man putting shame to other men, why shouldn’t men be able to express themselves other than using violence. It is more likely that a boy would use violence to express their pain than to cry because of the stigmatism of weakness behind the idea of crying. It is something that every boy is
The chapter, ‘Faces of a man’ speaks of the various roles a man adorns in his life. A man is expected to be funny, witty, responsible, financially sound and decisive. He is also assumed to be incapable of handling a kitchen, a budget or children. Advertisements have contributed immensely in strengthening and in some surprising cases, breaking down these stereotypes. The second chapter, ‘Sex sells’ talks of how traditionally the term ‘sex appeal’ was used to refer to female alone; but nowadays, many an ads portray men as sexual objects with definite vital statistics.