Hegemonic Masculinity

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Connell (1995) coins the concept of hegemonic masculinity. He defines it as the maintenance of gender practice which institutionalizes the domination of men and subordination of women, but argues that such hegemony is not always and everywhere the same. This is because his concept is center on white middle-class heterosexual american and "constructed in relation to women and to subordinate masculinities" (Connell 1987, 186). It is subject to changes that when the conditions for the defence of patriarchy differ, the dominance of certain masculine norms is weakened and there may be a new hegemony existed.

Building on the hegemonic masculinity proposed by Connell (1995), five major idealized norms can be identified in American society. Although
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First comes the anti-feminine norm that refrains men from being pussy and expressing vulnerability. Pompper(2010) studies the perception of masculinity held by men across ethnicities and ages. One of his black informants expresses that he can tolerate anything but not be “considered pussys”. The study also shows how young men of different ethnicities regulate themselves from not appearing as “pussy”, and how middle-aged men use “pussy” to socialize their sons, and how “pussy” acts as the standard for evaluating others’ display of masculinity (Pompper, 2010, p.691). Another norm is the toughness norm, which refers to the demonstration of confidence, independence, and resilience despite in times of adversity. Either black or white men interviewed by Pompper (2010) think that masculinity is about being confident as “giving off the impression that nothing can harm you”, “holding your ground”, “looking someone in the eye as they talk to you”. A white informant even adds that “man is the one who has to be strong for the woman because women in the society are not emotionally strong” which on one hand points to the essentiality of toughness in male, on the other hand recognizes the inferiority of female (Pompper, 2010,…show more content…
In Pompper (2010, p.690), some interviewees correlate metrosexuality with feminine behaviors like “doing facials and cosmetic surgery”, “using lotions and wrinkle cream”, and “shaving chests and arms”, whereas some directly describe it as being “image conscious, and “showing your feminine side”. Another white father also acknowledges such new feminine associated masculinity that “masculinity used to be hairy, muscular and now…...Everyone is trying to get rid of hair. We have this androgynous look. The concept of being pretty is being are accepted amongst my peers” (Pompper, 2010, p.690). Similar to what Simpson (2002) observes, the idea of male being groomed is promoted in men’s lifestyle magazines in China that tanned skin and highly developed muscles symbolizes fashion, leisure, and money (Lee & Song, 2010). Interestingly, maintaining body shape and skin tone is what females commonly work on. But now males are suggested to do so as well. Further, beauty industry in Hong Kong are now accommodating men as consumers (Fung, Kam, Liong, & Tam, 2009). Women’s beauty brands are launching more and more men’s facial product lines and fragrance. Meanwhile, there is a hype of male celebrities advertising female’s cosmetics, especially Korean brands that these spokesmen display perfect skin, some even with heavy eye make-up on posters. Also, high-end cosmetics brands are hiring

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