Masculinity Analysis

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2.2 Masculinity concepts: Between Binaries and hegemonic masculinity After establishing the existence of a social identity that forms the self, I know want to address an additional element of identity formation: masculinity, and thus gender relations. The last years have seen various discussions about a so-called ‘crisis in masculinity’ . The rise of feminism, after-war generations of men raised by women and civil rights movements like the Gay Liberation movement are seen as a threat to masculinity. Suddenly, white, middle-class, heterosexual males were compelled to examine their own privilege and question their identities. The feeling of a crisis existing is thus a reaction of anxiety and panic to cultural change. As Buchbinder says: “This…show more content…
What he means is that one’s sex derives from one’s reproductive organs and genital configurations , whereas gender refers to the amount of stereotypical femininity and masculinity a person exhibits. Gayle Rubin, for instance, uses the term ‘sex/gender system’ in order to describe “a set of arrangements by which the biological raw material of human sex and procreation is shaped by human, social intervention” (1975, 165). To inhibit one’s gender means having to learn behaviour, manners, gestures and attitudes that our culture deems appropriate to each sex. It is through learning these patterns that we become socialized and gendered, moving from our individual anatomical sex (being male or female) to a processed social product (behaving as a man or woman). From the social and cultural expectations for a man and the manner and degree to which he acknowledges and lives up to them we derive the concept of masculinity; those applicable to a woman, together with her compliance with them, we think of as femininity. While masculinity and femininity are often assumed to be natural results of being male or female, there is no necessary connection between the morphology of sex (male or female) and the combination of behaviour and attitude that is defined as gender (masculinity or femininity). Masculinity and femininity are thus cultural products, though society ensures through a number of measures that its members believe in and subscribe to a natural connection between sex and gender in order to stabilize the binary system. The consequence is a naturalization of these expectations for typical masculine and feminine behaviour; they appear to us as natural and universally true, even though, as I have already pointed out, this is not the

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