Examples Of Hegemonic Masculinity

Powerful Essays
The Production of Masculine Privilege Through Patriarchy and Hegemonic Masculinity The invisible privilege, power and oppression of hegemonic masculinity or masculinities across societies continue to maintain gender inequalities (Kimmel, 2010). Cornell and Messerschmidt (2005) first identified hegemonic masculinity to describe how specific traits, such as white, middle-class and heterosexual, are the valued norms and identities in Western society. Hegemonic masculinity is a form of hegemony that allows men, including subordinate men as a group, to gain more power, control and resources than women (Connell & Messerschmidt, 2005). Masculinised privilege is invisibly ubiquitous in that women and subordinate men construct identities and gender…show more content…
Power, or more precisely hegemonic power, not only operates through oppression, but also operates through the construction of norms and values. The premise of gender inequalities and masculine privilege lies in the fact that elite men hold the power to define and construct the identity and position of other groups in society depending on the definition of hegemonic masculinity (Connell & Messerschmidt, 2005). Men in American society aspire to the characteristics of hegemonic masculinity (Connell & Messerschmidt, 2005). It is a pattern of practice and discourse that places women, and men from racial and sexual minorities, as second-class citizens (Connell, 2005). Our understanding of gender inequalities in society is based on how hegemonic masculinity operates. Subordinate men only exist because they are measured in relation to hegemonic masculinity. Even so, as a group, subordinate men can still access power and privilege by aspiring to hegemonic masculine traits (Messner, 1997). Emphasised femininity implies that individuals are orientated to accommodate the desires and interests of men (Kilduff & Mehra, 1996). Women who possess hegemonic masculine characteristics, such as successful, competitive and physically superior women, are often seen as threats to men, unfeminine and ‘bad’ (Vescio, Schlenker & Lenes, 2010). However, the more women possess opposite traits of hegemonic…show more content…
Under the patriarchal society, inequalities in gender relations impact both men and women from social, emotional and material perspectives (Connell, 2001). The dominant belief that men are physically tougher causes them to dominate dangerous and toxic occupations in society with little attention addressed to the impact on their health status (Connell, 2005). Furthermore, the stereotype of hegemonic masculinity causes men’s sexuality to be more constrained by homophobia and a taboo of showing emotional signs of vulnerability and fear (Connell, 2005). However, the under-privilege of women suggests even greater inequalities between genders. Throughout history, women have always been supressed by men, especially when women were once viewed as being physically too delicate to participate in the public sphere. However, men’s oppression of women in modern times rises from defensive resistance not in the interests of protecting women, but of preserving men’s privilege haven (Kimmel, 2010). One mechanism of maintaining masculine privilege in modern times is through soft influence tactics, such as rewards and praise rather than harsh influence tactics, like open acts of hostility (Kimmel, 2010). For example, stereotypes and norms of traditional and heterosexual paternalism are
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