The Concept Of Hegemonic Masculinity

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To most, the concept of hegemonic masculinity seems vague, but yet it still penetrates the lives of every individual in Western society. And while not everyone is aware of the term hegemonic masculinity, if you ask any child, youth, or adult what ‘being a man’ is, they would likely give similar stereo-typical descriptions of hegemonic masculinity. Hegemonic masculinity is defined as “the configuration of gender practice which [allows] the dominant position of men and the subordination of women” (Connell, 2005, p. 77). Thus, in our Western world, there already exists a defined way we see masculinity, through the concept of hegemonic masculinity. Our preconceived definition of masculinity, therefore, relies on constructed masculine traits such as: being competitive, being the romantic agent in a relationship, being aggressive, and so on. In this paper, I will examine how lesbians – specifically, androgynous butch lesbians– reshape hegemonic masculinity. This disruption of hegemonic masculinity occurs through interweaving feminine traits into masculinity.
Hegemonic masculinity is treated as the ideal masculinity that men aspire to. Except, hegemonic masculinity impacts the lives of not just men, but anyone who identifies with masculinity. In fact, Halberstam (1998) explains that to understand masculinity, female masculinity must first be taken into account. Thus, masculinity flows into even lesbian relationships – relationships between two women, free of male

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