Uk Essays On Masculinity

1503 words - 7 pages

The cultural belief of hegemonic masculinity

Hegemonic masculinity is a belief in existence of culturally normative ideal of male behavior that is characterized by tendency for male dominance. Proponents of hegemonic masculinity theory argue that hegemonic masculinity is not necessarily the most dominant form of expression in male although it is the most socially endorsed; always contributing to subordinate position of women. Connell (2005) notes that hegemonic masculinity is characterized by ambition, strength, drive and self reliance and argues that such characteristics are encouraged in males but not in females. In his opinion, Donaldson (1993) argues that hegemonic masculinity ...view middle of the document...

Iacuone (2005) views hegemonic masculinity as the most common blueprint for gender in Western culture as it dictates how “real” men should behave and the goals they should aspire to attain through the masculinity practice. It is an imagined construct rather than a practical one, with only few people possessing all its traits, although majority hold the principle with highest esteem (Iacuone 2005). In line with hegemonic masculinity traits, the identity of heterosexual man depends on his dislike of subordinated gender constructs; hence Iacuone (2005) admits that hegemonic masculinity views women as objects, depicts them as servile and most appropriate for domestic duties; only being value to men in a sexual capacity. The dominant masculine culture influences attitudes of construction workers, whereby hegemonic masculinity prescribes that men should be tough, be courageous enough to face danger and to dominate over others. Such men only view social environment as a conducive place for risk taking, with most of them viewing women as sex objects who should be there to entertain them and even embrace sexual assault to women as acceptable (Iacuone 2005). However, a small portion of men try to resist the influences of hegemonic masculine culture in gender, especially in settings where men challenge traditional patriarchal relations with an aim of improving women’s welfare (Iacuone 2005).
Kimmel & Amy (2008) view hegemonic masculinity as a social ideal of a real man, described by society as young, married, white, and protestant, urban, heterosexual, white of college education, good complexion, height, and weight and employed. They argue that any male who does not have any of the described character traits should consider himself as inferior or unworthy. Gender is an ever present force that defines daily behavior of human beings. Spade & Valentine (2010) bring out the masculinity contrast between men and women as viewed by society. They argue that as women graduate from girlhood to womanhood and join mixed gender groups at work, in colleges or play, their voices are often ignored and subordinated; they have to monitor what they say, how they say it and how often they talk to ensure that they do not dominate because their gender limits their participation (Spade & Valentine 2010).

Gendered patterns of belief and behavior influence people’s way of life in daily intimate relationships, with family and friends. According to Spade & Valentine (2010), studies shave revealed that girls who transgress into boys’ zone end up being eventually respected by their male playmates if they are good in conventionally male activities, while on the other hand, boys are harassed and teased when they try to participate in girl’s related activities thus dominance of hegemonic masculinity is maintained by denying boys access to girls’ activities. Furthermore, the dominance of masculinity is reinforced when boys are ridiculed because they do not comply with...

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