“Somehow we need to be able to acknowledge the power that men have in society without thereby feeding a myth that all men feel powerful in their individual lives…we also have to recognize our inherited sense of superiority in relation to women…” (Seidler, 1997, p.51-53).
[...] We can recall a whole repertoire of popular phrases and aphorisms: “Take it like a boy don't Despite that, defining masculinity is not an easy task. It is not simply the opposite of “femininity” and there are different types of masculine identity according to the culture. I will focus here on the Western, industrialised and capitalist societies where the defined model for respectable adult masculinity was based on “quite separate roles for husband and wife” with the husband being the provider. [...]
[...] Because of the form in which masculinity appears and of the specific ways in which masculine feelings are structured, a boy begins to feel the need to “prove himself” and equates the concept of being a man to the concept of being powerful. I am now going to examine the relationship between men and power by searching for what is virile or masculine in the notion of power, and why and how power and genders/masculinity are connected. As I said in the introduction, gender theorists argue that power is gender-related. [...]
[...] Connell for example thinks about masculinity and agree with the constructionist approach. He rejects any form of biological determinism and the several related theorists of “masculinities” and denies any connection between “being male” and “doing masculinities”. He affirms that “terms such as hegemonic masculinity and marginalised masculinities name not fixed character types but configurations of practice generated in particular situations in a changing structure of relationships”. The parallels with the debates concerning women become evident. If the concept of masculinity (as the concept of gender) becomes radically independent of male (concept of sex) and pluralized, then, the concept of masculinity cannot be used anymore. [...]
[...] [ ] When we say of somebody that he is power” we actually refer to his being empowered by a certain number of people to act in their name.” We have seen so far that ideologies of masculinity usually construct and define men as strong, aggressive, rational, technically-minded and competitive. This legitimates men's domination of the state, the military, bureaucracies and others companies. Power would be defined as a part, a function, of the maleness. Nonetheless, it cannot be denied that this feeling of superiority and power is increasingly under attack; the masculine character is becoming highly volatile and insecure. [...]
[...] Seidler, Unreasonable Masculinity and Social Theory, (London: Routledge, 1994), chapters Judith Squires, Gender in political theory, (Cambridge: Polity Press, 1999), Parts 1 and 2. Andrew Tolson, The limits of Masculinity, (London: Tavistock Publications, 1977), chapters Ways of Seeing consists of a series of written and visual essays that raise questions about hidden ideologies in visual images. Berger focuses particularly on depictions of women in advertisements and oil paintings, which has been particularly useful for feminist readings of popular culture. Ways of Seeing is considered to be a seminal text for current studies of visual culture, art history. [...]
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