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Masculinity Definition

Decent Essays
In reading for this assignment, I noticed that one of the first points deals with the value of power. On pg 137 the author argues “The hegemonic definition of manhood is a man in power, a man with power, and a man of power. We equate manhood with being strong, successful, capable, reliable, in control.” This point means that to be categorized as a true man, one must fit the standards. In the beginning, the text gives an example of a set of “rules” established through a few common phrases which measure masculinity. This is important because it shows how masculinity is a constant test that men are trying to pass. It adds pressure to their identities and how they are perceived in society. Overall, this point was helpful in showing that men feel the need to have power in multiple ways, otherwise they are anything but masculine.

The second point is that masculinity is fragile and heavily relies on the approval of other men. On pg 140 the author states “We are under the
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On pg 142 the author explains the relationship between masculinity and homophobia: “Homophobia is the fear that other men will unmask us, emasculate us, reveal to us and the world that we do not measure up, that we are not real men. We are afraid to let other men see that fear.” This means that masculine identities are tied to high levels of expressed heterosexuality. This is best seen when the text gives the example of the “nail check” on pg 143, where curled fingers can equate to “passing” as a man, whereas checking nails with an extended hand means they are a “sissy.” The issue is that such a simple gesture can place a man in a position where he can be attacked and even ostracized. Thus, this is important as it proves that men will often be labeled or feel shameful given the situation where they are less masculine than they are expected to
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