Essay on Masculinity and Race

1594 Words 7 Pages
Masculinity and Race

Historically, masculinity in the United States has been constructed as being White Protestant Anglo-Saxon, furthermore heterosexual and in charge of all matters, and this definition sets standards against which other men are measured an evaluated. Michael Kimmel provides a good definition:

[…], Young, married, white, urban heterosexual, Protestant father of college education, fully employed, of good complexion, weight and height and a recent record in sports(271).

This definition refers to a so-called „hegemonic masculinity“ because it describes a man of power, in power and with power(272). Racially and
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Others can always help the Caucasian hero to reach his goal and safe „the world“ because they might possess a specific and peculiar skill that helps to achieve the aspired goal and this capability furthermore marks their otherness. But they can never possess the whole package like the white hero does. Historically, African Americans have been made hypermasculine as well as they have been emasculated. They were portrayed as either the overwhelmingly strong, sexual aggressive invader or the harmless boy not to be feared.
Asian American have been depicted as malicious, sneaky and evil minded others that always threaten to rape innocent white maidens. They are thought of as not being able to speak proper English and in the American cinema there are three formulaic traditions regarding the way Asians are depicted in movies, according to Jun Xing: the yellow peril, the Madame Butterfly and the Charlie Chan stories (Jun, Xing. Asian America Through the Lens. Alta Misa Press. 1998.
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