January 19th, 2011

Recommended Reading #30: Gender Socialization

      “A Manifesto for Radical Masculinity” by Sinclair Sexsmith (Gender, Sexual Orientation) 12/25/09

I appreciate the wide-ranging introduction and discussion of questions around masculinity in this piece, in part because it has always seemed to me that gender socialization (as in prescribed gender roles based on biological sex) is a blatant disservice to everyone, not just to women as some interpretations of feminism have seemed (to me) to imply in the past. The approach of this piece strikes me as considered, caring, sincere, open, and thorough.


      “Fag Bashing & Slut Shaming: It’s About Policing Gender Roles” by Dr. Charlie Glickman (Sex and Culture) 9/10/10

I love this piece. To me it seems to reflect beautifully the perception in me that social prescriptions according to gender constrain individuals in arbitrary ways, disallowing full, individualized, authentic expression. For this reason I find the entire process of gender socialization woeful, and I have ever since I became aware that it existed. It also seems obvious to me that we all have masculine and feminine representation in us; the idea of that not being understood or of some kind of social or collective demand that any part of that not be recognized or displayed seems anathema to me.


      “Let’s Rethink Masculinity” by Joan C. Williams (Non-sex-related, Gender, Social Perception) 10/6/10

This article also deals with masculinity (in the discussion of gender socialization, it makes sense to me to see an emerging focus on masculinity and men since in the recent—in relation to human existence, I mean—past there has seemed so much focus on women. This focus has been understandable, of course; in the larger picture of gender socialization, however, I appreciate acknowledging and examining how, again, gender-based prescriptions affect and are of detriment to all), particularly in the professional/livelihood realm. The only hesitation I hold with this piece is what seems to me a presumed association between men and masculinity. To me the two are not at all synonymous, as again, we all have the masculine and the feminine in us in ways that are far beyond the biological sex of our physical bodies. At times my reading of the piece seemed to express the two as interchangeable or inherently related. The historical collective association of certain traits as masculine or feminine seems to me importantly distinguished from actually perceiving such traits to be inherently more prominent in one sex than the other. The author may not have been proposing this; it was just an interpretation I experienced occasionally in reading the article. That being said, overall I appreciate a number of the offerings made in this piece and its invitation to recognize the socialization of masculinity as an important part of discussion on gender and understanding of gender equity.


Recommended Reading posted every Wednesday

6 Responses “Recommended Reading #30: Gender Socialization”

  1. a presumed association between men and masculinity. To me the two are not at all synonymous

    As a masculine woman – too right, Emerald!

  2. Emerald says:

    Hi Janine!

    I appreciate that you appreciate what I was saying there. :) It felt important to me to note.

    Thanks for coming by! Xoxoxo

  3. ste says:

    I like Glickman’s point about gender not even being on a spectrum, and having (or being) more of one thing doesn’t mean you have (or are) less of another.

  4. My therapist tells me that, in terms of sexual orientation, there is a spectrum. At one end is completely heterosexual. At the other, completely homosexual.
    And, says he, most of us fall somewhere in the spectrum, not at the beginning or end.

    This same spectrum, it seems to me, determines a woman’s interest in all things female (including big white weddings and babies) and a man’s interest in all things masculine (like contact sports and cars.)

    Thanks for this article, Emerald. It’s thought provoking and though I prefer not to think hard on a Sunday, as I’m preparing my Eye Candy Monday post, in this case it’s been good.

  5. Emerald says:

    Hi ste! Me too—that might have been my favorite part of that article (I almost quoted those very lines here). Great to see you, and thanks for stopping by! Xoxo

  6. Emerald says:

    Madeline said,
    “though I prefer not to think hard on a Sunday”

    Lol! I’m so glad you enjoyed, and thank you for coming by! All best. :)

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