Masculinity and Hegemonic Masculinity
Over the course of this paper, the main focus will be targeted towards analysing the concept of masculinity, how it has developed and evolved over time and what impact it has had on the dynamics of society. The analysis will consist of exemplifying different aspects of masculinity and discussing them, with exemplification and analogies being formed in order to have a better understanding of them.
Masculinity is a characteristic attributed generally to males, which encompass a complex set of traits (behavior, mannerisms and roles). Masculinity consists of an array of attributes, some of which are biologically-created attributes and some are abstract, socially-defined concepts, distinct from any traits of the male biological gender. Although mainly present in the male populous, masculine behavior and traits can be observed in the female gender as well; this comes to support that several masculine traits are constructed in social context.
Bravery, autonomy, and assertiveness are the most representative characteristics of masculinity, being depicted through history via literature, art, and cinematography/television.
Taking into consideration the aspect of bravery, it seems that is always present in any depiction of masculinity, being a key factor in instances such as decision making and risk taking. Although bravery is often depicted in physical challenges/ acts, several types of bravery can de delineated; these will be taken into discussion and analysed within this paper.
Autonomy or independence is another characteristic masculine trait, it representing an important factor as far as how a person is viewed by its pears. Independence in often sought after by individual that desire any type of implication with the “masculine” person. Through virtue of this trait, a person is seen as reliable, capable of tackling issues first hand and able of coming to problem resolution more efficiently, not being dependant of support from another party. Up until contemporary times, in societies where female social/financial independence was not as common or easy to achieve, the independent man has been sought after for a couple of key reasons:
1. Assuring one’s wellbeing, through the means of having a reliable male presence, capable of providing safety as well as financial means for the partner and offspring. The financial aspect however represented primary interest, as the majority of fruitful occupations were accessible to men.
Of course, in today’s modern society, where gender marginalisation is not as aggressive, the independence attribute of a male is no longer seen as a scares and desirable from the feminine point of view.
2. Asserting social status, especially in historic times, was one of the major motives for a reliable male partner. Often women would be excluded from many types of social contexts, thus being able to achieve any desired level on a social hierarchy by association or partnership with the male in...