What Is Meant By 'masculinity In Crisis' In Recent Debates About Men And Masculinity? Use A Specific Example From Media Or Popular Culture To Support Your Argument.

1242 words - 5 pages

5. What is meant by 'masculinity in crisis' in recent debates about men and masculinity? Use a specific example from media or popular culture (for instance, media coverage of the Bulldogs scandal) to support your argument. You should draw on Whitehead's argument in your answer.The concept of 'masculinity in crisis' has been put forth in recent debates regarding men and their masculinity. Critical analysis of men and thus of the gender of masculinity arose in the 1970s with the beginning of the men's movements. These movements established the notion that men (like women) are oppressed by their gender and that this oppression is a result of pressures and constraints put on men by society such as defined roles and expectations of men within the public sphere. This essay will establish what exactly the crisis in masculinity is and how this crisis has affected the performance of masculinity by men. The performance of masculinity will be discussed in regards to the allegations of rape put forth against players of the Canterbury Bulldogs rugby league club. Media coverage of the rape allegations will then be discussed.The concept of 'masculinity in crisis' relates to the notion put forth by both academics and the media that men are confused as to what it means to be "real men." However John Fox argues that, 'The definition of the crisis of masculinity is multivocal, and one definition may be that the crisis of masculinity is "the conflict over what definitions of masculinity are dominant."'(Fox, 2001:1)Masculinity can be defined by what it excludes and thus it can be defined as not being femininity. The female in traditional patriarchal society is defined through 'otherness' and thus through its difference to the normative, and thus through difference to men. As Pierre Bourdieu writes, " Manliness, it can be seen, is an eminently relational notion, constructed in front of and for other men and against the femininity, in a kind of fear of the female, firstly in oneself." (2001:53)Thus if femininity is defined through its difference, masculinity can be defined through its sameness. Masculinity can thus be read as representing the collective (and thus representing all men.) However, in today's society masculinity cannot be defined through a single definition rather there are multiple definitions and thus there are multiple masculinities. Masculinity is a socially constructed discourse defined through various fields such as medical, sport and media. Masculinity is a system of representation that defines the way men are able to perform the gender of being a man.It has been put forth that men are confused as to what constitutes the definition of masculinity and thus the media and academics have suggested that there is a 'crisis in masculinity.' The web-based article "Moral Lumbyism" puts forth the notion that masculinity is in crisis and in doing so refers to the "sex scandal involving players from different football...

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