Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Damn Nixon...

Damn Nixon

I knew I'd walk out of class and start thinking of things that men have done that can't be misconstrued as feminine. And though I'm still having trouble coming up with something, I found something coincidental. I was up late last night reading Representations, and my cousins in California asked what I was up to. I explained what I was reading and then I got this email from them this morning after class.
Hey Arjun,
Remember Anchorman? Can you believe people are overanalyzing the movie? What message? The movie was just funny. Hope this helps you for your class.

Apparently the IFC feels there's more to Judd Apatow than just comedy. He subtly includes what I've come to understand as "anxious masculinity," where women enter the ring and threaten the Boys-Only club. Not only the IFC feels this though. Texas Christian University will have a panel discussing this as well. Am I crazy or are there panels happening out there in the world based on our syllabus while we're in class Tuesday and Thursday mornings?


  1. That interview you posted was interesting, the part about hazing in particular, since it seems to be popping up around GW a lot. Here's a Hatchet article about the recent Greek life hazing investigations that have been going on:


    The thing is, it's not only the fraternities, or the men -- it's the sororities, too. Whether or not that says anything about masculinity and femininity, though, I don't know.

  2. I think that comparing men to their ancient counterparts distracts from larger issues at hand..namely, the mental and emotional "de-volution" men have gone through since that time in terms of worrying about whether or not they're feminine or not. I think that the gender lines have been so irrevocably blurred since the feminism movement of the 1960's and 1970's that worrying about these categorizations or achievements is kind of a moot point at this time in history.

  3. Is it really a de-volution though? Worrying about our image, whether we exude femininity or whether we aren't masculine enough is an emotion is it not. Couldn't you say that men are altering masculinity, changing it's meaning and it's implications? Men can one day represent an emotional, even sensitive person, who is still rugged, or can run fast, but has an emotional range of something more than a teaspoon (sorry, just had to quote Harry Potter the night before).

    I agree with Butler in the sense that gender lines have blurred to the point where once there was a wall, there is now a permeable divider.

    Have the lines blurred to the point where it is difficult to separate the two? No, I don't think so. I think you can still give a boy a baseball glove and a girl a barbie doll for Christmas, and if you switch the gifts, people would comment or whisper "something's wrong there."

    This is a rather old blog post, but read the first few pages.

  4. It is an emotion, but it is one that is more destructive and superficial than productive. I agree with you, Arjun, that masculinity is being changed, I just think that dwelling on whether or not men can run as fast as their Greek counterparts is silly and kind of demeaning to how far men have come these days.
    I think that the lines of gender have blurred, too, and the fact that giving a boy a Barbie at Christmas would be met with a "Something's wrong there" is an unfortunate social construction that we have continued to reinforce. I know lots of little boys who love doing "feminine" things like pretending to play house and vacuuming, sweeping, and using EasyBake ovens. Yet, I don't think any of their parents are losing sleep at night over whether or not their sons are "masculine" enough.