Not because I'm only half done with my summary paper or because I have to comlete my syllabus for Thursday's presentation, but because our topic this week is Masculinity.
Do you know what that means? It means 9:30, with Dunkin Donuts in my hand, I'll be questioning my masculinity. Now let's start with Dunkin Donuts. I always told myself that Dunkin Donuts was the MANLY coffee, while Starbucks, it's fancy shmancy cups, sizes, syrups, topings, teas and what nots were as feminine as they come. Do I still believe this? Yes, yes I do. But apparently there are aspects of masculinity that are not so materialistic and so simple as coffee and the clothes I wear.
Looks like I need to buy this book and learn a few things. Apparently, Peter McCallister (if you remember your movie trivia, Peter McCallister is the name of Macaulay Culkin's dad in the Home Alone movies) tries to go back in time and compare the modern man to his historical counterpart. I want to talk about masculinity before I read the chapter in Representations to compare my thoughts before and after they are toiled with during class.
McCallister uses anthropology and archaeology to compare the ancient "man" to the modern "man," and according to his findings, the modern man is down, losing terribly to the old timers. Is this true? Do men need the muscles, the cars, the women, the success, the stats and the facial hair to prove our masculinity? Do we not match up to the men who had neither escalators nor cars? Do we need to have Men's only professional sports, to differentiate what Men can do and what women can do? It's funny (and ironic) how all this talk of Masculinity brings back Chapter 4 of Representations, where Hall writes about linguist Jacques Derrida claiming every representation has a binary opposite. "'There is always a relation of power between the poles of a binary opposition.' (Derrida, 1974) We should really write, white/black, men/women, masculine/feminine ... to capture this power dimension in discourse."
I know Butler was changing gender studies by including her notion that the lines separating men from women was blurring, being replaced by QUEER, but I feel that as the lines blur, men leap at a chance to reinforce the walls again. More importantly, I think men feel the need to separate themselves from women, more so than women wanting to separate themselves from men. The frailty and fragility associated with women (not all, but just as a general adjective) is something that frightens most men. Don't you think so? I think this is the main reason for the sexual domination men NEED. Without having this power, they are just like women in the most manly arena in the world: the bedroom. I can be completely off my rocker. What do you think?