Gender Performance

Recent posts

Performing Masculinity And The “Act Like A Man” Box

I’ve been researching and writing about masculinity recently (as my current dissertation chapter is on masculinity in fairy tales), and Charlie Glickman’s blogging has been really thought-provoking for me, both intellectually and personally. Starting with his post on the performance of masculinity and proceeding to his post about selectively performing masculinity by choosing attributes from the “act like a man box,” I’ve been thinking about why masculinity has such a pervasive, compelling presence–and what we can do about its negative aspects. By viewing masculinity as a set of traits contained within the “act like a man box,” Glickman has helped give us a language for discussing men’s behavior that is not, as much feminist language is, either very theoretical and abstract or condemning. And yes, a lot of masculine behavior should be condemned as violent, aggressive, misogynist, homophobic. But only using critical language ends conversations rather than starting them; telling a dude off for being a dude shuts down dialogue, and doesn’t give him a way to constructively participate in the effort to fix what’s wrong with hegemonic masculinity. Continue Reading →