[Cross Post with: http://www.masculineimagery.net/?p=10]
Why did I choose to focus on masculine studies, when it seems that feminist theory is where everything is?
The simple answer is because I feel that masculinity is where the social problems originated. There are social difficulties because of hegemonic masculinity. This is the problem for non-whites in western culture, it is the problem for non-heterosexuals and it is the problem for women. It is my belief that as long as masculinity holds the power and a certain type of masculinity is defining culture, then there can be no liberation and no equality. Society is crippled and controlled by a gender that makes up a lot less than 50% of the population. Assuming that there were 50% men in the United States (there isn’t, its closer to 55% women, 45% men I believe, but I don’t have the exact numbers at the moment), we must remove those that are non-white, and those who identify as something other than heterosexual to find out final number. In those remaining after taking those numbers away, only about 1/3 of them probably have the financial resources to have “power” in society, and the other 2/3 believe that just because they fit the hegemonic standard they are somehow attached to that power and continue to support the mission of those who do have power. The issues lie in the masculine ego, and in the social institutions that value having a penis.
Another concept I have considered is that one day men will no longer rule the Earth. Women are slowly beginning to realize that there is someone behind the curtain pulling the strings and that men are not the majority and have done nothing to deserve the power, and the world is slowly changing. Once men are no longer in a position of power I feel that the construct of masculinity may be severely damaged. I personally believe that being a male who holds a masculine identity is something that is quite special, and do not wish to see men (collectively) reduced to just another
“human” “person” in a homogeneous pool of homo sapiens. I feel that masculinity is in need of a major revitalization to an establishment that does not exist based on power, but on a certain solidarity and sense of shared honor. Those traits cannot be held while others are being oppressed to support the masculine cause.
Finally, feminist theory is great in concept. Feminist theory proposed equality for all genders and sexes. It is an honorable goal, but current theorists in the field are lacking a key factor in making that happen, men. Elizabeth Grosz has become my favorite feminist to pick on, just because she is so far out there with some of her writing. She believes that certain concepts of physics (mostly our understanding of mater and time) need to be reconsidered simply because they were created by men. There are implications made that because the theories were established by men, they must in some way be flawed and designed to oppress women. I do admit however, that there are others in the field that seem to be for the equality of everyone and seem to be focused erasing social boundaries. Unfortunately, those individuals tend to be more on the side of sexuality studies, and no one in this society (outside academics) really takes them seriously, society just isn’t ready for it yet.
I am in masculine studies because I am a man, whether by my biological components or my socially presented gender. I do not wish to discriminate against women, homosexuals or any other group. I am curious about how the masculine identity was formed and how society molds and manipulates it. I am a male and I am proud of it.