Hegemonic Masculinity : Masculinity, Hegemonic, And Subordinate Essay

Hegemonic Masculinity : Masculinity, Hegemonic, And Subordinate Essay

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In our society we see two forms of masculinity, hegemonic, and subordinate, this is known as the sociology of masculinity. Hegemonic is a very honored form of masculinity. This is the alpha male example, the man that protects all things, he is more superior than others both male and female, he has the chiseled chin, and the six pack you could wash your clothes on. Subordinate masculinity, on the other hand, defies the hegemonic norms society is so fond of. These males posses feminine qualities that put them below the hegemonic males on a hierarchal scale. Although what we find in our readings is hegemonic masculinity is policed by the worry that one may become subordinate if any sign of weakness is shown.
I had a friend through high school, and actually lived with him in college as well. What I found through my experience of being both his friend and roommate, is in college he was given the ability to express a completely different side of who I knew in high school. In high school he was a hegemonic male, he played sports, enjoyed “guy talk”, and had mostly male friends. Our senior year he decided to tell everyone he was gay, and although being from an extremely small town did pose some close minds, he was generally accepted the same as he was before. He never changed from his hegemonic presence, because nothing about how he carried himself changed, he was the same person just gay. Once in college, him and I lived together for about a year, and I noticed how much he loved helping me shop and pick out my makeup for the day. I asked him why he wasn’t like that in high school, and he stared at me for a moment, laughed softly and told me that was to big of a risk. Him being himself, and being a feminine gay male in a hegemonic mascu...


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...en forced to fall into these gender norms, and conform to what men think they should look like, and what society wants them to be. Femininity is exaggerated by women sometimes in order to conform, and fit in. So, while the “fag” discourse does not apply directly to women, it is relevant here, because indirectly women do suffer from the hegemonic norm men seek to obtain.
The fag is an ‘abject’ position, a position outside of masculinity that actually constitutes masculinity. Thus, mascu- linity, in part becomes the daily interactional work of repudiating the ‘threatening specter’ of the fag. (Pascoe. 342.) As this process continues, and hegemonic masculinity is pressured by young men to other young men, society will consider to struggle under the “fag” influence. As will the women effected by the indirect consequences of extreme masculinity, and extreme femininity.

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