The link between violence and the dominant culture in the United States has taken many forms of making itself known. The U.S. culture seems to define masculinity as strong, powerful, tough, and is most often associated with males. Males are also the dominant species when it comes to gender in this society.
C.J. Pascoe ‘Dude, you 're a fag’, Victor Rios book ‘Punished, and the documentary ‘Beyond Beats and Rhymes’ by Byron Hurt all links back to trying to prove yourself to someone or something as a part of masculinity. There is always the rhetoric of proving your manhood by having lots of money, or having lots of women, being able to commit crimes and get away with them, you can even prove your manhood by hurting or killing other men. Pascoe talks about the word fag and how this word can be used against men to ‘demasculinize’ men (Pascoe:329. 2005). The term fag is associated with being gay and being gay is associated with being feminine, which can arguably be the opposite of masculine. It’s an odd thing to think about when you see two men as a couple and that is seen as weak or not manly, but if you were to think about it, those two men are the ultimate power couple. Males in this society hold all the power, they make more money, they are tough and they are the most dominant of all genders. Yet a gay couple is lower than a man and a woman? Maybe that is part of masculinity though, always needing control over someone and always wanting to be seen as the more powerful within a relationship. Pascoe mentions that through his study and observing interactions of these young men he believes that when someone is called a fag it has to do with “failing at the masculine tasks of competence”(Pascoe:330. 2005). Being gay or being called a...
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...ese smaller systems are what we need to try and understand.
This isn’t to say that one is in the wrong and the other is in the right, it 's to make a clearer picture of what needs to be done across the whole system in order for us all to succeed. We need to step back and redefine what it means to be a man OR we need to understand the different definitions of masculinity in our society. We can then begin to understand the behaviors and actions of different men and how to handle each because we can’t keep failing the men and women of this system that we live in and we can’t keep labeling and profiling men and women of color. This is what keeps them in the mindset that they are always going to be criminalized in the eyes of society. At some point we need to start learning, holding ourselves accountable for what is happening and self regulating in order to move forward.
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