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Dude You're A Fag: Maculinity and Sexuality in High School - Book Report/Review Example

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If you are a guy no matter what age you are and no matter what sexual orientation you ascribe yourself to be, you probably don’t ever want to hear anybody call you a fag (got). …
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Dude Youre A Fag: Maculinity and Sexuality in High School
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Dude You're A Fag: Maculinity and Sexuality in High School

Download file to see previous pages... The approach Dr. Pascoe used in the conduct of her experiment is very extensive, and she was very dedicated to getting fist hand accounts and data from more than 50 students, as well as faculty and staff of the suburban, middle class, multiracial, co-ed, high school in California which she in her book referred to as “River High school”. Being in college, I found myself being transported back into my own high school while reading the book. And I can’t help but compare and contrast what I have observed, experienced and participated in while I was studying in my high school alma mater. There were a lot of similar instances that were described in the book that I’ve also seen when I was in high school. And the implications of that kind of social environment to the identity and self image of the youths involved carry a huge significance with regards to how accepting society is to people who are non-conformists to accepted gender norms as adults. “Fag”- a tool for compulsive heterosexuality. “There is not a single word for people who don’t fit gender norms that is positive, affirming, and complimentary” (Wilchins, 38) and that applies to the term faggot and its contraction which is more popular, fag. As discussed in Dr. Pascoe’s book, boys in River High school often call each other fags. When a guy, particularly a white teen guy, shows care for his looks and apparel, when he is emotionally sensitive or if there is even an unintended contact between two boys, they call each other fags. The term is not just hurled at those who cross dress or are openly homosexual but also to boys who “fail” to measure up to some quintessential male standard.


This “fag discourse” is the boys’ way keeping the other boys in line with what they considered to be masculine. Being called a fag does not necessarily carry sexual connotations as some of the boys that Dr. Pascoe interviewed said; *Darnell told me, "It doesn't even have anything to do with being gay." Similarly *J.L. said, "Fag, seriously it has nothing to do with sexual preference at all. You could just be calling somebody an idiot, you know?" As *David put it, "Being gay is just a lifestyle. It's someone you choose to sleep with. You can still throw around a football and be gay." (57) The fag discourse is more for implementing a prescribed self-identity that chokes the natural and unique persona of the one that receives the name call. As long as a teenage boy adheres to what is masculine – what is socially acceptable, they won’t be called fag. And since image and how their friends and classmates view them is of utmost importance in high school, it’s either you conform or you face verbal and even physical harassment just like *Ricky. The uniqueness of the stance that Dr. Pascoe took in her study was noted by M. L. Gray in her review published in the GLQ: A Journal of Gay and Lesbian Studies. Gray said that “What is most striking and original about Pascoe’s study, however, is the sustained attention she pays to the different ways school environments circulate sexualized discourses…”(184), Dr. Pascoe observes not only the use of the term fag but includes the way teenage boys talk about ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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