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Hegemonic Femininity and Masculinity - Research Paper Example

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Sexuality has often beguiled people’s mind and is considered as an interesting topic of discussion because everyone has their own sexuality. As the years progressed, scholars noticed the emergence of another aspect of analyzing sexuality that is not based solely on the two sides of the coin. …
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Hegemonic Femininity and Masculinity
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Download file to see previous pages There is what we call hegemonic femininity and masculinity. These two hegemonies are very important in our understanding of the totality of people’s sexuality and the issues that accompany it. This essay discusses the concept of hegemonic femininity and masculinity, its effects, and corresponding issues. The Concept of Hegemonic Femininity and Masculinity In tackling the concept of hegemonic femininity and masculinity, it is a must to first define its word origin. The term ‘hegemonic’ was coined by sport aficionado and scholars Lenskyj in 1994 and Krane in 1999 to mean “the culturally idealized form of masculine character” (Connell, 1990, p. 83 as cited in Choi, 2000, p. 8). Basing from the definition, the term masculine serves a sexist form of discrimination as masculinity is regarded as an ideal attribute, and which “stabilizes a structure of dominance and oppression in the gender order as a whole” (Connell, 1990 as cited in Choi, 2000, p. 8). Hegemonic femininity is sort of a celebration of women’s other side of being a female athlete. Hegemonic femininity gives female athletes the necessary respect from the audience, sponsors, judges, and officials because female athletes who display solely the attributes of the males face a bitter taste of discrimination or negative treatment from these people (Choi, 2000). In displaying hegemonic femininity, female athletes usually wear something that can emphasize their feminine side or sport a boyfriend or husband during a game (Choi, 2000). On one hand, Messerschmidt (1993) defines hegemonic masculinity as the “idealized form of masculinity.” This is a simplified form of Connell’s elaboration and classification of hegemonic masculinity as the superior level of masculinity wherein only few can have the chance to achieve, that is why there is this so-called “subordinated masculinities” (Giddens & Griffiths, 2006, p. 465). Culturally, hegemonic masculinity is “honored, glorified, and extolled” (Colonell, 1990 as cited in Messerschmidt, 1993, p. 82). Just like femininity, hegemonic masculinity creates a structure that categorizes this idealized masculinity as belonging on the topmost portion of the ranking while those below it are considered weak and are thereby oppressed (Messerschmidt, 1993). Females who are considered to be hegemonic usually sport a feminine female athlete body, the one with muscles, displaying enormous strength, speed and agility, all of which are typical characterization of the male species (Choi, 2000, p. 9). They are outgoing, sports-oriented, but because of social conventions, try harder to look at least feminine and beautiful. In other words, they are physically active women who diverted from the usual stereotype of women as in-house, weak, incline to beautification matters, inferior to men in terms of strength, and emotional. On one hand, hegemonic masculine males are typified by men who excel in imposing “authority, paid work, and physical toughness” such as the likes of Arnold Schwarzenegger, Rafael Nadal, and Donald Trump (Giddens & Griffith, 2006, p. 465). Connell (2001 as cited in Kahn, 2009, p. 32) refers to this kind as “dominant masculinity.”They are exalted, moreover, with the media’s portrayal of them as physically-dominating, financially capable or filthy rich, and whose sexuality is highly emphasized based on their body structure. They are the total opposite of lanky nerds and homosexual men. Discussion Kahn (2009) assessed the effects of hegemonic masculinity and femininity based on what social structure and organization have to do with this classification. These effects are relative to individuals because each of us is exposed to different ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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