Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘masculinity’

A week or so ago, I saw a slide show of “strange plastic surgeries” on MSNBC’s web site.  While I’m pleased that the site listed these procedures as extreme (even “oddball”), I was struck by one thing in particular.  Two of the surgeries were meant to remedy complaints about women’s calves.  If a woman had “cankles”–large calves that stretch to her ankles (hence eliminating the “normal” curve the ankle/calf distinction creates)–she could correct the flaw with liposuction.  If a woman had “radish calf”–large, muscular calves that apparently create too much of the aforementioned curve–she could inject botox to reduce the size of the muscle.  The upshot of all of this is that a woman must neither have a calf that is too big nor too small.  Like Goldilocks’ proverbial porridge, a truly feminine lower leg must be “just right.” (more…)

Read Full Post »

This is the first post I’ve written that is not tied to one specific popular culture anchor, so forgive me if I’ve already broken our nascent blog’s rules.  Perhaps my heightened awareness of gender issues in pop culture–thanks in large part to Professor Moss’s and my decision finally to start sharing our thoughts with the world–has just made me see this trope over and over again lately and compelled me to get out some thoughts about it.  Perhaps I’ve been watching too many movies like The Ugly Truth and too many television shows like The Bachelorette; oh, and don’t ask me why, but I thumbed through an issue of Maxim at my hair salon the other day and actually read the articles–big mistake.

I speak, of course, of the dreaded notion that men need to pursue the objects of their affection (and since our culture is heteronormative, this usually means women) and that women long to be pursued.  A traditional feminist way to view this cultural norm might be to say that it reinforces the power and freedom of men while taking freedom away from women.  While I think this is true in part, I don’t think it’s the whole story. (more…)

Read Full Post »

Yesterday, Professor Moss vented her ire at the atrocious new film, The Ugly Truth.  Since I barely endured the entire 90 minute movie without reenacting the final scene of Oedipus Rex, I’d like to add a bit more insult to injury here: (more…)

Read Full Post »

Last night ABC gave us the “Men Tell All” episode of The Bachelorette. While the teasers promised myriad secrets would be revealed, no one could have predicted the biggest revelation of all. There, on national t.v., America was introduced to the secret, illuminati-like world of the “man code.” (more…)

Read Full Post »

It’s tempting to dismiss movies like I Love You, Beth Cooper as harmless.  After all, it’s getting mixed reviews from critics, and though it grossed $5 million in its first weekend, that only earned it 7th place, barely ahead of Pixar’s Up, which has been out for seven weeks (by comparison, Bruno earned $30 million in its first weekend).  It is not likely to become a huge box office hit, and nothing about it suggests a John Hughes-esque second life in its DVD/television release.  Yet I Love You, Beth Cooper‘s lack of success seems not due to its tasteless jokes or teen-comedy stereotypes (although we get those in abundance) but rather because it tries so to avoid being just another teen movie.  The movie fails because it seems to think it’s being innovative when in reality it is completely mundane. (more…)

Read Full Post »

In a recent article in Foreign Policy, Reihan Salam argues that the collapse of the global economy is a direct result of what in the 70s used to be called “testosterone poisoning” and that the restructuring of the world’s economic patterns will lead to “the death of macho.” Salam sees the shift of power from men to women as necessary and inevitable, but his piece is hardly celebratory, since he believes men will, by and large, be unable to adapt. He ends his piece with a dramatic warning:

The axis of global conflict in this century will not be warring ideologies, or competing geopolitics, or clashing civilizations. It won’t be race or ethnicity. It will be gender. We have no precedent for a world after the death of macho. But we can expect the transition to be wrenching, uneven, and possibly very violent. (more…)

Read Full Post »

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, only one U.S. state (Colorado) has an obesity rate below 20%.  Americans struggle to lose weight, and the weight loss industry brings in tens of billions of dollars each year.  Weight loss products and programs are largely geared toward women; the social pressure for men to be thin pales in comparison to the concomitant pressure on women.  Jenny Craig and Weight Watchers offer overtly gender-neutral programs, but their web sites and advertisements feature very few men (none as spokespeople).  Nutrisystem, on the other hand, deliberately crafts different marketing to men and women.  How Nutrisystem’s gender binarism plays out is worth examining. (more…)

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »