(Post #6 Masculinity as Homophobia- Michael S. Kimmel)

March 5, 2012 § Leave a comment

   Michael S. Kimmel addresses the complicated and contradictory notion of masculinity in his work, Masculinity as Homophobia. What is it about the perception of homosexuality that upsets the status quo? Kimmel points out a very important distinction, that men are afraid of other men’s perceptions, not women: “This, then, is the great secret of American manhood: We are afraid of other men…” (149).

   A man is forced to prove himself “not a sissy”, thus ironically remaining in a perpetual state of fear. People are told what specific traits prove someone to be a homosexual. Young boys must constantly prove themselves to their peers, often through violence. Fighting or wanting to fight is a sure sign of hegemonic masculinity.

   I found it interested in how the author addressed the feminist theory of masculinity. Feminist theory involves revealing the “privilege” that men have. Yet in reality, while men are placed in a position of privilege, they are also exposed to a less obvious oppression. The silence that men have upon interacting with discrimination is not consent. Rather, it is a fear of being exposed to having emotions or disagreement. Under this silence, everyone becomes oppressed.

   In my own opinion, nothing is more “masculine” to me than two men romantically involved.



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