Elevate Difference

Reviews tagged masculinity


Don’t let the relationship-centric plot fool you; Monogamy is not a chick flick. In fact, it’s one of the more interesting films I’ve seen that explores fears about committing oneself to just one person for the rest of one’s life, from a wholly male perspective. Typically these kinds of heteronormative man-boy treatises on marriage phobia are treated with ample doses of trite and predictable humor.

Passage to Manhood: Youth Migration, Heroin, and AIDS in Southwest China

Heroin. AIDS. Migration. Development programs. Gender roles. In Passage to Manhood: Youth Migration, Heroin, and AIDS in Southwest China, Shao-hua Liu examines each of these issues and how they relate to Nuoso youth. An anthropological researcher, the author delves into how China’s evolution from the traditional to the modern intersects with drug use, disease, and development.

Misframing Men: The Politics of Contemporary Masculinities

The media’s obsession with the “crisis” of masculinity has long reached a feverish, cliché-filled pitch. “We’re losing our boys,” one article proclaims. “We must save the males,” says another. It’s unnerving, particularly since that identity crisis is pinned on the advancement of women in formerly male-dominated spheres. There is a masculinity crisis, according to Michael Kimmel’s latest book Misframing Men.

Despicable Me

A few years ago my eleven year old sister was writing an essay on violence in schools. During our discussion of different types of violence, she astutely pointed out that not all violence is physical, and that a mean comment can be just as violent as a punch in the face. This led to an involved conversation about bullies in which, at one point, my sister looked at me and said, “I think bullies are mean to the kids at school because no one is nice to them at home.

Iron Butterflies: Women Transforming Themselves and the World

In the eternal question of nature versus nurture, author and developmental psychologist Birute Regine leans comfortably towards nature. She embraces “feminine” qualities and calls for women the world over to do the same.

Get Him to the Greek

Aldous Snow (Russell Brand)—the uber-sexual, tongue-in-cheek (and anywhere else you’ll let him stick it) Brit-rocker introduced to audiences in 2008’s Forgetting Sarah Marshall—is back in the latest film from yet another member of the Apatow Film Club for Boys.

Entangling Alliances: Foreign War Brides and American Soldiers in the Twentieth Century

When men are shipped out to foreign locations to engage in wartime activities, it seems inevitable that they will become romantically and sexually involved with foreign women. In Entangling Alliances, Susan Zeiger explores this phenomenon, examining governmental, military, and societal responses to American soldiers’ desires for sex, companionship, and marriage while engaged in combat overseas.

Masculine Identity in the Fiction of the Arab East Since 1967

It is widely acknowledged that limited gender constructs and highly patriarchal social structures, the kind that are prevalent in the Middle East, are often harmful to women.

Privilege: A Reader

A historian once said that the more one can know about something, the more you can control it. Michel Foucault was specifically talking about the control of psychiatric patients, prison inmates, and people's sex lives, but we can certainly extend his thoughts to a plethora of other examples.

Nakigao (Crying Girl)

You may have already heard about Nakigao (Crying Girl), a DVD released in Japan last month. It features eleven young Japanese actresses crying over real-life dramas they’ve had. And… that’s about it. The DVD is being marketed toward Japanese men, either for sexual or ego enjoyment purposes.

Don’t Be a Dick

Do-It-Yourself (DIY) culture has made an array of otherwise lofty topics accessible through the format of personal zines that aim to educate and inform—from bicycle maintenance to vegan cooking. In particular, the strong foothold that DIY culture has in radical politics and feminism has allowed for the creation of some radical, eye-opening work. Paul Brown’s zine, _Don’t Be a Dick, _is an archetypal DIY zine, complete with staples, a gray-washed Xeroxed background, hand-drawn pictures, and a curious layout.

Next of Kin: The Family in Chicano/a Cultural Politics

Anyone can tell you that family is important to Mexican and Chicano culture, and we can all venture guesses as to why. However, where exactly this family unit seems to be headed and how it has evolved in U.S. popular culture over the past 25-30 years is what Richard Rodríguez chooses to scrutinize in his study—and he does so with unexpected wit. Rodríguez's Next of Kin is structured into four chapters framed by an introduction and an afterword.

Clint Eastwood and Issues of American Masculinity

It’s easy to confuse Clint Eastwood the actor with Clint Eastwood the director.

Red Lights: The Lives of Sex Workers in Postsocialist China

On one occasion, gangsters walked into the bar, grabbed me by the arm, and started dragging me up the stairs toward a private room intended for hostesses’ sexual encounters with clients. The women were also sometimes raped there by gangsters. I quickly realized what was going on—that I was in real danger... Whereas safety was a major issue, hygiene was another. Living in a filthy karaoke bar room without bathing facilities, I had lice in my hair and over my whole body.

Big Man Japan

The experience of watching Big Man Japan, directed by and also starring Hitoshi Matsumoto, is akin to the pleasure of watching a five-year-old running on a child-size hamster wheel in the park. One alternates between confusion, amusement, and boredom as the aesthetic combines and alternates between the humor of a Hollywood slapstick, the visual dynamic of a video game, and the tone of a documentary.

I Love You, Man / Duplicity

I can’t remember the last time that I went to the theater and saw two movies in one day. For that matter, I can’t remember the last time that I was even able to afford that; I live in Manhattan, land of the thirteen dollar movie ticket. However, there were two recently released flicks that I was absolutely dying to see.

AsiaPacifiQueer: Rethinking Genders and Sexualities

Aside from a women’s studies class I took as an undergraduate, of which I remember very little, thoughts on gender and sexuality typically have not taken up much of my time. AsiaPacifiQueer: Rethinking Genders and Sexualities totally changed my perception on these subjects. As a self-proclaimed tomboy, who happens not to be a lesbian, society is much more accepting of my “ways” than they would be if I were an effeminate man.

The Terror Dream: Myth and Misogyny in an Insecure America

Many people are rightfully weary of discussing and analyzing 9/11. While it could be labeled insensitivity, it more likely has to do with a stifled national discourse, repugnant media spin, and a lack of in-depth processing. For the past several years, we’ve all been hibernating, trying to escape the aftermath of the terrorist attacks rather than actively deconstruct their meaning.

Guyland: The Perilous World Where Boys Become Men

Guyland is less of a place than an attitude, a realm of existence. Occupied by young, single, white men, its main demographic is middle class kids who are college-bound, college co-eds, or recent graduates in the United States. They live in communal housing with fraternity brothers or other recent grads. They work entry-level jobs but act aimless. They have plenty of time to party like they did in college and subsist on pizza, beer, and a visual diet of cartoons, sports, and porn. They hook up with women, but rarely form meaningful relationships.

Men Speak Out: Views on Gender, Sex, and Power

Men Speak Out is an important book for feminism.

Beyond the Icarus Factor: Releasing the Free Spirit of Boys

It seems that every year for the last fifteen or so, children of one gender or another are considered neglected, voiceless, constrained by social mores. In neither case is the notion wrong, but rarely are all the social implications put together.

Throw like a Girl

After being asked what she wanted for her readers to take away from Throw Like a Girl, Jean Thompson answered that she hoped they appreciate the “transforming power of literature, how can it remove us from the everyday world and let us see with new eyes.” And this book does just that: it takes us away from the everyday world and then painfully drops us back with the suspicion that this fiction is actually very real. The horrors of normalcy and the tedium of

Action Speaks Louder: Violence, Spectacle, and the American Action Movie

In Action Speaks Louder, Eric Lichtenfeld's illuminating history of the action film genre, the author claims that “the action film has deserved the right to be discussed in the same terms as those used to qualify other more established genres.” This idea, while not brought up until the book’s conclusion, forms the basis of Lichtenfeld’s study, which traces action film trends from the early hard-bodied heroes and martial arts stars like Stallone and Seagal all