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Garrett Spencer April 8, 2014 ENGL 1102

Round Table Paper


Have you ever noticed how things change overtime with culture changes and media? I am
researching about masculinity in United States society and how the American people view
someone as masculine. Based off of the research I have done, I have found that the main
voices on this topic are parents, women, and men. Men state their views as to how masculinity is
seen in American society as well as women and parents. These different voices will show what
they all believe what masculinity means today in American society.
Women have an influence of men believe it or not. Women can have an influence on
boys/men at a young age or at an older age. In fact, a woman named Raewyn Connell who
researches gender in society mentions the Chicago Womens Liberation Union (Connell,
2010). This is significant because the movement was about ending gender inequality which
effects men and masculinity. Of course back in the 1960s and 1970s masculinity was looked at
in a more traditional way than it is today. By more traditional I mean labor intensive working
men, muscular, and head of the household.
Mentioning that women have an influence on boys at a young age leads me to my next
voice; parents. Parents have a strong influence from when the children are born. The babies are
basically assigned their gender by their parents until the children understand what gender they
are. Since the 1950s boys have been associated with blue and girls have been associated with
pink (gender spectrum, 2014). As children grow up they are assigned their gender from the toys
and gifts that they receive (gender spectrum, 2014). In an article a woman talks about her two
sons and them growing up with dinosaurs and the one son really resembles traits of masculinity
playing with the dinosaur. Her son acted as such, Oh, he loved dinosaurs, all right, but only the
Garrett Spencer April 8, 2014 ENGL 1102
blood-swilling carnivores. Plant-eaters were wimps and losers, and he refused to wear a T-shirt
marred by a picture of a stegosaur (Blum, 1998). Deborah Blum (the parent of these children)
was interested by what she saw and only proved that how a child acts and parental influence has
a lot to do with gender assignment in the younger years of age.
For all the men out there, do you remember growing up playing football in the backyard
in the middle of the summer at a family cookout? That is generally considered something
masculine to do. Most men grow up exposed to all of these activities and ideas that are masculine
and usually take on this role. Boys growing up do not all think the same. Some may think if they
arent masculine you will be judged to no end, especially by other boys. Judgment might happen
if you do not act masculine such as acting gay. In an article called Redefining Masculinity a
man named Hector Torres has a Doctorate in Psychology and says, being called gay is often the
worst possible insult among adolescent boys (Clay, 2012). Growing up as a boy can be very
difficult and during the adolescent period is when most of the gender identity is developed.
Masculinity in United States society and how the people view someone as masculine
has a lot to do with the voices of parents, women, and men. Each of those voices impact how
masculine someone is or how someone may view masculinity. All of these impacts are different
but are continuously changing in society today. In the United States we are seeing more and
more change every year.




Garrett Spencer April 8, 2014 ENGL 1102
References:
Clay, Rebecca. "Redefining Masculinity." apa.org. N.p., n.d. Web. 4 Apr 2014.
"Raewyn Connell" : Masculinities. N.p., n.d. Web. 21 Mar. 2014.
"The Gender Blur". Utne N.p., n.d. Web. 28 Mar. 2014.
"Understanding Gender." Understanding Gender. N.p., n.d. Web. 19 Mar. 2014.