Add new comment

Your blog entry brings up many good points to think about, Felix. :-)

Of course, while gender is not a binary, I want to turn around some of the points you mention to make them about being feminine. (For some reason, while "masculine" feels like word with malleable meanings, "feminine" only conjures up certain images in my head, like corsets, so perhaps "female" feels more appropriate for me in this case?)

1. I agree with you here: "I’m not saying this because women are excluded from articulating what masculinity is, or that their views are less valid (or indeed less problematic) – but because in terms of people who are important in forming understandings of masculinity, women tend to be overlooked (it’s all football coaches and uncles, remember)." That's such a good point and one that is too-often understated. Conversely, do you think the reverse is true: can and/or should girls look to men to help them form their understandings of femininity? I have mixed feelings about that: I think that girls could and should gain important support in becoming feminists from the positive male "role models" in their lives, like a empowering coach or dad, but similar assistance in becoming "feminine" makes me think of (negative) traditional gender roles.

2. I always chuckle when I hear the phase "I can make you a man" because it has always sounded like a line from a cheesy porno to me! If the traditional phrase is from the series of old male body-building adverts, what would "I can make you a woman!" advertise? Would it also be for iron-pumping or would it be something stereotypical like a bake-off? ;-)

(I also have some more thoughts on Charles Atlas and his version of physical fitness, but I'll save those for later.)

What do you think?