To scare the ‘Fragile Masculinity’ a little bit 😛
It was one of the days in Ramdan- exactly like nowadays- we were sitting in our lounge, back at home and one of the non-ending tv commercials started playing, showing sissy young man and a voice saying “Be a man!, drink this XX”. The tv Com. ended with the guy’s voice “This drink is for macho men, be a man!” I wasn’t a gender baby by this time (this is how we call ourselves in the GAD MA :D), but still I have been a feminist and couldn’t help it but laugh and feel how silly it is. Although, this is not a funny commercial (I really love funny tv commercials, they are my favorite XD), but still its the ugly truth of what does it mean to be a man. Then the memes and hashtags #fragilemasculinity started going viral to relate to this unfunny and silly tv commercial. What is fragile masculinity? Its mainly the ambitious of the neoliberal consumerism, aiming at making men consume products that has been labeled as feminine without feeling emasculated (like leggings, there is meggings for men now, lool <3).
Being the gender baby that I am, I have to annoy everyone with this topic, after all, we should let the other MAs know about the importance of gender (scoffs). Gender is performative- Judith butler would agree on that XD- and it’s not a secret that there is hegemonic masculinity as well, which means in a simple way: the favorable form of masculinity, that men thrive to relate to in different realms of life. Hereafter, there is multiple forms of hegemonic masculinity, that can be performed in different spaces. Both, men and women can adopt this performance of masculinity (yes, its not only for men
Agamben and the bare life of the hegemonic masculinity
Butler (2009) mentions in her lecture on ‘Performativity, Precarity and Sexual Politics’ the precarious life that gender non-confirming people has to face. Well, we are made vulnerable by our gender performativity. In a sense that, the way we try to comply to these gender roles, leave us with compromised agency. Men are not only sacred of wearing meggings and the fear of looking like women. In my country, they fear being called gay, being gay, not being a capable breadwinner, not finding as job; because they are asked to be breadwinners and even not being good in bed. These are constant fears of not relating to these different patterns of hegemonic masculinity. Men have been made a Homo Sacer in diverse shapes. This is how Agamben referred to it “Process of Subjectivization” where our bodies are politicized and the sovereign is no longer the “body of the king’ it is in the micro-practices of life (Foucault), which Agamben define as ‘ operativeness of the sovereign’
”Man is not only a natural body, but also a body of the city, that is, of the so-called political part”. Nancy Lindefrane in her book ‘Masculinities Under Neoliberalism’ explains how there is no such a thing of the so-called oppressed femininities vs the superior masclunties. These patterns and cycles of neoliberal enslavement was made to sustain this bloody system. Its sad, that even though we think that we choose our sexuality, however, its not completely true. Our sex is gendered. We are performing the closed form of sexuality that would keep our gender roles sustained and thus keep a citizens and not made a bare life by the state, for the fear that we will be abandoned by the state . Even though, there are people who choose to be dissident citizens (Dasgupta), for our fear to be abandoned by the state and transformed to the bare life. Still we are negotiating power always over our bodies.
We have been made the Homo Sacer by our own gendered roles. I don’t know how this will go away…