Gender Blending Confronting The Limits of Duality
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In her book, Gender Blending: Confronting the Limits of Duality, Holly Devor outlines the four characteristics that make a man masculine, or the "attitudes of masculinity."
- They are displaying success and high status in their social group,
- Exhibiting a manly air of toughness, confidence, and self-reliance
- Exhibiting the aura of aggression, violence, and daring
- Conscientiously avoiding anything associated with femininity.
There are many men in the United States today who are widely admired in American culture who strongly exhibit these attitudes of masculinity. This paper will discuss six of those men and how their accomplishments and personas have established them as popular masculine figures in our society.
A President as an Example of Gender Blending
The first man who qualifies as a popular, masculine figure in our society is President George W. Bush. By obtaining the office of the president, George W. Bush has achieved the highest status possible not only in his social group, but also in the nation. President Bush exuded confidence and self-reliance throughout his campaign for presidency, often citing his past accomplishments as proof of his leadership abilities. Since the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, President Bush has revealed a more aggressive nature towards punishing the individuals responsible for those attacks, and has declared war on any country that supports terrorism or harbors terrorists. His attitude that a country is either with us or against us has show President Bush in a more aggressive and somewhat violent light. Finally, President Bush has a history of working in more "masculine" industries. His work experience before becoming Governor of Texas and President of the United States was in the oil industry and in professional baseball. Thus, President George W. Bush clearly qualifies as a popular masculine figure in American culture.
Legendary Star as an Example of Gender Blending
A second masculine personality popular in American society is Clint Eastwood. Most famous for his acting roles, Clint Eastwood has won the respect of both men and women for his talented acting. He is considered one of the most legendary stars of his time, both for Oscar-winning acting and directing. Clint's self-confidence not only helps his career, but also prompted him to run and be elected to the office of mayor of Carmel, California. The roles that Clint Eastwood has chosen to play throughout his have been loners, sometimes cowboys, sometimes police officers, but usually with a propensity for violence. These tough roles have established Clint as a man's man, someone who doesn't flinch in the face of danger. These roles have also associated Clint with the traditionally masculine pursuits of being a cowboy or working in law enforcement. For Clint, his career and his personal life have combined to make him a popular masculine figure in American Culture.