Masculinity Research News

April News Roundup


Stage 1 articles can be elusive to identify as they do not necessarily speak in the vocabulary of masculinity (being, as they are, unconscious of the subject): in this case, many articles about war and violence are essentially Stage 1 articles as they document the unconscious impact of normative masculinity on society. However, this month there is a good Stage 1 article about masculinity in light of the anniversary of the Columbine shootings. Remember, while this may be a Stage 3 analysis, it is categorised as Stage 1 as we learn more about Stage 1 than Stage 3.

Stage 2 has the expected representation of religion, sport and men’s rights activism: the bread and butter of this stage. We may have reached “Peak Trump Masculinity” in April, with only a small number of articles referring to this relative to previous months in 2016.

This month once again shows how Stage 3 masculinity is representative of the worldview of many media content producers (thus the large number of articles relative to Stage 3 perceptions of masculinity in society as a whole). We also see more evidence of video games becoming a site of Stage 3 analysis, which will no doubt continue to become an important site of consideration alongside TV and film.

Bridging Stage 3 and 4 this month are articles regarding Grayson Perry, who is promoting his new TV show in the UK about masculinity which starts in May. Talking about his own masculinity, Perry is firmly in Stage 4. However, a Perry interview that was widely shared on social media this week saw Perry take aim at the masculinity of Bear Grylls, which he described as “useless”. Unfortunately, this puts Perry back in Stage 3. Certainly, we can argue against Grylls’ masculinity if we are being told that is what masculinity should look like. However, to denounce Grylls’ masculinity as useless in totality is to regulate it, which is little more than another manifestation of hegemony. One of the great challenges of Stage 4 is that if you are going to be serious about gender plurality, you have to accommodate those masculine performances you do not necessarily like.

Bridging Stage 4 and Stage 5 this month were many articles about masculinity in the context of Prince’s untimely death. Most of these articles were Stage 4 inasmuch as they argued Prince combined both masculinity and femininity. However, a more nuanced look delivers us to Stage 5: Prince did not complement masculinity with femininity, rather he performed Princeness (or Selfness). Stage 5 moves beyond the categories of masculine and feminine (or even a combination of the two) and takes us into solely individual territory, where each (post-gendered) performance is a category in itself.

Stage 1

‘Damaged masculinity’ may help explain Columbine and other mass shootings:

Stage 2

How I Discovered True Masculinity:

Australian masculinity is not under siege:

The book that revolutionized ‘Christian manhood’: 15 years after ‘Wild at Heart’:

I Was a Men’s Rights Activist:

When men wanted to be virile:

Stage 3

The Limitless Potential of Men to Transform Manhood:

Grayson Perry: Bear Grylls ‘celebrates a masculinity that is useless’:

‘Everybody Wants Some!!’ Proves Male-Focused Comedies Can Promote Healthy Masculinity:

Swallowing the Red Pill: a journey to the heart of modern misogyny:

Orphan Black’s Kristian Bruun proudly runs ‘the gamut of masculinity’:

‘Final Fantasy XV’ Sends an Important Message About Toxic Masculinity:

Building a Better Father:

‘ManTalks’ Redefines Modern Manliness:

The Three Modes of Male Sexuality in Videogames:

Teaching Men to Be Emotionally Honest:

A Man’s Job: Struggling with Identity and Masculinity in the Workplace:

Why a new breed of writers are putting masculinity in the spotlight:

Stage 4

“Gay” James Franco’s delusion:

Grayson Perry: I’m all man:

Choreographing Masculinity:

Stage 5

How Prince Led the Way to Our Gender Fluid Present: