“Masculinity as Homophobia”, and Kimmel’s main argument in the article
Kimmel refers to masculinity as homophobia to refer to the man fear of humiliation. In detailed context, masculinity homophobia refers to any sign of feminity in a man that draws criticism from peers. He further states that both male and female conform to masculinity phobia through the use of words, violence, and isolation. Kimmel says that men put on mask to hide their true characters from other males (Kimmel, 2004). Kimmel main argument in the article is that American men socialize in a very rigid and restrictive definition of masculinity. Kimmel states that men fear mockery of being too feminine by fellow men and the fear translates to homophobic masculinity (Kimmel, 2004). Kimmel, therefore, calls for political participation in defining the masculinity to end gender struggle.
The “Mask you live In” shows how feminine perception towards masculinity is the source of homophobia. When boys undermine anything that is feminine, they tend to disrespect women. Joe Ehrmann deliberates how he showed off his “hypermasculinity” by playing football. Joe felt so much obligated when explaining his action. Michael says that calling a male sissy pisses them off and can result in fights among American boys (Kimmel, 2004). The film also explains how drinking, drug abuse, depression, and violence escalate in boys when they become teenagers.
Experts explain that boys portray such behaviors are because of loneliness and lack essential emotional outlets. The mask shows how boys are denied the freedom of expression and facing genuine affairs following their interests and desires. The makers of this film have an essentialist or a social-constructionist view of gender in US society. The mask film challenges viewers to understand how gender constricts to the whole community.
Kimmel, M. S. (2004). Masculinity as homophobia: Fear, shame, and silence in the construction of gender identity. Race, class, and gender in the United States: An integrated study, 81-93.
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