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In English, there are multiple expressions that reinforce masculine gender norms and binaristic thinking about gender roles in society. The expression “be a man” comes to mind as does “boys don’t cry,” in addition to many others. Such language can have violent and traumatic impacts on children and young people who may then feel that their experience of gender doesn’t match up with powerful and oppressive social and cultural norms.
Drawing on the readings and videos this week, choose one expression you’re familiar with in English.
Analyze that expression through the critical feminist lenses you’ve been learning about this week. Use the following questions to guide your analysis:
• In what social and cultural situations is this expression used? For example, have you heard it at athletic events, at family gatherings, in classes?
• Who or what does the expression refer to?
• What message does the expression send about masculine gender norms?
• In what ways is that message not only about gender, but also about race, class, sexuality, (dis)ability, and other social systems?
• What ideas from the readings and videos do you find helpful in seeking to understand this expression?
Paper should be between 250 and 300 words long. The paper should demonstrate ability to make connections between course readings and materials on the one hand and thoughts and insights about masculinities on the other.
You must make reference to at least 3 of the learning resources listed in the attached materials. However, you should not include entire quotes from the resources. Whenever you refer to a reading or other materials, use parenthetical citations including the author’s last name and the page number that you’re referring to, for example, (Hearn 55). If there is no page number (i.e., in a video), just use the title of the source, e.g., (Crenshaw, “The Urgency of Intersectionality”).