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Contributes to masculinity

Reaction paper 2 parts 7 and 8 Given this second viewpoint, I would say that this hardly contributes to the definition of masculinity, because it informs on what women are based on what men are, but does not establish what being a man is.Recent research into masculinity has underscored this male-female polarity. In the American setting, cultural masculinity studies have dealt nearly exclusively in heterosexual masculinity behaviour and attributes (Traister, 2000, p. 274), which precludes homosexual masculinity as a seeming misnomer since it does not fit into the polar male-female model.Cultural changes are at the center of an evolving meaning given to “masculinity”, with the socio-economic developments in Europe defining the directions of Western thought in this regard. When Renaissance secular culture spread, interest in sexuality broke free of its strict regulation during the monastic period. When European monarchies embarked on overseas conquests and commerce prospered, the male role became identified with business, finance, and overall economic success. The fact that a man had more, and more expensive, possessions made him more of a man, better able to provide for his wife, their children, and his household members. The patriarchal system was further strengthened by the imperial monarchy where the power of men over women was further institutionalised (Connell, 1995, p. 248), formalising men’s domestic authority over women and enforcing the latter’s dependence upon the former’s economic property, not because the women did nothing to contribute to it, as they often managed the running of the estate and the network of alliances among the gentry (p. 249), but because they could not legally own property.The Western image of masculinity is an ideal that was fostered upon the colonial East as a means of further strengthening the rule of the colonizers upon the conquered (Krishnaswamy, 2002, p. 292).

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