Clarkson, Jay. “Everyday Joe” versus “Pissy, Bitchy, Queens” Gay Masculinity on StraightActing.com. The Journal of Men’s Studies, Vol 14(2), Spr 2006. Pp. 191-207
Phoenix, Ann; Frosh, Stephen; Pattman, Rob. Producing Contradictory Masculine Subject Positions: Narrative of Threat, Homophobia and bullying in 11-14 Year Old Boys. Journal of Social Issues, Vol 59(1), 2003. Special issue: Youth perspectives on violence and injustice. Pp. 179-195
“Everyday Joe” versus “Pissy, Bitchy, Queens” Gay Masculinity on StraightActing.com
In this paper, Jay Clarkson analyzes the discourse on Straight-Acting.com. The website is a common place for self proclaimed “straight acting gay men” to discuss various topics and issues. Primarily they discuss what it is to act straight and what constitutes straight and/or gay acting. While the website promotes gay men to act straight, this ultimately discourages gay men from acting effeminate. Clarkson describes the discourse with this website as “highly homophobic and glorifying the normative standards of masculinity”. Clarkson explores the idea that gay men conforming to these normative standards of masculinity as the direct opposite of the cultural stereotype that conflates homosexuality with femininity. Clarkson believes that the men on this website construct their idea of masculinity based on the normative working-class heterosexual male and this normative masculinity depends on the subjugation of women and effeminate men. Selective homophobia is mentioned in this paper and it is the idea that gay men can be accepted as long as they conform to heteronormative expectations but condemning those gay men that do not conform to these expectations. Homographesis is another term mentioned in this paper that is important to note. Homographesis is the assumption that homosexuality can be identifies visually, behaviorally, and/or psychologically distinguished from other sexualities. The assumption is that that are characteristics that can signify homosexuality such as clothing, gait, posture, facial expressions, hand gestures, tone of voice, etc. This assumption relies on the cultural stereotype of homosexuals being feminine rather than masculine.
Producing Contradictory Masculine Subject Positions: Narrative of Threat, Homophobia and bullying in 11-14 Year Old Boys
This paper is a qualitative analysis of data from a study of masculinity in 11-14 year old boys attending a dozen different schools in London. It examines the relationship between bullying and homophobia these boys face on a daily basis in their schools. They derive that due to the hierarchy in the school setting, based on toughness and concomitant homophobia, these boys are constrained and/or enabled by their concept of masculinity. This constant pressure and threat to their own masculinity often creates feelings of sadness and loneliness, but as these are not stereotypically masculine emotions, they must be concealed and replaced with a defensive nature. In the context of their study, they establish masculinity as synonymous with toughness, physical aggression, homophobia and anti-femininity. Interviews were done in group settings as well as individual interviews and the boys showed a lot less bravado in the individual interviews. In the group interviews around their peers, they had to keep up the sense of masculinity that was expected of them but did not display the same bravado individually. This helps demonstrate that these senses of masculinity are forced and comes as a direct result of their need to conform to the heteronormative expectations of them.
We will be conducting interviews with men of all ages in order to group them together into the age groups we will be comparing. We will ask them a series of questions regarding their definition of masculinity, what it means for a man to be masculine, whether they feel gay men can be considered masculine, etc. in hopes to examine the relationship between the two. During the interview, we will use photo elicitation in order to see how the men react to different levels of heteronormative masculinity and the stereotypical feminine. Combining the interview with the reactions to the photographs should help us notice a relationship between men’s sense and idea of masculinity and the way homosexuality affects this.
We will fully disclose the intentions of our interview with the men and ask their permission to use anything from the interview in our project. We will remind them they can end the interview and withdraw from participating in our project whenever they want to. Sexuality is a sensitive topic to most so we will be careful to try not to push or offend anyone with the interview. The photos we will use for the photo elicitation, we will make sure we have permission to use and will credit the sources. Any pictures we take, we will put a creative commons license on and make sure have permission of any possible subjects in the photos.