masculine hegemony. | May 21, 2011

I am not politically correct. I am delving into a topic I myself am trying to understand. Be patient with my use of gender.

Today I found a phrase that sharpened my lens of life… masculine hegemony.

“Hegemonic masculinity is “a question of how particular groups of men
inhabit positions of power and wealth, and how they legitimate and
reproduce the social relationships that generate their dominance.””

We are the verbiage we utilize.

We can’t just walk around being pissed.

“Our identities are produced for us by systems of power that control how we understand and make sense of our world. Unfortunately, it is pretty much impossible to ‘dis identify’ in our mainstream north american culture. We must step into identities – or we are pushed, jammed or shoved into them.”

i am stepping out of the identity of the damaged woman and into the identity of the strong transparent woman, because I am.

i have lived my life taking life as it comes and played all the games i have walked into. in high school it was a choice between stripper or drug dealer cause you know, that’s white trash for ya, and in this masculine world who holds the power in those dynamics? then i chose to join the military. masculine hegemony like woah. even though i chose mental health which is like the touchy feely feminine side of the military, it was still the military.

i played the fucking game well.

i balanced my desire to be flamboyantly feminine with filling the role i had to to be taken seriously, a “masculine” role some would say.

i consider myself an individual that was not raised privately by parental figures but raised publicly by society. when i would cry about having to meet my mother at the bar after school, the school nurse would listen. it was understood that I always had a place in her office even if I wasn’t ill. i would go to a local nursing home and sit in the living room just to be around a parental older generation. no one who knew me knew that i did this. even at my mother’s bar, other adults would reach out to me. i was given quarters like i had a card board sign in my hands. i borrowed family. Because of this, i feel i have an interesting perspective on our culture.

there is a lot of life where women must say what they are prescribed to say in order to exist. this is called masculine hegemony.  this concept is real and tangible and valid. it is also suffocating.

“Hegemony, a pivotal concept in Gramsci’s Prison Notebooks and his
most significant contribution to Marxist thinking, is about the winning
and holding of power and the formation (and destruction) of social
groups in that process. In this sense, it is importantly about the ways in
which the ruling class establishes and maintains its domination. The
ability to impose a definition of the situation, to set the terms in which
events are understood and issues discussed, to formulate ideals and
define morality is an essential part of this process. Hegemony involves
persuasion of the greater part of the population, particularly through
the media, and the organization of social institutions in ways that
appear “natural,” “ordinary:’ “normal.” The state, through punishment
for non-conformity, is crucially involved in this negotiation and

Caveat: Female hysteria was a once-common medical diagnosis, made exclusively in women, which is today no longer recognized by modern medical authorities as a medical disorder. Its diagnosis and treatment were routine for many hundreds of years in Western Europe. Women considered to be suffering from it exhibited a wide array of symptoms including faintness, nervousness, insomnia, fluid retention, heaviness in abdomen, muscle spasm, shortness of breath, irritability, loss of appetite for food or sex, and “a tendency to cause trouble”

What is female hysteria but women saying, “I am fucking sick of the way my vagina is used as a platform for subjugation.”?

Damn right, I cause trouble.

…and I’ll tell you another thing. masturbation is not healing my hysteria.

i am sort of on a rampage. i am tired of traversing masculinity and working so hard to validate all that is feminine. i don’t mean to relegate hegemonic masculinity to those of male gender. i am discussing this from a place where masculinity as a dominating force is internalized in everyone. there is the women who point at other woman’s histrionics and don’t look deeper into the culmination of their anxieties. they gain power from the subjugation of the overwhelmed woman as well.

I comprehend the internal dilemma. I yearn for the nurturing, healing seduction of femininity and ache for the destructive tearing domination of masculinity. I am insisting that these conversations have to become part of our collective consciousness in order to balance these symptoms within each of us. For the feminine not to be silenced as woo woo shit and for masculinity to be given a break from control. We need both.

“Which groups are most active in the making of masculinist sexual ideology? It
is true that the New Right and fascism are vigorously constructing aggressive,
dominant, and violent models of masculinity. But generally, the most influential
agents are considered to be: priests, journalists, advertisers, politicians,
psychiatrists, designers, playwrights, film makers, actors, novelists, musicians,
activists, academics, coaches, and sportsmen. They are the “weavers of the
fabric of hegemony” as Gramsci put it, its “organizing intellectuals.” These
people regulate and manage gender regimes: articulate experiences,
fantasies, and perspectives; reflect on and interpret gender relations.”

my emotions are valid. my perspective is valid. my anxiety is real. physically real. and it has a source.

How many women do you hear say their mother is crazy? ok, well, let us not catch babies floating down river but rather find the source throwing babies.

“The corporate world expects men to divulge little of their personal lives and to
restrain personal feelings, especially affectionate ones, towards their
colleagues while cultivating a certain bland affability. Within the corporate
structure, “success is achieved through individual competition rather than
dyadic or group bonding.” The distinction between home and work is crucial
and carefully maintained. For men in the corporation, friends have their place –
outside work”

I would not isolate this analysis to the corporate world. I believe this is another way capitalism is internalized and I don’t think many people acknowledge it.

I am filled with aggression towards the capitulation to the patriarchal powers in effort for male approval or societal legitimation. Avoiding these conversations is literally killing the feminine.

“In everyday life it is possible to obtain some respite from moderately heightened levels of tension and anxiety through such methods as increased physical activity, orgasm, meditation, and muscle relaxation. But when tension and anxiety reach truly pathological levels, none of these methods have much effect. An act of self-mutilation, however, may be quite efficacious in reducing the tension and anxiety. one explanation for this effect relates to the problematic theory of “psychic energy”. Briefly stated, this theory holds that the mind-brain system operates best within a certain range of tension levels. If the levels get too high, the mind-brain system will operate automatically to divest itself of “quantities of excitation.””

-Armando Favazza, Bodies Under Siege

“Heirarchical institutions foster alienated and exploitive relationships amoung those who participate in them, disempowering people and distancing them from their own reality.”

-Martha Ackelsberg

There is a hierarchy of masculine over feminine and I am not going to put up with it anymore.

Movement work is elitist bullshit if we do not make room for people most effected. or if the people most effected don’t force room for themselves. I do not have a victim complex, you can take that shit and shove it. I am fucking sick, fucking sick of the way things work. I will not play a role. I am fed the fuck up.


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  1. Not to say this isn’t legit, or valid in most cases, but… can we make allowances for the logical points outside this sweep? As in:
    If most Moogs are Zerts, and all Zerts are Moogs, then this Moog is a Zert (T/F)?

    While the majority of data points may lie within your reasoning, let’s leave some room for optimism, shall we?

    Comment by J — May 21, 2011 @ 5:34 am

    • There is optimism. Didn’t you hear me? I’m not gonna take it anymore. Optimism is bursting out of my seems, sir.

      Comment by raven0us — May 21, 2011 @ 5:34 pm

  2. When I share my views on subjects of this nature, the term “man-hating femnazi” gets thrown around like candy on Halloween. This is always shocking to me as I feel as though I am quite the opposite.

    I always make it clear that I believe patriarchy is detrimental to everyone, not just women, and the quote on how men are expected to behave in the corporate world is exactly what I’ve been looking for when I make this point. Embracing the feminine is perceived to be anti-male, which I find to be utterly detestable. Gender equality to me means we want things balanced and the balance of masculine and feminine is a large part of that. That is not even to say we as a country should be less masculine, just that we cherish the feminine and not view it as some form of weakness. Traits like courage and strength are usually associated with masculinity and dominance but I find our society’s fear of femininity to be pretty fucking spineless.

    I can very much identify with your desire to be “flamboyantly feminine” but still be taken seriously. I’ve always had a dominant personality so I spent years trying to figure out whether I wanted to be the tomboy or the princess. It’s a pretty clear example of being pressured into filling a role. These days I avoid typecasting myself and consider myself more “human” than anything, but it took a long time to get there.

    I’m not sure if I full grasp the concept of masculine hegemony but from what it sounds like he continuation of such can really only mean the continuation of grown men and women unhappily conforming to an expected role and raising their children to be emotional fuckwits.

    Comment by Dani — May 21, 2011 @ 7:35 am

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    Mother Lover. <3

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