Summarize the article. What contribution does this article offer to the conversation of masculinity? Through the analysis of recent articles and documentaries, one may conclude that the true definition of man and masculinity may be hard to define, much less conceptualize. In such ways, masculinity is often defined by what it is not. With this in mind, through the analysis of the article, “Managing Masculinity: The Metrosexual Moment,” by Helene Shugart, one may see that these lines have once again been blurred.
As mentioned, “Masculine gender identity is never stable; its terms are ontinually being re-defined and re-negotiated, the gender performance continually being restaged. ” In congruence, Shugart presents us with the idea of metrosexuality. The definition of metrosexuality is: a usually urban heterosexual male given to enhancing his personal appearance by grooming, beauty treatments, and fashionable clothes. This very definition may lead one to question all previous knowledge and guidelines of masculinity.
Such a definition has lead to problems in distinguishing between masculinity and femininity, thus resulting in the, “masculinity risis. ” The article seeks to address these issues as well as the changing concepts of identity, status, and privilege. As we have learned through this article and previous analyses, commercialization has a highly pervasive influence on masculinity. As mentioned in the article, some scholars trace “commercial masculinity’ back to the 1950’s, yet it is still pervasive in contemporary popular culture.
Most agree that the 1980’s witnessed the start of a dramatic shift toward the objectification of the male body. As the article states this bservation is consistent with the notion that commercial masculinity may be best understood as a logical consequence of feminist challenges to cultural discourses and definitions of gender. In past discussions we have seen the continuous objectification of the female body, now it seems as though the tables have slightly shifted and in doing so raised the standard in commercial masculinity.
With this in mind one may have seen the sudden birth of the, “metrosexuality movement. ” Shugart addresses these commercialized issues in regards to the emergence of said ovement. The television show Queer Eye for the Straight Guy, the book that was “spun off’ of the television series, and the popularly designated handbook of metrosexuality (The Metrosexual Guide to Style: A Handbook for the Modern Man) all further aided the growth and influence of this movement.
Although the phenomenon was but brief it was significant to the extent that it thoroughly consumed the public consciousness for the better part of two years. The article mentions that, “despite the ostensible promise of a union forged between heterosexual and gay men for edefining masculinity, Queer Eye ultimately reifies normative notions by defining homosexuality against masculinity. In congruence, metrosexuality challenges the normative masculinity. As gender barriers have grown more fluid, so has the male appeal of accessories, mentions in the above quote, with the questioning of normative masculinity came a marked reversal of the gendered tradition of self-improvement, which Faludi describes as the “ornamentalisation” of men. It should be known that gay men where essential to metrosexuality in US popular culture. As Shugart states, “metrosexuality as rendered meaningful in this regard as a product of the intersection between normative, straight masculinity and gay, effeminate masculinity. In the popular US discourse of metrosexuality, gay men were assigned very clearly defined roles, as drawn sharply against “authentic” -heterosexual??”masculinity. “Within the discourse of commercial masculinity, metrosexuality effectively consigned gay men the role of border agents located at the margins of gender and sexuality, charges with marshalling those borders and resolutely maintaining their continence even as they ollaborated closely with straight men. Straight men could collude with and capitalize on gay men’s aberrant status in order to increase their cultural capital, both with women and in terms of economic and professional success, to which the gay men essentially functioned as link. Henceforth, the presence of gay men was vital within the metrosexual movement. Through analysis of the article, in congruence with past discussions, I feel that metrosexuality defies all previous accounts of masculinity. This defiance further blurs the lines between masculinity and femininity.
Through my personal analysis, I conclude that a metrosexual male is no less masculine than a commercialized “rough and tough” fgure such as, Rocky Balboa. Although I am no closer to being able to clearly define the lines that encompass masculinity, I feel that this broader knowledge allows for a more open minded assessment. No two people are created equally, therefore one man cannot be held to the standards of another. Although this seems to be an unrealistic conclusion given todays society, one can only make strides towards this “true definition of a man. “