Critically evaluate the argument that the so-called "crisis in masculinity" paradoxically furthers forms of hegemonic masculinity.

Essay by daniellen0407College, UndergraduateC+, April 2008

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The concept of "masculinity in crisis" has been put forth in recent debates regarding men and their masculinity. Critical analysis of men and thus of the gender of masculinity arose in the 1970s with the beginning of the men's movements. These movements established the notion that men (like women) are oppressed by their gender and that this oppression is a result of pressures and constraints put on men by society such as defined roles and expectations of men within the public sphere. In recent years, there is an increasing number of evidence supporting the fact that masculinity is in crisis. These prove include the threat of unemployment for men, their incapability in expressing their own feelings and responding to physical and psychological problems, the gay movement, worse health qualities, failure in school, higher rate of committing in violent crime and so on. It is now believed that masculinity qualities are being challenged by our society and feminism.

Men are now being portrayed as trouble makers because statistics show that they have been doing worse than women in various areas. Nevertheless, people argue that this so-called "crisis in masculinity" is paradoxically further forms of hegemonic masculinity. This essay will establish the origin of the crisis in masculinity, which is believed to be the male liberation movement during 1970s. It will then look into what exactly the crisis in masculinity is and how this crisis has affected the performance of masculinity by men. It will also evaluate whether the crisis in masculinity furthers forms of hegemonic masculinity with evidence from supporting side. It will then be discussed with examples from different areas. One of the examples is from the Australian sports sector, which could be referred to the allegations of rape put forth against players of the Canterbury Bulldogs rugby league...