GENDERLESS MASCULINITY

TO BE GENDERLESS IS TO LACK QUALITIES TYPICALLY ASSOCIATED WITH EITHER SEX.

MASCULINITY IS THE POSSESSION OF QUALITIES TRADITIONALLY ASSOCIATED WITH MEN.

 

A GENDERLESS MASCULINITY IS AN ATTEMPT TO SEPARATE THE SOCIAL CONSTRUCTION OF GENDER FROM TRADITIONAL REPRESENTATIONS OF MASCULINITY, IN ORDER TO GIVE POWER TO THE INDIVIDUAL WHO POSSES THE CHARACTERISTICS RATHER THAN SOCIETY WHO DELEGATES WHAT ONE SHOULD OR SHOULDN’T BE OR DO ACCORDING TO THEIR BIOLOGY.

 

GENDER IDENTITY IS A RESULT OF IDEALS INTRODUCED BY SOCIAL DISCOURSE AND HISTORICAL CIRCUMSTANCES TO PROTECT THE NORM OF HETEROSEXUALITY. SOCIETIES FEEL SAFE UNDER THE “NORMALITY” OF PATRIARCHY. THE KEY INFLUENCERS OF SOCIETIES GENDER ORDER ARE SCHOOLS, SCIENCE, THE LAW, RELIGION AND ART.  THESE INFLUENCES AFFECT THE DIFFERENCES BETWEEN THE SOCIAL PRACTICES OF THE SEXES, WHICH INCLUDE DRESS, ADORNMENTS, HOBBIES AND SPORTS. CONSEQUENTLY, THE EXAGGERATION OF MALE AND FEMALE DIFFERENCES ARE USED TO SUSTAIN A SOCIAL DEFINITION OF GENDER TO REINFORCE ORDER, TO CONTROL AND TO DISTRIBUTE POWER. POWER IN REGARDS TO GENDER, RACE, SEXUALITY, STRENGTH, INTELLECTUAL DISCIPLINE, AGE AND WEALTH. 

 

FOR CENTURIES, MASCULINITY HAS BEEN A REFLECTION OF WHAT COLLECTIVE CHARACTERISTICS THE “CONVENTIONAL” MAN POSSES, WHAT THEY DO AND HOW THEY ACT WITHIN THEIR CULTURAL ENVIRONMENT, THIS HAS ENCOURAGED EVER-CHANGING REPRESENTATIONS OF MASCULINITY AS THE IDEAS, CUSTOMS AND SOCIAL BEHAVIOUR OF MEN ALTER THROUGHOUT HISTORY. THE CONSTANT ELEMENT OF MASCULINITY IS THE ASSOCIATION OF IT WITH MEN. TRADITIONAL GENDER ROLES SUGGEST THAT MEN ARE ACTIVE AND WOMEN ARE PASSIVE, THEREFORE MASCULINITY IS ACTIVE AND FEMININITY IS PASSIVE. MASCULINITY IS USED AS AN INDICATOR OF THE QUALITIES THAT “CONVENTIONAL” WOMEN LACK, SUBSEQUENTLY THE COMMON SKILLS AND CHARACTERISTICS RECOGNISED IN A PARTICULAR SEX AMPLIFY THE INDIVIDUAL BUT THE SKILLS AND CHARACTERISTICS THAT HAVE NOT BEEN IDENTIFIED REDUCE THE INDIVIDUAL AND LOCK THE SUBJECT IN A STEREOTYPICAL GENDER ROLE. TO HAVE MASCULINE QUALITIES IS NOT TO LACK FEMININE QUALITIES; MASCULINITY AND FEMININITY ARE PERPENDICULAR AXIS NOT OPPOSITE ENDS OF A SINGULAR AXIS. IDENTITIES ARE NOT FIXED; THEY ARE EVOLVING JOURNEYS OF INDIVIDUAL DISCOVERY. 

MASCULINITY ENGAGES AND AFFECTS EVERYONE, FROM POSSESSING MASCULINE QUALITIES TO ENGAGING WITH INDIVIDUALS WITH MASCULINE QUALITIES.

 

WHEN ONLY ASSOCIATED WITH MEN, MASCULINITY IS A PROSTHETIC REALITY, A METAPHOR OF SOCIAL CONSTRUCTION, A FIGURE OF SPEECH; THAT IDENTIFIES MALES AS BEING MASCULINE BUT IT IS NOT THE ONLY MANIFESTATION OF MASCULINITY. THE USE OF MASCULINITY SHOULD BE PLURAL, MASCULINITIES AS DIFFERENT INSTITUTIONS GIVE BIRTH TO DIFFERENT MASCULINITIES, FOR EXAMPLE THE ARMY ARE A NETWORK OF MASCULINITIES AS IS A SPORTS TEAM.  

 

CULTURE PLANTS DEEP ROOTS IN THE LANGUAGE AND REPRESENTATION OF MASCULINITY, THE DECONSTRUCTION OF TRADITIONAL MASCULINE IDEALS WILL RESULT IN THE REDISTRIBUTION OF POWER.

 

GENDERLESS MASCULINITY IS THE IDENTIFICATION OF MASCULINITY AS A PERFORMANCE, AN EXPRESSION IRRESPECTIVE OF SEX, SEXUALITY, GENDER, RACE, AGE OR POSITION IN SOCIETY. IT ACKNOWLEDGES THAT YOU CAN BE BOTH MASCULINE AND FEMININE AT THE SAME TIME.

 

B A M I  O Y E F E S O

Bami London