Masculinity of the Month: Mel Gibson

Posted July 26, 2010 by Critical Masculinities
Categories: Masculinity, Masculinity of the Month, Misogyny, Violence against women

Tags: , , , ,

The last few ‘Masculinity of the Month’ posts I’ve done, have been somewhat or mostly approving of the type of masculinity represented. This month, less so.

Or Not.

Mel Gibson as an actor (and it seems increasingly, it seems, in real life) embodies a spectacularly retrogressive type of masculinity. His films are almost to a fault, of the single-minded bloody vengeance type – and his personal life, as has been extensively covered in public, appears to have large doses or racism, misogyny, and general hate and anger.

I’ve got to say I’m not hugely surprised by any of this, and I think that the example of Mr Gibson is not particularly out of the norm, except in that he is famous and his comments are on record, meaning it gets press coverage. But what’s kinda nice is that this is getting coverage, and the coverage (except for the usual suspects, like Australia’s finest far right columnist) is pretty condemning of Mr Gibson’s actions, and more importantly, attitudes.

So, what do you think, does the criticism of men like Mel, and to a lesser extent, Tom Cruise, mean anything significant in terms of broader shifts of what is acceptable masculine identity, or is it oppressive hegemonic business as usual in man land? Does the tarnishing of once great masculine icons represent genuine change, or just the cycle of fashion?


Reading: Man Friendly Feminism

Posted July 9, 2010 by Critical Masculinities
Categories: feminism, gender, Masculinity, Politics, pro-feminist

Tags: , ,

There is a great article called Man-friendly Feminism over at XY (from whence I purloined this image) You should check it out. It’s great.

Just a picture (with a few words)

Posted July 7, 2010 by Critical Masculinities
Categories: gender, Masculinity, Politics, Sex

Tags: , , ,


Just a quick picture, by way of an apology for my laxness around here.

Readers, a question.

Posted June 21, 2010 by Critical Masculinities
Categories: gender, Masculinity

Tags: , , , ,

I think this is a bit of a first, explicitly asking for what you guys (and in this case I’m particularly interested in what the male IDed among you think) think about a representation of masculinity.

Back in March (about here) I posted a video of a Dove commercial that aired at the Superbowl. I was a little on the fence as to whether or not I was offended by it; whether it was prescriptive of identity, or satirising it (not that these things are exclusive).

My question to you, my male ID’ing readers is, do you find this advertisement offensive? And if so how?

Reading: A muslim perspective on performing masculinity.

Posted June 9, 2010 by Critical Masculinities
Categories: Uncategorized

Jehanzeb Dar has written a great (longish) post reflecting on performative masculinity, and has some great things to say about masculinity in a muslim perspective, especially about growing up as a young muslim from a south asian background in a predominantly white part of America. Check it out here.

Reading: Gender Across Borders on Men, Masculinities, and Peacebuilding

Posted May 31, 2010 by Critical Masculinities
Categories: gender, Masculinity, Politics, pro-feminist

Tags: , , , ,

The international gender blog Gender Across Borders posted this great post on how systems of oppression are harmful to men as well as women, in that they dehumanise and limite the range of masculine expression. The article also stresses the importance of engaging men to challenge their masculinity for their own empowerment, and not just within the context of being allies to women.

That’s something I really agree with. Read  the article and check out the organisations they link to.

The Internet Public Library and Mens Activism

Posted May 31, 2010 by Critical Masculinities
Categories: gender, Masculinity, Politics

Tags: , , , ,

One of the readers of this blog, Erica (thanks Erica), sent me an email the other day about ipl2, the Internet Public Library. It’s an online learning and teaching environment/resource – its tag line (motto?) is “Information you can Trust.”

As Erica found out, if you go; resources by subject/social sciences/gender and sexuality – one of the 68 resources listed is and organisation called Mens Activism. Now, the Mens Activism News Network  is in their own words..

a web site which tracks news and information about men’s issues from around the world. Our particular focus is on promoting activism in support of men’s rights and equality, and providing readers with the latest news stories is one way to inform and empower men’s rights activists in their goals to create a more just and fair society.One unique aspect of is that it is a community-based forum for activists. While there are a handful of site administrators who moderate and post news stories, the vast majority of articles posted to this site come directly from you, the reader.

It seems a little worrying to me that the ipl2, which bills itself as a place you can trust and is administered by professional librarian types, is linking to a user generated content male activist website. Their philosophy and outlook is reasonable and moderate (see here) it’s still a user generated site, and the site administrators promote the site’s philosophy as moderate etc, they are not taking responsibility for users of the site, and use a sneaky (and for me unconvincing) discursive device to get around the “MRA” label;

Why we’re not a men’s rights organization

Please note that The Men’s Activism News Network is not really an organization, but a service to pro-male activists and groups. We feel that there are plenty of excellent men’s rights organizations out there and we should avoid the creation of further divisions within the movement when possible. readers and contributors are members of a community, but we do not have official meetings, membership lists, or anything like that. Anyone with a sincere interest is men’s issues is welcome to become part of this community.

In my opinion linking to Mens Activism from the ipl2  is inappropriate given the audience and educational basis of ipl2 – I would certainly not trust information from Mens Activism. You can contact the ipl2 to ask them to reconsider their materials here.

(UPDATE: IPL is removing the link to the Mens Activism network.)