Sunday, November 26, 2006

Quote: Normative Masculinity

In an important sense there is only one unblushing male in [North] America: a young, married, white, urban, northern, heterosexual, protestant father of college education, fully employed, of good complexion, weight, and height, and a recent record in sports. Every [North] American male tends to look out upon the world from this perspective... Any man who fails to qualify in any one of these ways is likely to view himself -- during moments at least -- as unworthy, incomplete, inferior.

-- Erving Goffman

I'd quibble a bit with some of the phrasing, and I think it is important not to erase the fact that different deviations from this normative ideal do not have equivalent impacts on consciousness and are not socially punished in equivalent ways, but it gets across the general idea...

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