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After Antigone’s Claim this is a subject I’ve been (re)thinking of lately. For a period in the summer, I suppose it could be said I had a masculine identity crisis for a number of reasons, given that I am perhaps not the best exemplar of the (cultural) male archetype.

For my money, I find that the concepts of ‘manhood’ and ‘womanhood’ are often determined in opposition to one another; that is that ‘manhood’ is the opposite of ‘womanhood’ and vice versa. I prefer to think of it as the opposite of childhood, but that’s just me.

Anyway, I’m boring, so here are interesting media links on this topic instead:

What does it mean to be man, explored through hands.

Trailer for a film exploring Western ideals of masculinity, and why they are poisonous.

One Comment

  1. Structuralism would propose that “male” and “female” exist only in their opposition–like all significations, which are always binary and emerging from difference. Post-structuralism would add that signification (arrival at fixed meaning) is always endlessly deferred and illegible because difference (here as diffĂ©rance) is also endless.

    The emergence of gender identifies from difference does not preclude particular ones existing in other oppositions (childhood-manhood, manhood-animality, manhood-diabolicality, to name a few that may have emerged in our readings so far.)

    Actually, if our readings suggest anything, it’s that the identity “manhood” has been far from stable in the “western” intellectual tradition–by which I mean not that this identity has been inconsistent but rather that it has been worried about a great deal and needed constant exploration and reiteration.

    I guess I mean that I agree with your post. But a bit more than that, too.

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