queericulum vitae #4 -

Masculinities. Stories about gender and other power structures. - november 2010





The most perfect human "construction", which was meant to be used against humanity and which signaled the -not in the least coincidentally simultaneous- invention of femininity. It was widely spread, outside the academic circles, in lower, middle and higher classes, and the bourgeoisie. Flexible and effective, it was used by subjects to construct stable family bonds, employing the old time classic anti-vibration system called "the man is the pillar of the house".

It survived through the ages and a djusted to local characteristics, all the while supporting the general tendency to wards order, obedience, and the construction of hierarchies within societies. Its spread ing was assisted by its im material existential composition. The medium for its spreading w as the experiential tradition, from one generation to the next. Its M.O. , performativity.
In our days the rumors about the collapse of tradition are refuted . Masculinity is alive and kicking, and continues to produce heroes, sponsored by national, religious and famil ial "companies". It is used mainly in the construction /reinvention of macho social behavior. Its advertisement was undertaken by the system imaginatively named "patriarchy". You will encounter masculinity in its glaring features of exhibitionism, imaginary knowledge of everything, over-tendency towards enforcement and domination, physical force frequently used as a means of "communication" and assertation of its rights.

This was a representation of the dominant discourse on masculinity, in a patriarchal model of gender roles; all of us have encountered it, all of us have stood awkwardly opposite its sweeping power. The social machine responsible for constructing regulatory models has ensured its worldwide presence, not only with explicitly stated structures and mechanisms, but also by the displacement of any image that does not meet these specifications. Sexual desire, gender and race are factors that define hierarchical categories of normal, better, pure. Identifying the success of social domination, in any form, is the starting point for the criticism of gender identities, and the power relations that are indicate d by their representations.

But maybe it's not enough to be against that which constructs normativities; maybe we have to reinvent the ways we think and act, to create images of ourselves that actively challenge the certainties of power. Personal experience becomes the tool for the identification of the qualitative characteristics of masculinity and its reappropriation, with non-dominant terms this time . Exploring all of its aspects, its traces on our bodies and our consciences , we are exploring the limits of the distance s between us, and the content of the positions against anything boasting to establish itself.