The diversity of masculinity stories this month has been quite low, however the number of stories has been high in the form of “toxic masculinity” articles written in response to the tragic events in Orlando. A link to Amanda Marcotte’s article, Overcompensation Nation is included below as indicative of the numerous articles on this subject. Across these Orlando articles we have, in general: a Stage 1 crime, a Stage 3 analysis, and mostly Stage 4 victims.
One aspect that stuck out this month at Stage 4 were articles about black masculinities. While black masculinity is typically conflated with the hyper-masculine and homophobic masculine performances of hip-hop, we have seen a lot lately of alternative black masculinities, both gay and straight, which sound as a note of optimism in an otherwise dismal month.
Two new trade books came out in June that have garnered some attention: in the UK Man Up: Surviving Modern Masculinity by Jack Urwin and in the US Invisible Man, Got the Whole World Watching: A Young Black Man’s Education by Mychal Denzel Smith.
I want to bring your attention to two of my own articles published this month. The first article is relevant to Stage 2, The Dark Money Behind the Rise of ‘Manliness’. This article shows how a particular form of Stage 2 masculinity is funded and promoted by right-wing billionaires. The goal of this activity is to consolidate the metaphor of the strict father that resides at the heart of the conservative political agenda. By looking at Google search term trends we can see how effective this funding has been over the past decade.
The second article I want to refer you to is Evolving with the Five Stages of Masculinity. This article discusses the role of feminism in The Five Stages of Masculinity. In short, Stages 1 and 2 are pre/anti-feminist, Stage 3 is feminist, and Stages 4 and 5 are post-feminist. I offer some thoughts about how people can move between Stages 2, 3 and 4 (in both directions) depending on how they interact with feminism.