Femininity and Masculinity Essay - UniversalEssays

Simone Benmussa’s play The Singular Life of Albert Nobbs, adapted from the short story by George Moore, deals with issues of femininity and masculinity and how these are portrayed within the theater as well as how theater is formed by the traditional patriarchal gaze....

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size proves the change in masculine and feminine roles in relationships.

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Some experts noted that masculinity and femininity cannot be thought of separately. For them, it is above all in opposition to the female than the male can be constructed and expressed. In this context, femininity is the antithesis of masculinity, to be a woman, then, is not to be a man and being a man is above all refuse “naturally” feminine attribute. Masculinity and femininity should be thought relationally as the result of a diacritical construction, both theoretical and practical.

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Students writing their essays on masculinity should remember that there is at least for main concept of the origins of masculinity and femininity.
Proponents of biological determinism explain behavioral and psychological differences between men by the theory of biological dimorphism, indicating the existence of relevant fundamental differences between males and females of any species (especially primates).

Gender however is in relation to stereotypes of masculinity and femininity, and expectations of what characteristics men or women should portray.
Advertising media also reflect the gender roles, namely masculinity and femininity, which inundate our environment on a daily basis.

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Catharine MacKinnon develops her theory of gender as a theory ofsexuality. Very roughly: the social meaning of sex (gender) is createdby sexual objectification of women whereby women are viewed andtreated as objects for satisfying men's desires (MacKinnon1989). Masculinity is defined as sexual dominance, femininity assexual submissiveness: genders are “created through theeroticization of dominance and submission. The man/woman differenceand the dominance/submission dynamic define each other. This is thesocial meaning of sex” (MacKinnon 1989, 113). For MacKinnon,gender is constitutively constructed: in defining genders (ormasculinity and femininity) we must make reference to social factors(see Haslanger 1995, 98). In particular, we must make reference to theposition one occupies in the sexualised dominance/submission dynamic:men occupy the sexually dominant position, women the sexuallysubmissive one. As a result, genders are by definitionhierarchical and this hierarchy is fundamentally tied to sexualisedpower relations. The notion of ‘gender equality’, then,does not make sense to MacKinnon. If sexuality ceased to be amanifestation of dominance, hierarchical genders (that are definedin terms of sexuality) would cease to exist.

To help put into focus what manliness is, it is important to establish a definition for masculinity as well as its opposite, femininity.

Hegemonic masculinity refers to the ..

Some men, “see the ability to have sex when they desire to be an essential aspect of masculinity, and they see women as obligated to provide that access”(Monto 2004, pg.174).

With the rapid progress of technology, the conditions of living became better and the traditional definition of masculinity changed.

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In most non-human species males with exaggerated masculine characteristics and females with exaggerated feminine characteristics are preferred as mates. Because of this, Perrett et al. (1998) investigated the effects of manipulating the masculinity-femininity of male and female faces on judgements of their attractiveness. First, Perrett et al. manufactured composites of male and female faces using computer graphic methods. Next, they used the male and female composites to define a masculinity-femininity continuum and used this continuum to manipulate the masculinity-femininity of male and female faces. In other words, they manufactured versions of male faces with in which masculine facial characteristics (e.g. pronounced brow ridges and jaws) were exaggerated and others in which feminine facial characteristics were exaggerated (e.g. large eyes and full lips). Similarly, versions of female faces with exaggerated masculine and feminine facial characteristics were also constructed. The participants in the Perrett et al. study were then shown pairs of masculinised and femininised versions of the same faces and were asked to indicate which version was more attractive. For female faces, both male and female participants demonstrated very strong preferences for the femininised versions of the faces. Intriguingly, however, both male and female participants also preferred the femininised male faces to the masculinised ones. So in both male and female faces, exaggerated feminine characteristics are attractive. To many researchers, this was a very surprising finding given that in most non-human species masculine males are preferred to feminine ones. Although not all studies have found that feminine male faces are preferred, no studies have observed strong preferences for masculine faces.