Event Title

Theorizing Masculinity in a Post-Patriarchal Society

Session Title

Women's and Gender Studies

Document Type

Oral Presentation

Faculty Mentor

M. Gregory Oakes, Ph.D.

College

College of Arts and Sciences

Department

Department of Philosophy and Religious Studies

Description

This essay explores the ideas of gender construction, performance, and subversion, with special attention to masculinity and its relation to patriarchy. Specifically, this essay addresses the question of whether masculine gender identities could continue to be constructed in a post patriarchal world. By engaging with Simone de Beauvoir’s response to biological determinism, I will explain why biology alone is not a sufficient explanation for masculine identity and its association with male bodies. By exploring drag and Judith Butler’s performative theory of gender, I will explain the causal relation that exists between discourse, an idea forwarded by Michel Foucault, and gender construction, and also potential means of subversion of such a discourse. Together, these ideas will demonstrate how, absent patriarchy, new ideas of gender and its social significance will emerge. Though I am not able to predict the exact details of a post-patriarchal world and give a definitive answer to the above-posed question, I can say that, absent patriarchy, gender identities and their construction would be nearly unrecognizable compared to their current schema.

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Apr 24th, 12:00 AM

Theorizing Masculinity in a Post-Patriarchal Society

This essay explores the ideas of gender construction, performance, and subversion, with special attention to masculinity and its relation to patriarchy. Specifically, this essay addresses the question of whether masculine gender identities could continue to be constructed in a post patriarchal world. By engaging with Simone de Beauvoir’s response to biological determinism, I will explain why biology alone is not a sufficient explanation for masculine identity and its association with male bodies. By exploring drag and Judith Butler’s performative theory of gender, I will explain the causal relation that exists between discourse, an idea forwarded by Michel Foucault, and gender construction, and also potential means of subversion of such a discourse. Together, these ideas will demonstrate how, absent patriarchy, new ideas of gender and its social significance will emerge. Though I am not able to predict the exact details of a post-patriarchal world and give a definitive answer to the above-posed question, I can say that, absent patriarchy, gender identities and their construction would be nearly unrecognizable compared to their current schema.