Masculinities 101 Week in Review: February 28, 2014

28 Feb

In the news…

Jack Burkman, a Washington lobbyist, wants to propose legislation that would ban gays from playing in the NFL. He believes that such a bill is needed to protect the field, locker room, and our national character. Michael Sam, an openly gay NFL player, responded by suggesting he’d need a time machine, not a Congressional bill, if he wanted to keep gays out of sports. Also in sports news, the first openly gay NBA player Jason Collins was recently signed to the Nets, and fans showed overwhelming support, buying his jersey in record numbers.

Other homophobic legislation continues to spring up around the nation, but not without outspoken opposition. Legislatures in Kansas, Idaho, Missouri, Arizona, Tennessee and Georgia have all recently been grappling with bills that would make discrimination against LGBT people legal, under the guise of protecting religious freedom. Ostensibly, it is a violation of religious freedom for proprietors of various businesses to be forced to serve or deal with openly gay customers. Many have compared these bills to Jim Crow era discrimination against African Americans. Arizona’s bill made it the furthest, but was vetoed by the Governor. See the histories and statuses of these bills (and others around the country) here.

Mounting racial tensions at the University of Michigan recently came to a head, with the university’s Black Student Union protesting low (and steadily decreasing) minority enrollment. Recent studies have shown that racism and racial isolation are big problems at many of the nation’s leading universities.

Finally, last week’s verdict in the Michael Dunn case continues to spark debate. Dunn was convicted of three counts of attempted second degree murder for shooting at an SUV full of black teenagers, but not convicted of the actual murder of 17 year old Jordan Davis, who died as a result of the shooting. For many in Florida and around the country, this incident is eerily familiar, recalling the death of Trayvon Martin. In this op-ed, Travis Gosa explains these recent tragedies by looking at a crisis in white masculinity.

Interesting reads…

The February issue of Gender & Society has an incredible array of articles on men and masculinities, and the sex/gender system.

A Duke University student outs herself as a porn actress online here. Her post is brave, eloquent, and insightful. She discusses her (rewarding and empowering) relationship with pornography as well as the bullying she’s experienced from other students after having her secret revealed. And although she doesn’t theorize masculinities, her post offers a lot of things for masculinities scholars to consider.

There were some interesting posts on Feministing: Perez Hilton appropriates black femininity, and yes, it’s about white male privilege. And apparently, holding a door open for a man makes him feel less manly…patriarchy just never lets up! And a great one at Jezebel covering the Men’s Rights Movement.

(Find interesting articles, videos, blogposts related to masculinities? Send them our way and we’ll try to include them in our next Week in Review)

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