<<< o >>>on masculinity 8 comments + add yours

I’ve often found masculinity, as a set of social prescriptions and expectations, a somewhat bewildering concept, despite being a heterosexual male. I don’t like football (soccer, for those of you in the US), in fact I’m not really a sports fan at all, I find sexist jokes about women quite offensive, and I’ve never really felt like ‘one of the lads’. This is probably something to do with being brought up by my mother in the company of my three sisters, but whatever the reason, masculinity is something that puzzles me.

So, advertisments such as this one fascinate me – ones that directly reference cultural expectations or stereotypes – because they provide a window onto one aspect of the social construction of what it means to be male. In this instance it was the medals that caught my attention – the allusion to a military way of life; honour, success … and so on.

capture date
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Canon G5
1.01pm on 26/4/04
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comment by nariman at 04:53 PM (GMT) on 26 April, 2004

good catch, the medals look old style arround 40's and 50's, the MAN's look is more late nineties or at best eighties, only the fabric used for the jacket might connect the two eras a bit. But the whole set is a great collage...and I look the LEVI'S style tag saying "sale"...

comment by ninds at 05:41 PM (GMT) on 26 April, 2004

Very neat how all the darkness surrounding everything forces the male associated imagery out even more.

comment by yeonsang at 08:05 PM (GMT) on 26 April, 2004

What an amazing color and irony....

comment by Andy at 09:35 PM (GMT) on 26 April, 2004

Yes, this window display is more about perceptions of masculinity than anything else. The ironic thing is that I can't figure out what its trying to sell, aside from the concept that if you buy whatever it is thats being sold, you will be more masculine.

comment by LWilkins at 10:27 PM (GMT) on 26 April, 2004

Nice, sharp shot. The color and shadows are very nice.

comment by djn1 at 12:12 AM (GMT) on 27 April, 2004

I had a discussion with my wife earlier who informs me that this shot wouldn't be half so ambiguous if I'd managed to notice the big sign that says 'Gentleman's Outfitters and Military Clothing' - suddenly it all makes a little more sense ;-)

comment by Emily at 11:36 AM (GMT) on 27 April, 2004

great shot.

because it's not merely a pretty picture.

very aesthetic still though.

comment by djn1 at 02:08 PM (GMT) on 27 April, 2004

Thanks all.