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Class Preparation for Masculinities Unit of GWS 300

Based on the assumption and hope that you have access to one or more males who will answer questions from you thoughtfully, there are a couple of questions posed here for each day we meet.   If you can, please pose these questions to one or more males you know (teens or older) and jot down their answers.   We will discuss what everyone comes up with each time we meet.   It's fine if you do not get a chance to complete this assignment on occasion; just try your best.

March 13 --   [LINK 1]       [LINK 2]

Questions to Pose to One or More Males:   Please fill in the blanks:   Real men should/are _____.   Real men always _____.   Real men never _____.

The first link takes you to the results of a ranking of the most manly cities in the U.S.   Examine the criteria, as well as where Columbia ranks. What surprised you?   What do the criteria say about what we consider to be masculine?   The second link takes you to a brief video of a talk.   There is a lot packed into these 11 minutes, so try to watch it closely and without distraction.   What do you think?


March 15 --   [LINK 1]       [LINK 2]

Questions to Pose to One or More Males:   1) How much time and effort do you spend on how you look?   Why?   2) [If young:] How much would a minor injury to your leg or arm slow you down?   Why?   [If older:] Do you go to the doctor for regular check-ups?   Why?

The first link takes you to a brief article about a recent survey of men and their body image.   What surprises you?   The second link is to a brief article about why men are less likely than women to see a physician for care.   Although brief, there are lots of potential issues in this article.   Pull out as many factors as you can that may help explain how masculinity and going to a doctor's office may be linked.


March 20 --   [LINK 1]       [LINK 2]

Questions to Pose to One or More Males:   1) If you felt sad, or afraid, or discouraged, would you talk about it with a male friend or a female friend?   Why?   2) Do you have any gay male friends?   [If no:] Why not?   [If yes:] How is your relationship different than with straight guys?

The first link takes you to an interesting article and photos about the history of male-male friendships.   What do you think?   What aspects of contemporary masculinity prevent men from having the types of friendships described here?   The second link is to a PDF of a book about the experiences of a young female researcher who spent a year hanging out in a California high school to examine masculinity among teens.   Read from book pages 55-59, starting with the heading of a new section on p. 55 (What is a Fag? Gendered Meanings).   If you have the time and interest, I recommend continued reading through p. 63.   What do you think?   Does this description match your experiences observing boys in high school (and beyond)?


March 22 --   [LINK 1]       [LINK 2]

Questions to Pose to One or More Males:   1) Compared to how you treat guys, or act around them, how do you treat females differently?   Why?   2) When you're in a romantic relationship with a woman, in what ways is that relationship different than your relationship with your best male friend (besides the obvious with regard to sexual behavior)?   Why?

The first link takes you to an interesting article about men's interactions with women.   What do you think?   Have you noticed this phenomenon?   The second link is to an article discussing some recent research on college students and recognition of sexism.   Focus on the issue of benevolent sexism and chivalry, and think about how masculinity may prompt such behavior.


March 27 --   [LINK]

Questions to Pose to One or More Males:   1) How would you feel about a full-body massage from a male massage therapist?   Why?   2) What words come to mind when you think about a male your age who is still a virgin?

The link takes you to the same PDF of that book about masculinity in high school.   This time, read book pages 87-91, 101-102, and 107-112.   For each portion, start with the heading for a new section.   What do you think?   Does this description match your experiences observing boys in high school?


March 29 --   [LINK]

Questions to Pose to One or More Males:   1) Would you ever go to couples counseling or marital therapy?   Why?   2) If you were beat up while walking alone one night, would you tell your guy friends about it?   Why?

The link takes you to an article about Co-Dependents Anonymous, and how masculinity affects men who end up in the group, and how involvement in the group affects the men's masculinity.   Read from the start (p. 27) up to the section labeled "Methods" (on p. 30).   Then pick up at the top of p. 34 and read the remainder of the article.   Stay aware of your reactions and points that jump out to you.   What do you think?


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