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Do we need a specific study of masculinities in their own right?

“Cyborg imagery can suggest a way out of the maze of dualism in which we have explained our bodies” (Haraway, 1987, 36) A study of masculinities requires exclusionary boundaries to be placed on the concept. Masculinities have been defined in ways
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  DO WE NEED A SPECIFIC STUDY OF MASCULINITIESIN THEIR OWN RIGHT? Student ID: 594111Cu!"e T#t$e:   T%e Ant%!&$'( ) Gende!Cu!"e Cde:   151*+,+-1Tut!." N/0e: C/!$#ne O"e$$/A""#'n0ent Nu0e!: 1W!d Cunt: ,45- 1  DO WE NEED A SPECIFIC STUDY OF MASCULINITIES IN THEIR OWN RIGHT?Int!du2t#n: “Cyborg imagery can suggest a way out of the maze of dualism in which we have explained our bodies” (Haraway, 1!", #$% A study of masculinities requires exclusionary boundaries to be placed on the concept. Masculinities have been dened in ways that vary cross culturally and between individuals (Inhorn and Wentzell !"##$ %oe !""#& ma'in it di)cult to unify the concept. I choose to frame masculinity as emerin throuh networ's and connections with particular aspects of life and society. I arue that examinin these shiftin networ's enables one to study masculinities as constructed throuh particular situations. We don*t need a specic study of masculinities +in their own riht* but instead a framewor' throuh which to map masculinities as continuously bein (re&constructed. In her +A ,ybor Manifesto* -araway (#/0 !#& uses the analoy of the cybor to call for a blurrin of boundaries between natural and articial worlds. With the abundance of technoloies (mobile phones pharmaceutical drus etc.& we use today we can all consider ourselves a little cybor1 the lines between human and technoloy are becomin more di)cult to draw. 2espite -araway*s emphasis on women I will use to this piece to arue that masculinities should be studied not as a bounded discrete cateory but as networ'ed. 3tudyin masculinities +in their own riht* implies that it is a universally applicable cateory. If one studies masculinities with recourse to an +ideal type* then behaviours societies characteristics miht be classied as more or less masculine leavin little space for explorations of the varyin and chanin connections that miht produce masculinities within di4erent contexts. Althouh I could answer this essay question by explorin the intersections between masculinity and race or the masculine5feminine binary I choose instead to move beyond the binarisms present in these connections so as not to prioritize certain practices as masculine over others. 6iotechnoloies challene the notion of a +natural* endered identity. In this essay I adopt 6utler*s idea that the male body is no more than an imained sub7ective body.  8he male body is a fantasy that is performatively expressed to ive the illusion of reality. (6utler #9 :#$ ;reciado !"#: 9<& 8he natural is nothin more than an idea of the natural (6utler #9 :#&. I adopt this view to move beyondcateorizin behaviours as natural or unnatural and towards instead examininthe shiftin networ's that ive rise to the idea of a +natural* masculinity. 2  I will explore instances in which masculinities are shown to be unstable contradictory and rife with di4erences to demonstrate the vast array of practices that could be excluded when studyin masculinities accordin to a sinular denition. I will bein by explorin how certain !# st  century masculinities miht emere throuh biotechnoloies. 8his will be followed by an analysis of the notion of performance in endered expressions. %astly I will explore the contradictions and di4erences in these particular connections. We do not need a study of masculinities +in their own riht*. 3tudyin masculinities as a clearly bounded cateory runs the ris' of overloo'in variations. 8o avoid essentialisin I propose that an emphasis on networ's between various aspects of social life both material and non5material may account for the level of variation and chane that characterizes masculinities as emerin1 continuously enacted and performed throuh various associationswith material and non5material networ's. 3IOTECHNOLOGIES: “&odern medicine is also full of cyborgs, of couplings between organism and machine” (Haraway, 1!", '1''% Masculinities in certain !# st  century contexts can be studied as networ'ed throuh biotechnoloies which wor' throuh performative feedbac'1 biotechnoloies and masculinities dialectically construct one another (;reciado!"#: 9<&. A specic study of masculinities without recourse to shiftin connections li'e these miht exclude variations. -araway (#/0 !<& arues that =there is nothin about bein female that naturally binds women>. With reference to -araway*s cybors I will show how particular masculinities miht emere as hybrid forms with biotechnoloies.  8he connections between reproductive technoloies and men*s bodies and identity characterizes masculinities as emerent. Inhorn and Wentzell (!"##& explore new forms of embodied masculinity in the Middle ?ast and Mexico in relation to assisted reproductive technoloies for male infertility and pharmaceuticals for erectile dysfunction. %i'e -araway*s (#/0& cybor theory these instances blur the lines between human and machine$ Middle ?astern and Mexican masculinities are embodied throuh medicalised technoloies (Inhorn and Wentzell !"## /"#&. 8hey show how men neotiate stereotypes of masculinity throuh acceptance or re7ection of medicalisation of infertility. Mappin networ's between endered sub7ectivity and medical technoloies 3  can capture the complexity of masculinities. In prior research durin the /"s and "s Inhorn and Wentzell (!"## /"0& state that Middle ?astern men were reluctant to spea' about their infertility as it was considered emasculatin. -owever they demonstrate that throuh medicalisation infertility has become normalized (Inhorn and Wentzell !"## /"0&. @or example durin a two hour interview -isham did not once mention his masculinity (Inhorn and Wentzell !"## /"&. 8his illustrates the disassociation of i(n&fertility with problems of masculinity (Inhorn and Wentzell !"## /"&. 8hey arue for framin masculinities as +emerent* in order to avoid the static dualisms that come withstudyin +heemonic* and +subordinate* masculinities (Inhorn and Wentzell !"## /"!&. 3tudyin masculinities as emerin throuh varyin and chanin networ's of biotechnoloies as opposed to a distinct cateory demonstrates the performative feedbac' throuh which masculinities emere in relation to medical technoloies. ;arallels between prescriptions of masculinities and prescriptions of iara illustrates the sinicance of pharmaceuticals in the materialization of particular masculinities in the !# st  century (-uhes !"##&. iara can be a toolin the production and achievement of masculinity (%oe !""# #"9&. 8he medical lanuae describin the body in iara discourse mirrors that of machines1 words li'e +functionin* and +maintenance* (%oe !""# ##"&. iara does not ive a +natural* but a +normal* sexuality (%oe !""# ##9&. In cybor theory normality is realized throuh networ's that miht include biotechnoloies and drus li'e iara which become natural (-araway #/0 !9&. %arry for example tal's about his penis as a disembodied tool describin lenth texture and irth (-uhes !"## <&. -uhes (!"## <& interprets this description as bein a result of biomedical prescriptions. Masculinities and iara dialectically construct one another in these particular instances. It is nonetheless important to ac'nowlede that networ's may vary accordin to socio5economic cultural bac'rounds and more and that medical technoloies are merely one instance throuh which masculinities emeres. In ;reciado*s (!"#: 99& account of her experiences ta'in testosterone as a recreational dru she characterises contemporary society as bein a pharmaco5pornoraphic reime in which our sub7ectivities are shaped by substances that we inest. 3he describes the policin of ender in the instructions of her illeally obtained testosterone1 =8his dru is reserved for useof the adult male> (;reciado !"#: B#&. 3tudyin masculinities as emerin throuh drus li'e testosterone and iara shows that masculinities are not xed but can chane with wider shiftin patterns in society. 8hese chanes and patterns miht be overloo'ed if masculinities are dened in studies as a sinle clearly bounded cateory. 4   8he body ender and sexuality may emere in relation to medical technoloies. Masculinities can be performed and experienced throuh neotiations with male infertility treatment and iara. 8hese cateories and networ's are unstable$ they can be reconured throuh various networ's demonstratin the need to study masculinities as emerent and not as stable and bounded. ILLUSION 3ETWEEN FICTION AND SOCIAL REALITY: “)he boundary between science *ction and social reality is an optical illusion” (Haraway, 1!', '1% 3tudyin masculinities as a bounded cateory miht overloo' their fraility. Ceotiations with medical technoloies may be one way in which Middle ?astern and Mexican masculine sub7ectivities are performed. Ideas of ender performance can reveal the instability of the notion of masculinities as performances blur the line between imaination and reality. Diviere*s (# #9#& suestion that there is no di4erence between womanliness and the feminine masquerade is useful for thin'in about masculinities and the male body. Masculinities may emere throuh networ's not necessarily tied to any one 'ind of body. @emale artists impersonatin ;resley challene the relationship between maleness and masculinity and the stability of endered identities (6rittan !""B #B&. 6rittan (!""B #0#& believes that female impersonators are often neatively rearded because they reveal the masquerade and theatricality masculinities themselves (6rittan !""B #0#&. 3he suests ?lvis may be a man explorin the performativity of maleness withhis elaborate outts and stae presence (6rittan !""B #0B&. ?nid 6utler won rst prize for her performance of the Ein because she loo'ed li'e ?lvis more than others1 this instance may suest that convincin impressions rely on performance rather than a male body (6rittan !""B #/"&. -er analysis demonstrates that masculinity is not proper to the male body or inherently di4erent from female masquerade. Masculinity is instead fraile and messy. 3tudyin masculinities +in their own riht* leads to di)cult questions about what characteristics to base the denition masculinity on and how to draw boundaries between the masculine and non5masculine. 2rawin static boundaries excludes transressive practices movin beyond ender binaries. Fnderstandin performance as constructin the reality of masculinities in a study of masculinities leaves denitions inclusive of varyin practices.@ramin masculinities as performative hihlihts their instability and Guidity. ;reciado (!"#: 9<& uses the term +toxico5pornoraphic sub7ectivities* to refer 5
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