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„Ein Tonic für das toxische Narrativ über Männlichkeit“

Arne hat einen interessanten Artikel zur Männlichkeit übersetzt und ich dachte ich bespreche ihn auch mal:

Following a period of great interest in the lives of women during the last forty years, there is now concern about the lives of boys and men. It focuses on masculinity, a phenomenon which, I believe, is poised to act as a much needed pharmakon during a time of often baffling rhetoric in academe and the popular media based on category errors regarding biology (sex) and psychosocial and sociocultural actualities (gender). Perhaps the most egregious is voiced regarding so-called toxic masculinity.

Schon mal eine interessante Einleitung. In der Tat ist das Konzept der toxischen Maskulinität eher ein Feindbild als ein wirkliche Konzept.

The notion of toxic masculinity is the stepchild of hegemonic masculinity, an expression that has been in use chiefly in academic circles since about 1980. It was popularized by Robert W. Connell in his book, Masculinities (1995), the notion of hegemony having been adapted from the Italian Marxist Antonio Gramsci (1891-1937). In his theory of gender, Connell (who transitioned to the feminine gender in his 60s) claimed that, like capitalism in Gramsci’s analysis, masculinity as embodied in males had deliberately sought to dominate society, chiefly the other gender via a sociocultural institution known as “the patriarchy.”

Der Einfluss von Connell ist immer wieder erstaunlich. Sie hat da dem modernen Feminismus einiges an Munition geliefert (und anscheinend aus der Übertragung aus einer Kapitalismuskritik). Es scheint als würde Maskulinität da ein gewisses Eigenleben zugeschrieben, als wäre sie eine Art von Virus oder ein Parasit, den man quasi ausmerzen muss, für eine bessere Gesellschaft.

In this brief communication, I want to argue in favor of what I term tonic masculinity and what a dose of it might provide society to dispel some of the mystifications and often ironic ambiguities about sex and gender that have developed in most Western nation, and especially in the States.

The word ‘tonic’ has two senses that I want to apply to masculinity when fully and fairly understood. One is found in music and refers to the home key of a composition. The other denotes an invigorating or bracing substance or influence. I believe that masculinity is re-emerging of necessity to provide both a sense of harmony as well as much needed positive energy to help heal an ailing social body as well as to energize the everyday lives of women and men in our troubled and troubling times.

Das klingt schon wieder sehr spirituell. Männlichkeit ist einfach erst einmal. Schlicht als Ergebnis eines evolutionären Selektionsprozesses. Aber als solche unterliegt sie natürlich Bewertungen und sozialen Ausgestaltungen. Hier soll anscheinend der Versuch gemacht werden Männlichkeit positiver zu sehen als es in den Theorien zur toxischen Männlichkeit erfolgt.

An eclipse of masculinity, which began soon after the end of World War II, has ended. It coincides with the end of the gender era, which in claiming that gender is entirely fluid effectively made the concept superfluous. If we look at young men today, we can see a certain brightness in them that had dimmed down in their fathers and grandfathers. I am convinced that something very positive and nurturing is embodied in a small but vital core group of young men with wide-ranging interests and talents. We will soon hear a great from them that will vitalize their male peers and have a leavening effect on their fathers’ generation. Tonic masculinity will also have a salubrious effect on the lives of girls and women.

Also das „Auferstehen“ einer besseren, positiveren Männlichkeit. Mit positiven Einfluss statt dem negativen der toxischen Männlichkeit.

What forms does tonic masculinity take in males? The italicized qualifying clause may seem odd, but I contrast male masculinity with what Judith Halberstam has termed female masculinity. Here we have a sizable minority of middle-age and young women who have enact faux masculinity, which in itself is evidence for the very resurgence of masculinity in the population as a whole being discussed here. Masculinity in males (essential masculinity) is qualitatively different, however, since its principal features derive from anatomy and physiognomy. I will explain.

Junge Frauen, die eine „unechte Männlichkeit“ leben? Dagegen eine „essentielle Männlichkeit“ die etwas ganz anderes ist und von Männern gelebt wird?

“Tonic masculinity may be seen in creative risk-taking, that is, trying out something that has not been attempted before even though there might be danger involved. In this connection, it is worth noting that nothing is more deadening to this in boys than efforts to get them to “settle down” in contemporary schooling settings”

In der Tat sind Männer im Schnitt Risiko freudiger als Frauen und das kann positiv oder negativ sein. Die Eigenschaft „Risikobereitschaft“ als solche ist neutral, es kommt darauf an, was man damit macht (und ob man Erfolg hat oder nicht). In der Risikobereitschaft alles etwa auf ein neues Produkt zu setzen, liegt aber ein wichtiger Motor für Fortschritt.

Who are the males whose tonic masculinity we see emerging? Much emphasis has been placed on homo faber (man the maker of things) and homo furens (man the conquistador and warrior) in discussions of hegemonic masculinity. I suggest that we look at the lives of the boys and men who are part of this renaissance of masculinity as an expression of homo ludens (playful man). Centering and invigorating, we see it in the dogged intensity of pursuing a task to its conclusion but also a certain impatience with delay in the gratification that comes with a project’s having been completed.

Klingt irgendwie auch nach einem Versuch eine bestimmte Form von Männlichkeit positiv zu besetzen. Da schwingt irgendwie die schlechte Männlichkeit indirekt mit, von der er die gute abgrenzen möchte. Es kann natürlich sinnvoll sein erst einmal überhaupt etwas positives darzustellen.

Tonic masculinity may be seen in creative risk-taking, that is, trying out something that has not been attempted before even though there might be danger involved. In this connection, it is worth noting that nothing is more deadening to this in boys than efforts to get them to “settle down” in contemporary schooling settings, from preschool through the end of high school. For most males, learning from experience is preferred to accepting information as given. Boys turn to that latter, of course, but they do so several years later than girls. Like phenomenologists, boys and adolescent males distrust what is known (what they have been told) in favor of paying attention to what they see. This is one of source of tonic masculinity.

Das Creative, das Regeln umstoßen als positives Element.

I do not have in mind here the sort of challenging that is there is found in wrestling matches, which were so central to Greek ideal on which Western civilization is based. Instead, I refer to the fact that had Copernicus not contested the Ptolemaic idea of the structure of the universe, we might still be worried about dropping off the edge of the world when reaching the horizon. If Einstein had not challenged the Euclidean order of spatiality and temporality, we would likely still be thinking in terms of horsepower. Related to this is focusing on a problem and refusing to leave it alone until it has been solved.  Here we see another expression of tonic masculinity. It can also be seen in the lust for adventure that questions norms and in the ordering processes of conserving standards, carrying out rituals, and formulating the rules and laws that life in large communities requires.

Das der Vorgang an sich viele positive Folgen haben kann, dass da eine Neugier und der Wunsch ein System zu verstehen oder eine Unstimmigkeit nicht hinzunehmen ganz erhebliche Vorteile haben kann würde ich auch so sehen. Es wäre interessant woran man evtl festmachen kann, dass dies im Schnitt bei Männern mehr ausgeprägt wäre.

Tonic masculinity is not the masculinity of the American cowboy, who generally serves as the stereotype for hegemonic masculinity. As should become clear, tonic masculinity is not violent.

Da würden Anhänger der toxischen Männlichkeit wahrscheinlich noch nicht einmal widersprechen, eher würden sie anführen, dass sie ja gerade auf eine bessere Männlichkeit hinarbeiten wollen, die alle Männer erlernen können.

Aber auch Gewalt im weiteren Sinne kann natürlich etwas positives sein. Etwa wenn sie beschützend ausgeübt wird, zur Verteidigung etc.

Several examples may serve as a starting point for making this clear. We see it in the dedicated seriousness of the pastor or priest who serves his congregants as much as in the athlete who competes with his own body to achieve a hard-won performance approaching an ideal of perfection. Advocates of hegemonic masculinity have singled out a few team sports such as ice hockey and American football as exemplary of masculinity. They overlook the international example of soccer and basketball where power and grace are combined. Little attention is paid to the gymnast and wrestler. Instead the spotlight is shined on boxing and mixed martial arts (MMA), the popularity of which reflects the values of a society in which the male can find no way to draw attention to himself other than by harming his opponent. A closer look reveals this to be reactive in the face of suppressing essential masculinity. Masculinity in athletics has nothing to do with this.

Wenn ich es richtig verstehe, dann meint er, dass in den toxischen Theorien viele gute Formen von Männlichkeit, von Wettkampf und Kreativität übersehen wird, wie etwa in Teamsports wie Fußball. Dagegen stellt man eher auf Kampfsportarten ab, weil dieser aufgrund des Gewaltanteils eher mit toxischer Männlichkeit in Verbindung gebracht werden können.

Attention needs to be paid to the form of entertainment known as professional wrestling, which is said to have more viewers in person and via the media in the States than any other theatrical spectacle. The reader may be surprised to find reference to this in a “learned” discussion, but I would suggest that a great deal is to be learned about the state of masculinity in Western culture by studying it. Its popularity is worldwide, ranging from Japan to most European countries. It is a parody of brutality. Indeed, its ironic performance is a display of men looking out for each other so that no real injury occurs while announcing to the public something about the meaning of violence attributed to essential masculinity. Here we see an enactment of the stereotype of violent masculinity announcing its absurdity.

Überzeugt mich nicht so unbedingt. Ringen ist ein Wettkampf nach bestimmten Regeln, ein Kräftemessen, das sicherlich darauf bedacht ist, dass man sich eher vor Verletzungen schützt als bei dem Zulassen von Schlägen und Tritten. Aber es als etwas zu sehen, was gewalttätige Männlichkeit absurd erscheinen lässt, dass sehe ich nicht. Eher würde ich mitgehen, wenn man anführt. dass Männer alle möglichen Formen ritualisierten Kämpfens und Wettstreitens erfunden haben um gleichzeitig Hierarchien auszuhandeln und dabei die Kosten dieser Wettkämpfe gering zu halten.

Tonic masculinity is also there to be seen in so-called “gay” males. While only a small number of the population (estimates run from 3% to 8% of the population), homosexual men no longer affect a feminine persona, a phenomenon that had a brief run in the 20th century. Its core is friendship and intimacy. The sexual element is of secondary importance. Here we may think of David and Jonathan, Jesus and his beloved disciples, father and son, and other deep male bonds seen pairings such as boyhood “chums” and elderly male couples who have known each other for a half century or more having pursued careers and usually marriage.

Freundschaften oder schwule Beziehungen als besondere Form einer guten Männlichkeit darzustellen erscheint mir eine merkwürdige Abgrenzung.

If there is what we may term rage in tonic masculinity, it is of the sort expressed in Melville’s Ahab. Here we see the drivenness of tonic masculinity in the face of the mysteries of nature, a deep urge not to control nature (another feature commonly alleged as an example of hegemonic masculinity) but to face its absolute power. It is not the rage of the infant who senses his impotence while asserting his narcissism which has been seized on as a feature of so-called toxic masculinity.

Das alles erscheint mir als ein zu bemühter Versuch der Abgrenzung, wo es weit aus sinnvoller gewesen wäre einfach allgemein positive Seiten vieler Verhaltensweisen aufzuzeigen, ohne das man Männlichkeiten daraus formen muss.

Tonic masculinity is seen in men who pursue careers in public service such as first responders and men who serve in the military. It is well known that most men have little interest in harming others when conscripted for increasingly rare hand-to-hand confrontation between “enemies.” Like rapists, conquistadors are a tiny fraction of the male population. In the end, ironically, most of those who are harmed by male tyrants are men, typically those who are young, poor and not well educated.

Leider ein Text, der einfach nur dem schlechten etwas gutes gegenüberstellen möchte und damit das Schlechte akzeptiert.