Friday, March 30, 2007

These are just a few characters from various Anime that clearly illustrate how the idea of masculinity and femininity can change greatly between social group. In the previously mentioned piece Boyhood, Organized Sports, and the Construction of Masculinities, author Michael Messnar states that gender identity is “shaped and constructed through the interaction between the internal and social.” Following this logic we can see why these characters, all of whom are men except one, could perceive themselves as masculine even though some would not. According to Messnar, it is a reflection of the differences between internal and social interactions in different cultures and social groups. Though these men and other fictional characters like Superman and Batman all perceive themselves to be just as masculine as the other, we can see that the differences between what there respective societies have taught them to believe is a masculine appearance greatly differs.

1 comment:

Jessie said...

Leo- Be careful that you don't hold the counter-hegemonic depictions to high above the realm of the critique. The portrayal of gender norms as transgressions of the hegemonic in the scenario is certainly within the scope of the reality of your topic. However, you're focusing on the sources that provide the most "positive" perspective on the transformative potential of this genre within animation. Sometimes it can be easy to fall into the trap of glorifying that which is not mainstream or the culture that is considered "other" by dominant definitions, as the bearer of select 'truths' or depicting them as potentially more transformative than they actually are at the present time...I looked at your collage for quite a while before reading its contextualizing paragraph and then tried reading the two as analytically synchronous. However, it seems to me (granted, I am very unfamiliar with your specific topic, so please alert me to the appropriate resources if I'm really off-base here) that the animee world has produced some pretty hard-core porn and images that may not be described as porn, but still much more caricatured images of gender than what you've shown here.