Gender is everywhere

 Dr. Chris Kilmartin speaks about the fictions that shape men’s lives. One “guy fi” is “the gender belongs everywhere fiction”. Dr. Kilmartin illustrated in his talk that through socialization we receive messages about what is appropriate for men-as-a-group vs. women-as-a-group. Dr. Kilmartin states “that gender is everywhere, it is like the air”. The man box defines essentially all the behaviors that are appropriate for men-as-a-group. Gender stereotypes are used to define what it means to be a man related to a whole range of things including:

• What drinks we think are masculine

• What mannerisms we think are masculine

• What colors we think are masculine

• What ways of talking we think are masculine

• What social activities we think are masculine

• What life goals we think are masculine

Many individual men break these rules of masculinity but men-as-a-group are still strongly encouraged to follow these gender norms. Although the man box is everywhere we do not have to use it define everything regarding masculinity.

Conversation starter: 

Socially, what is an example of “guy fi” or gender stereotype that we once believed to be true that we no longer define as only masculine?