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Resistance, Caring, & “Mask”ulinity: The Feminist Message of the Dudes in The Force Awakens

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The Force Awakens, in addition to giving us a well-rounded female lead,* is chock-full of men who display vulnerabilities, empathy, and kindness, and one man who is struggling with living up to the ideals and expectations of toxic masculinity (referred to in the Star Wars universe as: The Dark Side). This article explores the ways…

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What the Oregon Shooter’s Manifesto Tells Us About the Dangers of Toxic Masculinity

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For all its dominance, and dependence on aggressiveness, competition, and strength–physical and emotional–hegemonic masculinity is incredibly fragile. Those who conform to the strictest tenets of hegemonic masculinity, the toxic elements of sexual conquest and domination, and fail to meet them, are the men more likely to engage in domestic and sexual violence, and who then…

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Many School Shooters, One Common Factor: A Warped View of Masculinity

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When discussing acts of mass violence, the media often portrays the perpetrator as a loner, outsider, social outcast, or some sort of deviant. When in fact these individuals are merely taking masculine socialization to its next logical step. This article highlights how white male perpetrators of mass violence are in fact conformists to norms of…

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Calling Grown Women ‘Girls’ Is Sexist As Hell – Here Are 4 Reasons Why

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Just as the male-as-neutral form of our language invisiblizes numerous demographics of people, the way that language casually infantilizes women perpetuates rape culture and normalizes sexism. To refer to a woman–a female-identifying person over the age of 18–as a “girl,” is not only disrespectful, treating them as a child, removing agency and autonomy, but it…

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“Mad Max” Is A Feminist Playbook For Surviving Dystopia

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SPOILER ALERT: Maybe the finest, most feminist, moment in Mad Max: Fury Road comes when Max, with only three bullets in his rifle, misses the mark twice; rather than taking a third and final shot, full of masculine hubris, hands the rifle over to Furiosa, who not only hits the mark on the first try,…

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Hermione Granger And The Goddamn Patriarchy

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What if instead of being another young-adult novel told from the perspective of an entitled young white male with a savior complex, the Harry Potter series had been given a different type of narrator? We all know that without Hermione, Harry and Ron would have died in Book One allowing Voldemort to prevailed. Featuring fire,…

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Rape Culture 101

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Having become so normalized that we fail to see it, fail to recognize the ways we are complicit in its perpetuation, fail to acknowledge the ways–both subtle and overt–that we uphold it, rape culture requires direct and explicit naming. Shakesville provides an essential, and brutally direct, explanation defining rape culture. – Brett Goldberg Read the…

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“Men, Sex, and Homosociality: How Bonds between Men Shape Their Sexual Relations with Women” by Michael Flood

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We speak of rape culture because it is crucial to recognize the often public nature of normalized violence in the United States. Street harassment for example occurs in public, in plain view of bystanders and witnesses. It can be argued, as scholar Michael Flood does, that the performance of masculinity, as evidences by acts of…

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