Blog 3

Marguerita Sejaan
2 min readFeb 11, 2021

Based on your readings this week about intersectionality and masculinities, define these concepts briefly and discuss how they are useful in media and communication studies.

Kimberley Crenshaw defined intersectionality in 1989 as the way that different intersections of identity lead to varying forms of discrimination. For example, black women are discriminated against their race and their gender, but these identities intersect in a way that makes black women’s experiences unique to them. Masculinity is defined by what is traditionally attributed to be a man’s role in gender roles, but as Connell and Messerschmidt (2005) point out, masculinities are attributes that are upheld by and uphold social processes of defining masculinity. There is no one universal definition of masculinity, it is instead defined and exhibited differently depending on the subject’s age, ethnicity, class, etc. Moreover, these social processes are intimately linked to our bodies and everyday activities, so much so that they can be upheld by simply believing eating red meat is masculine. It is also important to note that many bourgeois women uphold these same definitions and standards when they prioritize acting a certain way to uphold the ruling class.

Intersectionality is brought up most often when we talk about representation in movies, which is a key element of media and communications studies. Intersectionality is important in this topic because when storytelling and representation solely reflect those privileged, we are further marginalizing oppressed communities. As Edward Said wrote, Westerners have the power and authority to have their own narrative, so they can become the norm, and construct the narrative of others as they please. Moreover, the concept of masculinities can be used to analyze sexist films, but it also manifests itself every second of our daily lives in the ways we communicate with each other on an interpersonal and intrapersonal level.

References:

Davis, K. (2008). Intersectionality as buzzword: A sociology of science perspective on what makes a feminist theory successful. Feminist Theory, 9(1), 67–85.
Connell, R. W., & Messerschmidt, J. W. (2005). Hegemonic masculinity: Rethinking the concept [read pp. 845–854]. Gender and Society, 19(6), 829–859.
Tadros, M. (2016). Challenging reified masculinities. Journal of Middle East Women’s Studies, 12(3), 323–342.

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