Real men don’t like dudes according to Josh Turner’s hit song. Songs like this and slurs like “you’re a fag” are often considered acceptable and unremarkable even. Sociologists view these expressions of homophobia as gender policing, which enforce the boundaries of sexuality and gender. Below is guest post by Alexa Megna from San Diego State University
“I wouldn’t be a man if I didn’t feel like this,” croons deep voiced Josh Turner in his country hit “I Wouldn’t be a Man.” He continues, “I wouldn’t be a man if a woman like you was anything I could resist; I’d have to be from another planet where love doesn’t exist.” I quickly shot a glance in my review mirror to see my little brother in the backseat quietly singing along with Turner, knowing every word to the song. Dumbfounded, I tried to decide what to say to him. Something along the lines of “uhhhh…” came out of my mouth. “Don’t listen to him, little brother. Gay men are real men too.” As I changed the radio station, he laughed and continued singing along to the next song that came on.
With the repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” last week one unnamed solider came out to his father on a video he broadcast on YouTube. This soldier demonstrates the power of social forces on our personal decisions. Nathan Palmer argues that to fully understand the solider’s decision we must use our “sociological imaginations” to see his personal biography within our social history.
“Dad, do you still love me?” the unnamed solider asks after telling his father he’s gay. “Yes, I still love you son.” “I’m very proud of you. Ok?” Tears well up in my eyes. I know that hunger for approval, for acceptance. A huge lump forms in my throat and I’m just so happy that for this one man neither was denied.
Soap operas give us something to bond over, help us feel better about our own lives, and reaffirm the boundaries of deviance. Stephanie Medley-Rath explores the sociological value of soap operas and wonders what will fill the void left after their cancellation.
I grew up watching All My Children. My mom watched All My Children from the beginning and even when she re-entered the workforce as a school teacher, she would set the VCR to record some of the episodes. We watched every day during summer vacation. My dad even watched with us sometimes.
I haven’t watched the show with any regularity since moving out of my parent’s house. Eventually, I stopped watching completely and so did my mom. When I heard that the show was to be cancelled, I decided to watch one last summer as the show is to end this month. I set my DVR, but gave up watching about half-way through the first recording.
One of the most effective ways to view gender discrimination in society is by examining the world of sport. Even if you are not a sports fan, it’s interesting to see the different ways sport – much like the rest of society – values and compensates women based on traditional gender norms tied to physical appearance.
“Show me the money!” Jerry Maguire taught us that in the sports world money is everything. Recently Forbes magazine published a list of the best paid female athletes. Looking at this list we can see what sports are the most lucrative for women and what type of female athlete our society values the most.
Is your baby girl a slut? A new Gerber “Beautiful Baby Contest” rules that baby girl nipples cannot be shown. In this piece, Bridget Welch explores what this reveals about gender norms and how we construct and police bodily displays.
Most parents think their child is this most beautiful child to ever have been born. It’s pretty much the rule. Those parents are wrong. You know how I know? My son (we’ll call him by his nickname “Bug”) is actually the most beautiful child to have ever drawn breath. Sorry other parents. I’m sure your kids are very cute. It’s just a sad fact that they can’t compete with this:
Take a minute. Glory in the cuteness. You know you want to.
“That’s gay” & “You’re a homo” is often said by people who “aren’t homophobic”; How’s that? Acceptable Bigotry can help us understand this. In this piece Nathan Palmer goes back to high school & an incident of homophobia that changed him forever.
“We all piled into the van with bats and headed to ‘The Loop’,” Randy said to a group of boys huddled around him next to the Senior lockers at Lincoln High School. Randy was a senior who was just 18, but was graced by god to look like a full grown man. I was on the outer ring of a huddled mass of young men standing on my tip toes trying to get Randy into view. Only a 16 year old sophomore as I listened to Randy talk to all the senior boys I felt like a mere mortal surrounded by greek gods. “We drove around until we saw the first dude looking a little sweet and we hopped out and all of us beat his ass down!” Randy said bursting with pride or bravado. Continue reading