Pascoe_Adolescent Masculinity and the Fag Discourse -...

This preview shows page 1 - 4 out of 19 pages.

Sexualities The online version of this article can be found at: DOI: 10.1177/1363460705053337 2005 8: 329 Sexualities C. J. Pascoe 'Dude, You're a Fag': Adolescent Masculinity and the Fag Discourse Published by: can be found at: Sexualities Additional services and information for Email Alerts: Subscriptions: Reprints: Permissions: Citations: What is This? - May 25, 2005 Version of Record >> at MCGILL UNIVERSITY LIBRARY on May 1, 2013 sex.sagepub.com Downloaded from
Abstract This article argues that American adolescent boys become masculine through the continual repudiation of a ‘fag’ identity. Using insights from sociologists of interaction and post-structural theorists of sexuality this article demonstrates that the fag insult has multiple meanings which are primarily gendered but also sexualized and raced. This article builds on prior analyses of adolescent homophobia by (1) pointing to the limits of an argument that focuses centrally on homophobia, (2) demonstrating that the fag is not only an identity linked to homosexual boys but an identity that can temporarily adhere to heterosexual boys as well and (3) highlighting the racialized nature of this fag discourse. Keywords adolescence, gender, homophobia, masculinity, sexuality C. J. Pascoe University of California, USA ‘Dude, You’re a Fag’: Adolescent Masculinity and the Fag Discourse ‘There’s a faggot over there! There’s a faggot over there! Come look!’ yelled Brian, a senior at River High School, to a group of 10-year-old boys. Follow- ing Brian, the 10 year olds dashed down a hallway. At the end of the hallway Brian’s friend, Dan, pursed his lips and began sashaying towards the 10-year- olds. He minced towards them, swinging his hips exaggeratedly and wildly waving his arms. To the boys Brian yelled, ‘Look at the faggot! Watch out! He’ll get you!’ In response the 10-year-olds raced back down the hallway screaming in terror. (From author’s fieldnotes) The relationship between adolescent masculinity and sexuality is embedded in the specter of the faggot. Faggots represent a penetrated masculinity in which ‘to be penetrated is to abdicate power’ (Bersani, 1987: 212). Penetrated men symbolize a masculinity devoid of power, which, in its contradiction, threatens both psychic and social chaos. It is precisely this specter of penetrated masculinity that functions as a regu- latory mechanism of gender for contemporary American adolescent boys. Article Sexualities Copyright © 2005 SAGE Publications (London, Thousand Oaks, CA and New Delhi) Vol 8(3): 329–346 DOI: 10.1177/1363460705053337 at MCGILL UNIVERSITY LIBRARY on May 1, 2013 sex.sagepub.com Downloaded from
Feminist scholars of masculinity have documented the centrality of homophobic insults to masculinity (Lehne, 1998; Kimmel, 2001)

  • Left Quote Icon

    Student Picture

  • Left Quote Icon

    Student Picture

  • Left Quote Icon

    Student Picture