Andrew says that breaking this hegemonic ideal of what it means to masculine

Andrew says that breaking this hegemonic ideal of

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the masculine ideal of a football player. Andrew says that breaking this hegemonic ideal of what it means to masculine made doing both things he loved less enjoyable sometimes. No one outwardly told him he could not be a Hilltopper because he was on the football team; however, David had teammates, who although in good humor, would “give him crap” about his singing life. I believe this can be a very strong form of policing. This demonstrates what we talked about in class about how irony and “kidding around” can work to maintain
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norms. Just as how norms about female objectification are maintained through jokes about rape or the female body, expectations of masculinity are maintained through “guys giving other guys shit for things”. David never quit either organization but I would argue that if David were to stand up to his football friends, that the general response would be somewhere along the lines of “Relax, it’s just a joke”. To maintain his masculine identity within the football team he must simply take it, and may also have to overly compensate for the “flaw” of his to prove his masculinity. The fact that guys are not able to move comfortably between their different passions at Denison because of norms about masculinity is a major campus problem. Problems also arise when masculine ideals that are tied with specific campus organizations, do not just clash with other non-masculine campus organizations, but the culture of the organization is overly and overbearingly masculine. When its identity is so gendered, anyone that does not want to fall into that mold is left feeling uncomfortable and undesirably associated with its identity. Andrew describes the Denison baseball team he played on for the first two years as portraying a “barbaric kind of masculinity”. He joined the baseball team his freshman excited to play the sport he has played since childhood at the college level. His coach, at first, seemed to exhibit many good qualities that Andrew did not feel were gender associated—well spoken, caring, and passionate. He says the over-bearing masculinity of his coach and his older teammates he says did not become evident until later. The coach perpetuated what Andrew says “the crudest humor” and was relentless on the field in what Andrew regards as in “the least motivating way”. The older players on the team perpetuated and preserved this over- performance of masculinity through the party culture that was characterized by heavy drinking and girls. Andrew who did not enjoy these kinds of parties but in the beginning he went in fear of being left out. These masculine norms were so dominating that Andrew felt he had to quit the team in order to free himself of them. It was not enough to just not attend the parties because the
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parties were part of team bonding. He was supposed to what the older baseball guys were doing to fit in. He describes that the policing took place amongst team members that was facilitated by an overly performed masculine coaching style. He describes the team policing of this masculine ideal as “invisible”. He was never told he had to go to these parties. But at the
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  • Spring '14
  • Denison, Denison University

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