Male Trouble



We have here the two representations of masculinity of the 1980’s.

On the one hand Joe Camel, the macho-man and on the other the passive, beautiful and seductive young man, a portrayal up until then reserved for young women.

Either one can be considered to represent the fact that masculinity, like capitalism, is always in crisis but still manages to be resurrected and assert itself again.

Masculinity and femininity are of a performative nature according to Freud and their relation to biological sex is not to be taken for granted.

Examples of paintings are provided to support this notion.

Finally, questions on the admiration of the male body, misogyny, homoerotic art and homophobia are addressed in a way that generally questions western society’s on the issue of what constitutes masculinity.




“… a colonization of femininity, so that what has been rendered peripheral and marginal in the social and cultural realm, or actively devalued, is effectively incorporated within the compass of masculinity”  –> Masculinity is allowed and appraised in as certain way, so whatever is NOT is passed off as another version of masculinity in order to access the realm of power.


“…the articulation of ‘soft’ masculinities, like the related appearance of a men’s movement concerned to excavate male fears, anxieties and desires, of a discourse in gay male sexuality that celebrates the relinquishment of mastery and control, of the theoretical revision of male masochism, need not necessarily have much to do with the relinquishment of the privileges of patriarchy, and certainly need not have anything ot do with female emancipation, empowerment, or liberation.”  –> in other words, no matter what, men (well those abiding with the norms of society) will always think themselves on top of the world… Well if that makes them happy and less insecure? Let them think it…





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