Posted at 11:43 on 4 May 2014
by Pandora / Blake
I'm fascinated by the associations between power roles and gender. Dominance and submission are not inherently masculine or feminine - in fact most of us are both at different times. But our society has historically linked the concepts of maleness with sexual/social dominance.
There are other ways to be masculine. Even within the traditional set of cultural associations, the male ideal of chivalry includes a lot that is submissive. The idea of noble service; the knight pledging allegiance to a king or queen. In the modern era, respectable masculinity involves dutifully playing your social role - as public servant, breadwinner, protector - even though it restricts your personal freedom.
Maleness in our society is, in some ways, about the ties that bind. The limited wardrobe; the institutional hierarchies. Roles associated with masculinity, such as politician or soldier, are about strength and power; but they are also about submission.
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