Cowboys and cocks : the heterosexual construction and homosexual appropriation of masculinity

Schlechter, Willem Philippus George (2008-03)

Thesis (MPhil)--Stellenbosch University, 2008.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: This study explores the performative construction and appropriations of heteronormative masculinities by heterosexual and homosexual men respectively. My interest in masculinity as a culturally constructed fantasy is extended to imply a desire for the masculine. The idea of masculine desire is further developed by indicating a possible (homo)sexual desire for the heteronormative representation of masculinity. In highlighting the artificial and material qualities of the assumed stable phallus, the impassable structure of hegemonic masculinities, such as manifested in the cowboy and bodybuilder, is turned into the penetrable penis as object of the male gaze. I will concentrate on the fetishization of heterosexual masculine signifiers in physique photography in order to demonstrate this shift in the male gaze. Masculinity as a (de)attachable component allows the de-subjectification and thus, depowering of heteronormative masculinity by the possible appropriation thereof by gay men.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Hierdie navorsing ondersoek die performatiewe konstruksie en apropriasie van heteronormatiewe manlikhede deur onderskydelik heteroseksuele en homoseksuele mans. My belangstelling in manlikheid as ‘n kultureel gestruktureerde fantasie word uitgebrei om ‘n begeerte vir manlikheid te impliseer. Die idee van manlike begeerte word verder ontwikkel deur ‘n moontlike (homo)seksuele begeerte vir die heteronormatiewe uitbeelding van manlikheid aan te dui. Deur die artifisiële en materiële kwaliteite van die veronderstelde stabiele fallus te beklemtoon, word die ondeurdringbare hegemonie van manlike strukture, soos dit voorkom in die cowboy en liggamsbouer, verander in die penetreerbare penis as objek van die manlike (male) ‘gaze’. Ek konsentreer op die fetisering van heteroseksuele manlike tekens in ‘physique’ fotografie ten einde hierdie skuiwing in die manlike ‘gaze’ te demonstreer. Manlikheid as ‘n (ont)hegbare komponent veronderstel die de-subjektivisering, en dus ontmagtiging van heteronormatiewe manlikheid deur die moontlike appropriasie daarvan deur gay mans.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/21758
This item appears in the following collections: