chapter  11
20 Pages

MASCULINITY AS HOMOPHOBIA: FEAR, SHAME, AND SILENCE IN THE CONSTRUCTION OF GENDER IDENTITY

W E T H I N K o f manhood as eternal, a timeless essence that resides deep in the heart o f every man. We think o f manhood as a thing, a quality that one either has or doesn't have. We think of manhood as innate, residing in the particular biological composition o f the human male, the result of androgens or the possession of a penis. We think of manhood as a transcendent tangible property that each man must manifest in the world, the reward presented with great ceremony to a young novice by his elder for having successfully completed an arduous initiation ritual. In the words o f poet Robert B ly (1990), "the

EL structure at the bottom of the male psyche is still as firm as it was twenty thousand years ago" (p. 230).