chapter  1
15 Pages

But Why This Man?

Challenging hegemonic masculinity in an age of repression
ByWalter S. DeKeseredy

This chapter focuses on a few recommendations that are informed by contemporary left realist ways of knowing and the work of some masculinities scholars. The 2016 presidential election demonstrates that angry white men striving to meet the standards of hegemonic masculinity can be more dangerous than is often realized, and they are not completely disingenuous. There are alternatives to hegemonic masculinity, and there is what Messerschmidt sees as “promising prospects for gendered social change”. Having a gendered understanding of Trump’s style of governance, his supporters, and the antifeminist backlash is essential for creating effective strategies for social justice in an age of repression. Masculinities studies show that men are encouraged to live up to these ideals and are sanctioned for not doing so, and as J. Katz correctly points out, “the qualities considered ‘presidential’–with the notable exception of Barak Obama’s blackness–track closely with those associated with hegemonic masculinity”.