Tuesday, 8 February 2011

Masculine Identity in The United States

The article i have chosen to look at this week is Our Identity Crisis written by Ray Williams on his personal website.


The article is quite interesting as it draws your attention to the fact that there is significant shifts in the nature of education and employment trends which in Ray Williams' eyes will have a huge impact on male identities. According to several studies boys are underachieving in public schools and men barley compromise 40% of University or college student graduates. Throughout this article the challenges of American masculinity is quite clear as Williams touches upon the fact that women are more likely to be the bread-winner in a family, unmarried women are more likely to buy a house and the number of women in government are starting to edge up in recent years. This is suggesting that The United States is not being held up by Blue Collar jobs and women are now doing what used to be thought of as "a man's job". It also indicates that men are therefore losing out to women for jobs. For example "For the first time, less than 50% of law school graduates are men in North America". Men being beaten out by women is therefore not seen as masculine and this is a main concern for masculine identity.

The article carries on to talk about wages and the percentage of women in the workforce. According to a study done recently young women in New York and other big cities were more likely to earn more then their male counterparts. He states that in 1967 women made up just 30% of the workforce.

The article continues on to talk about the portrayal of men and identity in contemporary western society and he feels that males are seen in a negative light. " Men today are extensively demonized, marginalized and objectified. The issue of male identity is of crucial importance, because males are failing school, committing more suicides and crimes and dying younger". All these factors suggests that continuous negative portrayals of men in the media, along with the feminization of men and loss of fatherhood in society has caused confusion and frustration for the younger generation men as they do not have specific role models and are less able to define their role in society.

Ray Williams feels there is clear issue with masculine identity in America and that undoubtedly there is a new social standing for men which will have a significant impact on Western society.

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