Men's spaces

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Men's spaces are separate social and cultural spaces, roles and norms available to men in some non-westernized societies. It is the membership of these spaces that determines a male's manhood, while failing to get a membership of this space amounts to being denied manhood, and to be liable to queerhood, i.e. to be counted as a 'third gender' or a non-man male.[1][2]

In non-westernized cultures[specify], most[dubious ] traditional spaces[clarification needed] are divided into men's spaces,[3][4][5] women's spaces [6] and third gender spaces.[7][not in citation given] The entry or participation of women in these men's spaces is highly restricted. Entry of third genderered persons into men's spaces is also regulated, although with more freedom than women to partake in these spaces.[8][not in citation given]

Although these spaces are restricted for women, Western women who want to study these spaces are often allowed entry.[9][10]

History of men's spaces[edit]

In the early days of human civilizaton, as proven by several indigenous and aboriginal tribes[dubious ][specify], boys, along with other children, lived in women's spaces till they reached puberty, after which they generally had to undergo 'manhood tests' or 'rites of passage into manhood' in order to be initiated into men's spaces.[11][12][13]

The manhood tests became more and more torturous with time[citation needed] during which men were expected not to show the slightest sign of pain or sigh[citation needed][specify][which cultures? gross overgeneralisation]. Boys who failed these tests were denied membership of men's spaces, which amounted to denying manhood and being emasculated, and were isolated as one of the third genders, deprived of social rights and privileges available to 'men.'[14] This was a fate worse than death for masculine gendered males.[15]

The feminine gendered males, i.e. the third genders were in some tribes[specify] exempt from manhood tests and were raised as third genders from early childhood[citation needed], when they showed what is today known as "Gender incongruent behaviour."

In what are considered modern civilizations[specify], it is still of great importance to be counted as one of the men[citation needed]. It can even be a matter of life and death for masculine gendered males.[15] - and to be isolated as a 'third gender' remains severely stigmatizing for masculine gendered males.

Effects of westernization on men's spaces[edit]

Some [16] in the Western World think men's spaces are discriminatory toward the rights of women,[17] and therefore fit for abolition.[18] This is due to an overlap of previously all-male spaces and what was considered the "old boy network" - channels of social and financial upward mobility that were conducted in all-male spaces[citation needed]. All-female spaces are generally viewed as beneficial for women, focusing on providing access to safety as opposed to gender-segregated access to opportunities.

There are few exclusively-male spaces in contemporary western culture, and even such former strongholds of men's space as military and sports environments have become more gender-neutral.[19]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ A room of (his) own: Italian and Italian-American male-bonding spaces and homosociality.(Report; Weibel-Orlando, Joan; The Journal of Men's Studies; Quotation: This article focuses on underlying psychosocial rationales for perpetuating male-exclusive associations. Further explored is what establishment of such female-excluding male spaces reveal about relative parallels and/or differences in construction of gender identity and definitions of masculinity held by participating members of two male group--one in the Tuscany region of Central Italy, the other in southwestern Connecticut and made up largely of second and third generation Italian-Americans. Do these men, when in their own and exclusive company, act out too easily assumed stereotypes of Italian and Italian-American masculinities--hot tempered, competitive, prone to violence, mother
  2. ^ Northern Exporsure Metropolismag.com; Quotation: ... Stud: Architectures of Masculinity (Princeton, 1996), a collection of interdisciplinary essays on the role architecture plays in the construction of male identity. The book, which Sanders edited, offers critical examinations of traditionally male spaces-the bachelor pad, urinal, and gym are a few.
  3. ^ Negotiating Gender Lines: Women's Movement across Atlanta Mosques, Jamillah Karim, Spelman College, Quotation: "Mosques also are gendered spaces in the way in which men and women are separated within them."
  4. ^ ICT for Development, UNDP pamphlet, Quotation: "Facilities should allow for separate spaces or times for women and men in cultures where the sexes do not mingle."
  5. ^ The third gender, Nadia Al-Sakkaf; Quotation: "I don’t know what the situation in Yemen is like today or whether the Yemeni male community would invite a foreign woman to enter their spaces if she were by herself,” Sarah said."
  6. ^ The third gender, Nadia Al-Sakkaf; Quotation: "she felt a hand from between curtains pull her into another space meant for the ladies."
  7. ^ Transgressing boundaries : gendered spaces, species and indigenous forest management in Uganda; Author(s) Nabanoga K., G.N.; Wageningen University Dissertation; Quotation: Weeding in croplands and home gardens is predominantly a women's activity, although croplands are perceived to be a male space.
  8. ^ Roman military bases as complex gendered spaces Penelope ALLISON; Quotation: The traditional perception of Roman military bases, particularly those from the early empire, is that they were predominantly segregated male spaces from which soldiers could carry out the business of war, unhindered by domestic lives involving women and families.
  9. ^ Music and Gender: Perspectives from the Mediterranean; By Tullia Magrini; Published by University of Chicago Press, 2003; ISBN 0-226-50166-3, ISBN 978-0-226-50166-6; 371 pages; Quotation: The fact remains, however, that women partaking in what are essentially men's songs are obliged to negotiate men's spaces and at the same time to compromise their own gender identity, which becomes of necessity ambiguous. In my own case, the fact that, as a foreigner, I was already outside the cultural norm combined with my "passion for the song" (reinforced by the distances I had traveled) to make it less problematic than might have been expected for me to move in men's spaces. I was also doubtless held to be pardonably naive as far as matters of honor were concerned.
  10. ^ The third gender, Nadia Al-Sakkaf, Quotation: Louise Hallman who was in Yemen in 2006, says that western woman are able to transcend somewhat the social barriers imposed on men and women in Yemeni society.
  11. ^ Initiation Ceremonies of the Aborigines of Port Stephens, by W. J. Enright, B.A. Syd., Journal of the Royal Society of New South Wales, Vol. XXXIII, p. 115-124, [Read before the Society July 5, 1899 - communicated by R. H. Mathews, L.S.]; Quotation: "The male aboriginal, on attaining the age of puberty, reaches the most eventful period of his life. Hitherto his place has been amongst the women and children, but he now passes through a ceremony admitting him to a brotherhood whose secrets are inviolable and whose power is more dreaded than any Vehmgericht. Now filled with a sense of the dignity of manhood, he becomes entitled to greater privileges than previously enjoyed."
  12. ^ Music and Gender: Perspectives from the Mediterranean; By Tullia Magrini; Published by University of Chicago Press, 2003; ISBN 0-226-50166-3, ISBN 978-0-226-50166-6; 371 pages; Quotation: The unease that men feel about women singing paghjelle nevertheless goes beyond questions of upholding custom and defending one's territory. Gilmore (1987, 15) has pointed to the lack of male initiation ceremonies in the Mediterranean as a whole and the resulting ambiguity as to what marks the passage of a boy at puberty from the female-dominated domestic world to adult male society. The fact that it is usual for Corsican males to become properly integrated into the paghjella-singing tradition at the time of their passage from adolescence to adulthood, as signified by the breaking of the voice (Catinchi 1999, 51), suggests elements of a male rite of passage that, together with the function of male bonding already discussed, makes any female intrusion understandably inappropriate or at least discomforting.
  13. ^ A Room of (His) Own: Italian and Italian-American Male-bonding Spaces and Homosociality; Joan Weibel-Orlando1; University of Southern California; Abstract: This article focuses on underlying psychosocial rationales for perpetuating male-exclusive associations. Further explored is what establishment of such female-excluding male spaces reveal about relative parallels and/or differences in construction of gender identity and definitions of masculinity held by participating members of two male group—one in the Tuscany region of Central Italy, the other in southwestern Connecticut and made up largely of second and third generation Italian-Americans. Do these men, when in their own and exclusive company, act out too easily assumed stereotypes of Italian and Italian-American masculinities—hot tempered, competitive, prone to violence, mother adoring, Latin lovers? Or are their constructions of masculinity based on other and socioculturally and ethnohistorically tempered criteria of masculinity (Società, skill attainment, physical strength and separation from an impoverished past and the feminine)?
  14. ^ Women's Roots: The History of Women in Western Civilization, by June Stephenson, Ph.D., Diemer Smith Publishing Co., 5th Edition, March 2000, Book review by William A. Spriggs, October 6, 2003; Quotations: This is the (initiation) ritual, different from tribe to tribe, and almost non-existent for girls, which marks a boy's passage into manhood. These rituals affect the way boys are conditioned to value "manhood." ...Boys, in order to become men, have to prove that they are unafraid, and they can take pain "like a man." Only then can the boys see the sacred objects, learn the secrets of the clan, and history of the clan's great achievements...All of these activities create a bonding and a brotherhood of males, collectively shocked into manhood by pain and fear. The initiates form a bonding which lasts all their lives."
  15. ^ a b Women's Roots: The History of Women in Western Civilization, by June Stephenson, Ph.D., Diemer Smith Publishing Co., 5th Edition, March 2000, Book review by William A. Spriggs, October 6, 2003 Quotation: "One can not understate the importance to the individual male in succeeding the initiation feats; failure to do so could prove disastrous ... it is known for a fact that in some Native American tribes, males who failed the "test of manhood" were given "women's work" to do. There were no "gay communities" in large cities to which the "inferior" males could escape."
  16. ^ Discrimination by Design: A Feminist Critique of the Man-Made Environment by Leslie Weisman
  17. ^ Engineering workplace cultures: men's spaces and (in)visible women? Dr Wendy Faulkner
  18. ^ Rebel Girls; Six Documentaries by Kim Longinotto; BY GARY MORRIS; Bright lights film journal; Quotation: If the village films show women trying to have the same rights as men, the urban films go further in showing women actually appropriating traditionally male spaces
  19. ^ James B. Twitchell. Where Men Hide. Review by Maude Adjarian New York: Columbia University Press, 2006. 248 pp. $24.95 (cloth), ISBN 978-0-231-13734-8; Published on H-Histsex (August, 2007); Quotation: Many anthropologists believe that men have always and actively sought the companionship of other men as well as places where they can express masculine solidarity. But as James Twitchell, professor of English and advertising at the University of Florida, wryly suggests in his latest book, Where Men Hide, the twenty-first century male--and in particular, the twenty-first century American male--is lonely, his impulse to "tribalize" with other men quashed by the demands of modern life. Not only are males--particularly young ones--difficult to find; the spaces they might be expected to inhabit have become progressively emptier. And so Twitchell asks the question: where have all the men and all-male spaces gone?