Doing Masculinity Through Humour
Tags: gender, social construction, doing gender, ethnomethodology, masculinity, 00 to 05 mins
Summary: In this video, "If Guy Best Friends Acted Like Girl Best Friends,"two men act out what is supposed to be typical "girl" behaviour. Here, girls are body conscious, vain and insecure. According to this video, girls' friendships are unhealthy and overly intimate. The men in the video are dressed in masculine clothes but they use "feminine" voices and bodily gestures. The joke is femininity itself. The act is only presented as funny because the men don't fully embody femininity. • The meaning of this video is very different when viewed through the social construction of gender. Sociology research by Candace West and Don Zimmerman shows that people "do" gender through our bodily practices. Society expects us to act, dress, talk and think of ourselves as *either* male or female. So men taking on behaviours perceived as feminine is viewed comically (or alternatively as bizarre or threatening). There's nothing inherently female about being close with your best friend. Men acting out intimacy draws laughs because: that's girl stuff! What if they were just two cis-men* talking closely using their regular voices and gestures, having fun taking photos of one another and sharing their emotions? Would this be considered funny? Would it be subversive? Would it be strange?
Submitted By: Dr. Zuleyka Zevallos (http://othersociologist.com, and on Twitter, @OtherSociology)
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