Hegemonic Masculinity, Emphasized Femininity

In The Kaleidoscope of Gender, Spade and Valentine define hegemonic masculinity as "the idealized pattern of masculinity in patriarchal societies" (Kaleidoscope xvi). In contrast, Spade and Valentine define emphasized femininity as "the vision of femininity that is held up as the model of womanhood in those societies" (Kaleidoscope xvi). When I read this, I wondered what my masculine and feminine ideals were. My ideal masculine man would be Prince Harry at the moment. The reason I think he is a representation of ideal masculinity is due to many factors that he displays. His involvement in the army as an Apache helicopter pilot shows he is active and shows a good sense of leadership with others that would be able to be shown despite his affiliation to the Royal family. This also shows his want to protect and provide for himself in an honorable way. His ambitions also help show others that he wants to be successful in his career. He doesn't have to be a college graduate or the smartest of the bunch but if he strives for his goals, he at least sees purpose in his career. His community involvement also show that he is able to associate with others and has a want to be able to help those less fortunate. His laid back attitude is another more masculine trait that I believe he exhibits. While Prince Harry is focused on his career, he also knows when to relax and find various ways for him to have fun.


For emphasized femininity, I would say Anne Hathaway would be my choice. I see Hathaway as someone who is poised while still being able to find success in her personal and professional life. She remains very modest when she is in the public eye however her presence is tasteful and elegant. Her occupation as an actress has expanded by the work she has done, with films such as Les Miserables and The Devil Wears Prada. She was able to move from the teenage Disney star in the Princess Diaries to a sophisticated actress in adult films. She also does not always depend on her looks for roles but almost renounces them. In most of her work she shows how she is able to turn into a swan from a duckling but with various consequences. Her characters rely on these transformations but it is not the beauty aspect that determines their interpretation.


The way I see it is best represented by a teleconference I attended for the National Society of Leadership and Success this past spring. This conference was a lecture from the founder of the History channel's Decoded, Brad Meltzer. Meltzer published two particular books, Heroes for My Son and Heroes for My Daughter, when his children were born. When he mentioned these books in his lecture, he mentioned that he didn't want only girls for heroes in his daughter's book nor only men in his boy's. Both sexes had amiable qualities that he wanted his children to learn from.

Based on my descriptions of my ideal representations of masculinity and femininity, I realize I base quite a bit of stigma on occupation and perception of individuals. I believe I see a decreased expectancy of academic employment for men over women which is stressed in Prudence Carter reading in Kaleidoscope of Gender (192). For me, Prince Harry only has to have the ambition to do well in his job for me to see him as ideal but for Hathaway I would be much more expectant for her to advance in her goals. As stated in my discussion post, I also see more of a hands on type approach to the masculinity aspect compared to the visual approach with femininity. My long blonde hair makes it easier for me to achieve that feminine ideal compared to chopping my hair into a crew cut like Hathaway did in Les Miserables. The respectability of a person was another aspect that I previously mentioned in my representations. While this trait is shared with both people they have different levels. I expect the masculine ideal to be a little bit more wayward than the feminine. Prince Harry is by no means spotless but Hathaway's stumbles are far less in between.