Masculinit(ies) and the male celebrity feminist

Feasey, R (2017) 'Masculinit(ies) and the male celebrity feminist.' Men and Masculinities, 20 (3). pp. 283-293. ISSN 1097-184X

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There has been a growing interest over the past decade in famous women who have labeled themselves, or others as feminist, with further comment being paid to those who are more or less deserving of the label in question. It is only more recently that we have seen the media spotlight focus on those male celebrities who have spoken openly about their interest in gender equality. There are a small number of men from the film, television, and sporting arena who appear with frequency and regularity on popular media listicles including, but not limited to “Feminist Statements from Male Celebrities” (McWilliams 2015) and “Male Celebrities Who Are Proud To Be Feminist” (Thorp 2015). Of those men who critique patriarchal society and condemn notions of sexual imbalance within and beyond the entertainment industry, some speak of respecting femininity, others applaud the woman’s role, and others again wear the (Fawcett Society) T-shirt. I seek to examine the ways in which a number of men in the entertainment arena have vocalized their desire for gender balance. My question here is whether media portrayals of men such as Joseph Gordon Levitt and Ashton Kutcher are seen to be genuinely committed to social and sexual change or should be challenged for feminist-inspired musings that stop short of campaigning. I hope to draw attention to the growing body of male celebrity feminists and their equality commentaries on social media, before considering the ways in which these men might present a challenge to social and sexual norms within and beyond the entertainment arena.

Item Type: Article
Keywords: celebrity, feminist, hegemonic masculinity, real men, gender equality
Divisions: Bath School of Art, Film and Media
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Date Deposited: 24 Jul 2017 13:40
Last Modified: 06 Jan 2022 19:40
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