Gay Masculinity in Contemporary America

-Ashley Rowe

Masculinity for gay men is often a thin line to be walked. Much of contemporary America continues to define masculinity in terms of hegemony, or, “the configuration of gender practice which embodies the currently accepted answer to the problem of the legitimacy of patriarchy, which guarantees the dominant position of men and the subordination of women” (p. 236). Within this definition is a set of behaviors or ways of acting that society believes defines one as masculine (man) or feminine (woman). Unsurprisingly, many American men do not fit into this idealized notion of masculinity, making life a series of negotiations one must make to ensure one’s masculinity.