Disability theorists and researchers have analyzed the relationship between gender identity and ability, providing multiple discussions on how disabled bodies are interpreted by the dominant culture. Some disability researchers explain that the presence of disability potentially negates sexuality, compelling those around the disabled person to view her/him as asexual and incapable of entering into a sexual or romantic relationship with another person. As Porter (1997) notes, "a disabled body seems to be lacking something essential, something to make it identifiable and something to identify with; a body that is deficiently itself, not quite a body in the full sense of the word, not real enough," and in turn potentially absent of sexual identity (p. xii). In U.S. patriarchal culture, the physically disabled male body is often feminized, seen as incapable of the autonomy, bodily strength, and aggressiveness associated with dominant Western masculinity (Manderson & Peake, 2005). Prior studies have illuminated how some men may resist this feminization, such as Lindemann's (2010) ethnography of wheelchair rugby players. Disability scholars have also highlighted how disabled male bodies can be interpreted as pillars of strength and admiration for overcoming adversity (Wilson, 2004) and/or capable of deep emotional connection through dependency (Shuttleworth, 2004).
Jesse positions the restoration of one's physically disabled body as a personal, rather than shared process: the personal rejection of the dominant culture's deep seeded prejudice and judgment as artificial, contrived, and therefore, unimportant.
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Each narrator included in this study initially responded to a call sent across professional list-serves requesting stories surrounding "What it means to be a physically disabled professional." Fourteen of the 26 respondents from across the U.S. were male. In each face-to-face audio-recorded interview, I invited the interviewee to begin wherever she/he wished to begin and end wherever she/he wished to end. In turn, some stories will take place within the professional space, while others will migrate to private relationships, highlighting how difficult it is to compartmentalize identities as they emerge and re-emerge through daily interactions. Each story illustrates how disability and masculinity emerge thickly interwoven in collective understandings of identity.
Evaluate the view that representations of masculinity …
Title: Goethe (FS II.271)
Medium: Screenprint on Lenox Museum Board.
Size: 38″ x 38″
Edition: Edition of 100, 22 AP, 5 PP, 2 EP, 6 HC. Portfolio of four screenprints. Signed and numbered in pencil lower right.
Jan 23, 2015 · Pascoe, C.J
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Dude, You’re a Fag: Masculinity and Sexuality in High School
Narrators positioned their masculine identities as changing based on their changing bodies, highlighting both the multifaceted nature and vulnerability of our bodies and the culturally-constituted gender identities we perform. Their performances of masculinity also call attention to our gender identities' dependence upon multifaceted cultural markers, from size and ability, to professional success and personal relationships, all of which are vulnerable to change with age, contexts, relationships, and/or events. Perhaps, through their reflections on gender, disability, and embodiment, we can first understand, and then begin the process of dismantling notions of 'ideal masculine identity' that all humans imagine and pursue, but that can never be realized by any body.