Man Score Analysis

985 Words4 Pages
The ‘Man Score’ and Hegemonic Masculinity “What’s your man score?” – America’s most popular men’s lifestyle magazine Men’s Health provides 45 questions that test their readers’ knowledge in the fields of sports, food, culture, style, home repair, cars and women to put a number to their manliness. In order to score man points, one should for instance know how many chainsaw cuts it takes to fell a tree and be able to rank a woman’s erogenous zones by sensitivity. The choice of questions and topics in the test projects a rather normative view of masculinity. Here the notion of hegemonic masculinity comes into play, defined by Ricciardelli, Clow and White (2010: 64) as “culturally normative and influential ideals of masculinity”. Hegemonic masculinity…show more content…
The ‘Man Score Test’ suggests that whoever does not conform to the given norm of masculinity is ‘unmanly’ and subordinated to men who comply with it. On one hand, this can again be seen in the scoring system, where a score of less than 60 points indicates exclusion from the accepted standard of masculinity. This creates a hierarchy of manliness, where men who are in the lower half are suppressed due to their unacceptably high deviance from the hegemonic standard. On the other hand, through the selection of questions, the test defines ‘typical’ fields of interest of men and this results in a subordination of any man whose interest lie elsewhere. With respect to this, it is particularly important to note the obvious assumption of a heterosexual readership. An entire section is devoted to the subject of ‘women’, with questions about dating and sexual practice, all with clear reference to heterosexuality. Instead of attempting a more inclusive approach, taking into account the existence of different sexualities by having a section about relationships and sex in general, the authors of the article made the choice to target their test specifically to heterosexual men. Connell (1995, 2005: 78) states that “gayness is the repository of whatever is symbolically expelled from hegemonic masculinity” and that the suppression of homosexual men is arguably the most important case of subordination and dominance in contemporary society. As mentioned above, the article at hand suppresses not only homosexual men, but men who do not suffice the hegemonic norms in some way, by restricting the areas of knowledge it tests and by equating a low score with exclusion of the group of ‘manly’
Open Document