“Did they send me daughters, when I asked for son? Mister, I'll make a man out of you.“ (Li Shang, Mulan)
Sayings, such as: “Women's place is in the kitchen!“, “Men should provide for their families.“, “You are behaving like a real woman!“, and so on, have always been a part of our reality and are somehow accepted as a stereotype in our society. What are we thinking of when we say that something is masculine or feminine? What are we referring to? Masculinity refers to those behaviors, languages and practices, which exist in specific cultural locations, and are related with males, therefore are not considered as feminine. But those behaviors are not simply a result of genetic coding or biological predispositions. (qtd. in Itulua-Abumere, 2001, 42) According to Jeffords, masculinity is defined broadly as “the set of images, values, interests, and activities held important to a successful achievement of male adulthood“. (qtd. in Brooks and Hèbert, 2006, 304) Bartky, for example, stated that according to philosophical tradition which values rationality, masculinity is associated…show more content… (Schroeder and Zwick, 2004, 28) Therefore, we can conclude that every act that is conducted outside the commonly perceived norms specific to be masculine or feminine is considered to be improper or deviant.
In defining masculinity, Connell stated a person's behavior is a result of the type that a person is. In other words, a person who does not have masculine traits will behave differently: avoid violence and prefer peace, act more pacifistically than dominantly, care little about sexual conquest, express disinterest in sports, and other. “This conception presupposes a belief in individual difference and personal agency.“ (2005, 68) But this concept is also 'inherently relational', meaning that masculinity and femininity are mutually exclusive. The one does not exist except in contrast with the other. According to Connell, the definition of masculinity can follow four main strategies when