Feminizing the Male Persona
Effeminacy as Rebellion and Subversion
Trouble arises over the variance of gender, meaning different ways of doing gender, in a widely accepted binary system which emphasizes the dichotomy of the masculine and the feminine. Institutionalized and policed, doing gender poses a challenge for any individual male body or female body that deviates from the expectations of masculinity associated with maleness and femininity associated with femaleness. Effeminacy, in
particular, as exhibited by men, exemplifies this deviance from gendered expectations in its mingling of maleness with performed femininity. To feminize the male persona means to negate it, which, as a subversive undertaking, would mean the undoing of idealized maleness, specifically breaking the looking-glass central to gender hierarchy. Seldom crossed, the chasm between the masculine and the feminine, the same division which marks effeminacy as abnormal and normalizes male dominance and female submission, inspires continuous fear as long as it remains unquestioned.
Faculty Mentor: Dr. Cathlena Martin