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Inspired by the Vargas pin-up girls of the 1940s, The Masculist pin-up boys are an exploration into an alternative representation of masculinity and femininity.
Masculism is the yin to feminism’s yang; it is about men trying to shed a strict socialized model to not question their roles as caveman-like aggressors and providers. Men are challenging gender models, just as the powerful feminists challenged them before us.
With men benefitting from inherited definitions of masculinity and femininity and the phallus being at stake, to what extent are men willing to let go of ‘hegemonic’ masculinities? Just because men have been given access to excessive amounts of power and control, that doesn’t mean they have not been pounded and prodded to fit into a specific socialized structure.
We are now seeing major changes in the representation of masculinity. Most noticeably on the billboards and magazines around us. The male body has entered the realm of being objectified and exploited for monetary and brain-washing tactics the way women’s have been throughout modern history. We have seen the advent of new words like “metro-sexual”, “man-orexia”, and “femi-men” permeate pop culture. Who can say whether these trends represent a progressive breakdown in the patriarchal construct of masculinity or a marketing agenda that aims to assimilate new consumers obsessed with body image?
Why are men taught to model their behaviour on a caveman?
Why are men taught to view sex as a primal instinct that takes over and absolves them of any responsibility?
Why is it that if men act vulnerable, frail, or demure they are not “real” men?
These behaviours are not built in. This is not “just the way it is”.
Why is society terrified of putting men under “the gaze”? Or more specifically, why do most men get nervous and confrontational when made to look at themselves as objects of flirtation and sexuality. So terrified, in fact, that we have oppressed women’s sexuality and demonized gay men’s natural preferences, in effect making it wrong to express desire for a man. Are men not to be coveted?
Why is attraction to the male body a serious societal taboo?