A Manifesto for Radical Masculinity

Sinclair Sexsmith, aka Sugarbutch, writes: “We need to continue struggling and stumbling into a new masculinity, a radical masculinity, a masculinity that is not painful for those who wear it or those who fall in love with it or for those who interact with it. Radical masculinity does not hurt. Radical masculinity is strong enough to be vulnerable and receptive enough to put his foot down. Radical masculinity is trans men and fairy fags and butches who do girly drag. Radical masculinity is straight women with cropped hair and tool belts marrying men, not apologizing, refusing to take the lesbian jokes personally. Radical masculinity is a new form of fatherhood, of manhood, of adulthood, of humanhood. Radical masculinity is feminist men doing real work for equality and liberation for everyone. Radical masculinity is football games with your daughter’s ballet class and ice cream sundaes with your high school son’s best friends. Radical masculinity is big cuddly bears and vicious hardcore dharma punx, urban c! owboys and the sexiest MMA fighters, yogis and your brother with his new baby and yes even sometimes your dad, showing everyone that you can teach an old dog new tricks. Radical masculinity is a way to present, perform, play with, celebrate, and liberate masculinity, in thousands of multi-dimensional expressions. It is still being created, recreated, formed, and reformed, and I want to be a part of its ongoing evolution.” The full manifesto is here.
rad masculinity

4 thoughts on “A Manifesto for Radical Masculinity

  1. The only reason I see in maintaining a social category called “masculinity” is for the value of transgression, but I am keen on Bataille. In another way, the category is of course very conservative and leads people to believe in essences, where there are none.

  2. Perhaps. But given that people do base their identities on their biology, it seems like a good idea to try and develop less problematic identities.

  3. I’m inclined to think similarly to Jennifer, that defining some masculine identity however positive is still essentialism. The manifesto writer falls into many essentialist traps in that very post. What I think is problematic is that people base [and feel ideologically justified in basing] their identities on their biology in the first place, not that their biology needs to be better essentialized.

  4. Surely it’s only essentialism if you think that identities are immutable, and constrained by the biological features (i.e., if you think, e.g., that people with a penis are naturally more aggressive, and so the only gender identities that people with penises can take on are those that express that natural aggression in some way).

    If you don’t think that gender identities are constrained by biological features, then I’m not sure that simply basing one’s identity on those biological features counts as essentialism.

    What I’m thinking is that people will always take on identities of one sort or another. There are lots of bases for them, but one’s biological features are an obvious choice – your body is you, you are that particular lump of matter that always happens to be in the same place that you are. Given that people will always take on identities, and are likely to do so on the basis of their biological features, it seems like a good idea to develop positive identities, which are linked to those features, and which people can then take on.

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