MAN UP

The standard bearer for a patriarchal or male supremacist culture is the “strong” or “big man,” the decider, the protector who also is the one most likely to abuse his charges. Gender roles define “real men” as adamant heterosexuals, hard, dominant, ready to use violence, denying pain and spurning “feelings.” They grimace more than smile, epitomize success, spurn all marked as feminine, never appear “weak,” and take full charge of their families. Trump associates himself with such tough style masculinity.  In 2016, he boasted about the size of his genitals and demeaned rivals as smaller in all ways. Pop paraphernalia praises Trump as having “balls” and features him with phallic icons signifying superior virility, including large and lethal weaponry. This glorification of one’s genitals and waving of weapons only works favorably for a White and affluent male candidate. Women, poor men, men of color and/or gay men boasting about their genitals and brandishing weapons might activate negative stereotypes of them as nasty and castrating (for women) and criminal, dangerous and deviant for men. Items showing Trump’s body as young and hard identify him as a symbolic phallus. Critics of Trump offer no alternative to this problematic association of masculinity with domination and violence. Instead, they mock Trump as having a small penis or no “balls.”

CATEGORIES

The Divided States of America
Demonization
Dehumanization
Cards and Canards
Who Is "America"? Whose "America" Is It?
Racism & Xenophobia
Immigrant Detentions and Contentions
Man Up
MeToo Movements
Misogyny and Misogynoir
Age-Related
Threats of Harm & Electoral Violence
Bullying, Shaming, and Lying
Transphobia
Homophobia
Pandemic Politics
Unmasked Meanings
God on Our Side
Gun Battles
Black Lives Matter
Pop Archetypes
Fake News, Troll Tidings
Disinformation and Conspiracy "Theories"
Talking Back to the Cap
Making and Remaking America
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Dorothy F. Schmidt College of Arts and Letters
Florida Atlantic University

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