I've touched upon the construction of autistic masculinity and the construction of autism as inherently masculine a few times already in this series. In this post, I'd like to take a little bit of a closer look at the relationship between autism and masculinity.
Earlier this year, the Los Angeles Timesreported on the hottest new marketing demographic for the personal care industry: Latino men. Considering that Hispanics are the fastest-growing ethnic group in the United States, it isn't surprising that brands and advertisers had already begun courting Latina women's purchasing preferences. The men's habits, however, seemed like more of a lesson in social studies than in product development.
There's a script for women in commercial country music that doesn't necessarily coincide with more mainstream stereotypes and assumptions about women. If you've ever heard Carrie Underwood's ubiquitous 2007 single, "Before He Cheats" (lyrics), you'll recognize the tropes.
Of course there are exceptions, but the ideal country woman is often blond (and white), feisty, world-wise, and hot. She is deeply possessive of her man, and aims to squelch competitors for his affection. She gives the appearance of working-class roots even if she didn't grow up working class, and she's equally comfortable talking about guns (Miranda Lambert's "Gunpowder and Lead"), Jesus (Underwood's "Jesus Take the Wheel"), and heterosexual romantic relationships (Dixie Chicks' "Cowboy Take Me Away").
One of the newer variations on these themes is the girl group Pistol Annies (Miranda Lambert, Ashley Monroe, and Angaleena Presley). Check out the first single of their August LP, Hell on Heels (lyrics):
When I decided to write about the Western stereotype of the emasculated Asian American male, I understood going into the topic that this would be an exercise in imparting while learning—and that I needed an expert guide. I therefore turned to Amy Sueyoshi, Associate Professor of Race and Resistance Studies and Sexuality Studies at San Francisco State University.
I realize that I'm the umpteenthbloggerto toss ina couple pennies on the gender dynamics of the fall TV lineup, but I couldn't resist. Since "Isn't He Lovely" is examining social attitudes like "What Men Should Like Look Like" and "How to Perform the Tap Dance of Masculinity with Aplomb," the handful of male-in-crisis sitcoms debuting this season fit right into the narrative. For all the words that I've spilled on how men are tending to their pubic hair and pumping iron and generally not liking what they're seeing in the mirror—and also not wanting to talk about it due to the feminine associations of expressing dissatisfaction with their looks—these shows are out to grab heterosexual male America and shake his softened shoulders into action. One is even called Man Up! for heaven's sake.
Last week, I wrote about apocalyptic themes and imagery in contemporary music. In closing out that discussion (at least for now), I use PJ Harvey's February LP, Let England Shake*, as a jumping off point to think about about war as apocalypse. In the album, we encounter a crumbling empire beset by militarism.
Here is the music video for "This Glorious Land" (lyrics here). It's about declining British empire:
Now you can buy limited-edition prints of some of our favorite Bitch covers! To celebrate our 15th anniversary, we've got 15 archival giclee prints to choose from, all on high-quality, heavy watercolor paper, suitable for framing. Each print offers gorgeous photos, cool illustrations, nifty typography, and lots of color to perk up your living space. To show you what they look like in action, we'll be highlighting a different print on the blog each day in its natural habitat. Today we have Masculinity, shown under a festive flag at Ashley's house.