Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Tucker Max and the Hegemonic Male

http://www.tuckermax.com/ (read a story to understand)

I have always been a diehard fan of Tucker Max’s writing. To me, there is not a better story teller (in terms of humor) in the United States. Upon preparing for my presentation, I have done a lot of research of the basis of hegemonic masculinity. This has led me to ponder why, exactly, do I love Tucker Max and can he be defined as a hegemonic male?

In terms of hegemonic masculinity, Tucker Max can be defined as a hero. He drinks, parties, and sleeps with a lot of women. Although, not necessarily a “positive” role model, there are many men throughout college campuses wishing to associate themselves with his specific attitude and lifestyle. According to his stories, he is the dominant man. He has the pen, and thus, cannot be questioned. He lies, insults, and scams his way in order to keep himself as the authority.

An important aspect of hegemonic masculinity is the identity of the heterosexual. Most, if not all, of Max’s stories center on sexual encounters with women. With this, heterosexuality and homophobia are essential to the concept of hegemonic masculinity. As Max Donaldson writes, “Male heterosexuality is sustained and affirmed by hated for, and fear of, gay men” (“What is Hegemonic Masculinity?” pg. 6). Max has a specific story (“The Worst Conversation Ever”) where he follows one of his female friends into a gay bar in Chicago. Initially, Max is frightened by the bar, but this passes as time goes on. Then, a gay man walks up to Max and tells him that “you [Max] have probably had sex with a man before.”

At first, Max ignores this, believing that the gay man does not know what he’s talking about. Then, the man goes into detail on how Max could have had sex with a man in the past. The more details the man goes into, the more scared Max becomes. Finally, Max becomes so affected by the gay man’s words, that it throws Max into a “funk” where it takes him weeks to recover. This is where Max, as a heterosexual hegemonic male, proves his fear of gay men. This leads to a better understanding that Max can be considered a hegemonic male.

1 comment:

Jake Thomas said...

I'm sorry, it's "The Most Disturbing Conversation Ever".