Girls and women are the first victims of any calamity, pandemic, or disaster in developing countries like Bangladesh. As it is, they are very often denied health care, are forced to endure child marriage and early motherhood, and are frequently subjected to violence. Given this unprecedented COVID-19 pandemic they are now suffering immensely. COVID-19 threatens girls’ rights in countries around the world and will have far-reaching impacts on their health and wellbeing, education, and protection. Self-isolation has increased the rates of gender-based violence. Early marriage and pregnancy are among the drastic effects of school closures and many parents have married off their underage daughters or sold them off to rich families as domestic workers to reduce their economic burden.
The Effects of COVID-19 on Girls
Toward a Queer Sinofuturism
Ari Heinrich, Howard Chiang, and Ta-wei Chi
This special issue on “Queer Sinofuturisms” aims to explore how artists and writers working across various media in Sinophone contexts use science to envision—and indeed to fabulate—non-normative gender and erotic expressions in relation to the corporeal future of humanity. By investigating visions of the future that incorporate queerness and creative applications of computer and biotechnology, “Queer Sinofuturisms” aims to counter pervasive techno-Orientalist discourses, such as those discourses in the Blade Runner movies (Ridley Scott, 1982; and Denis Villeneuve, 2017) that frame “Asian” futures as strictly dystopian—and heteronormative by default. What happens, this issue of Screen Bodies asks, if we simultaneously destabilize techno-Orientalist narratives of the future while queering assumptions about the heteronormativity so often inscribed upon that future in mainstream iterations and embodiments? What kinds of fabulous fabulations might emerge?
COVID-19 and Urban Métis Girls and Young Women
Carly Jones, Renée Monchalin, Cheryllee Bourgeois, and Janet Smylie
The national COVID-19 pandemic response presents a sharp contrast to the matrilineal social kinship and knowledge exchange systems that Métis women and girls rely on for safety, security, and wellbeing. In this article, we demonstrate that while Métis women and girls have been left out of the national pandemic response, they continue to carry intergenerational healing knowledges that have been passed down from the kokums (grandmas) to the iskwêsisisak (girls). We show how urban Métis girls and women are both managing and tackling COVID-19 through innovative and community-based initiatives like Well Living House and the Call Auntie Hotline.
Experiences of “Left-Behind” Girls in Rural China
“Left-behind” children in rural China are those whose parents seek work in urban areas and leave them behind in their hometowns. In this article, I focus on the experiences of five young “left-behind” girls who were socially isolated because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Based on the Chinese authorities’ instruction to schools to “Stop classes, but don't stop learning,” I examine micro-level data on the tensions and challenges experienced by these girls during the COVID-19 lockdown. I look at how the pandemic has affected these girls in relation to school and family life and suggest that it has exposed and magnified gender inequalities, particularly those related to the maltreatment exerted by their guardians and/or brothers, that have left them even further behind.
Explorations at the Intersection of Gender Order and Generational Order
In this article, I draw upon a qualitative study with 11- to 12-year-old middle-class British Indian boys and their parents to unpack the ways notions of young masculinities are negotiated within the context of children's leisure. Taking a relational approach, I argue that leisure-based masculinities of children are simultaneously generationed and gendered. By interrogating the intersection of what Raewyn Connell theorizes as “gender order” and what childhood sociologists call the “generational order,” I demonstrate that leisure-based young masculinities are forged within children's inter- (parent-child) and intra- (child-child) generational relationships around leisure. I conclude with a call for greater engagement with intersectional frameworks in the study of boys’ masculinity that simultaneously recognizes the gender and the generational structures of children's everyday lives.
Claudia Mitchell and Ann Smith
As with Zika, Ebola, HIV and AIDS, and other pandemics in recent history, girls and young women are particularly vulnerable to COVID-19 socially and emotionally if not medically. Some observers have referred to the current crisis as a tale of two pandemics in reference to both the obvious health issues and the pervasive gender inequalities that have become exacerbated, and others have referred to it as “the shadow pandemic” (UN Women 2020: n.p.) in highlighting the negative impact that physical distancing and social isolation are having on already vulnerable girls and young women experiencing sex- and gender-based violence. All over the world girls and young women are facing increasing levels of precariousness as a direct result of the health measures being taken to curb the global transmission of COVID-19. The increasing lack of privacy in the home furthers the practice of cultural forms of patriarchy that lead to violence.
Something to Signify Gender Performance and Cuban Masculinity in Viva
David Yagüe González
The behaviors and actions that an individual carries out in their daily life and how they are translated by their society overdetermine the gender one might have—or not—according to social norms. However, do the postulates enounced by feminist and queer Western thinkers still maintain their validity when the context changes? Can the performances of gender carry out their validity when the landscape is other than the one in Europe or the United States? And how can the context of drag complicate these matters? These are the questions that this article will try to answer by analyzing the 2015 movie Viva by Irish director Paddy Breathnach.
This essay discusses the intellectual and political context in which The Men and the Boys was written, the author's research trajectory leading to the book, its concern with practical issues of change in masculinities and gender relations, the new directions in its intellectual offerings, and the way it dealt with boyhood as a field of studies.
Raewyn Connell's Influence on its New Vision
Joseph D. Nelson, Tristan Bridges, and Kristen Barber
In this reflective piece, the new editors of the historic journal Men and Masculinities explicate how key tenets of Raewyn Connell's scholarship informed their expanded vision of the journal. It begins with a meta-analysis of empirical research published in the journal for the last 20 years, and highlights its emphasis on contemporary scholarship from various disciplines and fields. Each facet of the journal's new vision is relayed thereafter, including its feminist perspective, international focus, and interdisciplinarity. It concludes with efforts by the editors to actualize their vision in the service of broadening the field of gender, boyhood, and masculinity studies.
Revisiting Raewyn Connell's Pivotal Text
Victoria Cann, Sebastián Madrid, Kopano Ratele, Anna Tarrant, Michael R.M. Ward, and Raewyn Connell
It is twenty years since the publication of Raewyn Connell's highly influential text The Men and the Boys. This book, building on feminist and pro-feminist perspectives of gender formation, was written over a ten-year period from the late 1980s to the late 1990s. It was published five years after the release of the groundbreaking text Masculinities (1995) and tackled multiple issues concerning boys and men. While providing an important platform and summary of where the research from the social science and humanities on men and masculinities stood in the year 2000, the book also contained a theoretical framework for understanding men and masculinities as part of gender relations. Importantly, the future direction of the field was outlined, and suggestions were made as to likely future agendas. These subjects included investigating the implications of globalization and its different characteristics on gender formation, the role of men's bodies, the impact of the media and culture in men's lives, sexuality, education, health, politics, change, violence, and peace. In recent years, questions about the lives and experiences of men and boys continue to raise remarkable media interest, public concern, and controversy on a global scale. Global changes in practices of knowledge have ensured that across the humanities and social sciences, research in the field of masculinities (of all ages) has continued to flourish and expand.