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Amrita De

Abstract

This exploratory article draws critical insights from Raewyn Connell's The Men and the Boys (2000) to unpack the gendered nature of neoliberal right-wing populist governance in India and America. Connell's prescient work targeted towards forging new theoretical inroads in masculinity studies research, on its conception, continues to provide a vital heuristic model to make better sense of the present condition. This article first situates right-wing populist governance in India and America within the rubric of global neoliberal capitalism. It then unpacks Narendra Modi and Donald Trump's carefully calibrated populist imaging, drawing attention to the surrounding gendered discourses rooted in local and culturally idealized perceptions of hegemonic masculinity. Narendra Modi and Donald Trump's public figuration falls in the “cult of strongman leader stereotype”, characterized by risk-taking translated into perceived virility. Social media and its affordances further prop up their perceived masculine public personas, while affectively inscribing traditional inscriptions of heteronormative masculinity, such as ideas of dominance, as aspirational. Through preliminary research, this article then considers the effects of political masculinities on adolescent masculinities. In conclusion, this article stresses the theoretical relevance of Connell's important work twenty years later.

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Social Isolation and Disrupted Privacy

Impacts of COVID-19 on Adolescent Girls in Humanitarian Contexts

Sarah Baird, Sarah Alheiwidi, Rebecca Dutton, Khadija Mitu, Erin Oakley, Tassew Woldehanna, and Nicola Jones

Abstract

The COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent lockdown has shattered the everyday lives of young people, limiting peer interactions and disrupting privacy, with potential for long-term detrimental impacts. This study uses rapid virtual quantitative and qualitative surveys undertaken from April to July 2020 with over 4,800 adolescents affected by displacement in Bangladesh and Jordan to explore adolescent girls’ experiences of social isolation and lack of privacy. Our mixed-methods findings suggest that the pandemic and policy response has caused sharp restrictions on privacy and substantially limited interactions with peers, with larger impacts on girls, particularly those with disabilities. For girls, digital exclusion exacerbates these gender differences. Given that privacy and peer interactions are paramount during adolescence, age-, gender-, and disability-responsive programming is essential to ensure future wellbeing.

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“Some Things Just Won't Go Back”

Teen Girls’ Online Dating Relationships during COVID-19

Alanna Goldstein and Sarah Flicker

Abstract

We conducted three online focus groups [n = 25] with teen girls in Canada in May and June 2020 to explore their dating and relationship experiences during the early stages of the COVID-19 pandemic. Given the strict public health measures limiting physical contact, participants reported connecting primarily online with possible dating partners and others. While facilitating platforms, like Snapchat, were already part of these teen girls’ dating and relationships repertoire, many participants reflected on the limitations and drawbacks of being able to connect only virtually. Results suggest the need to better attend to the impacts that COVID-19 restrictions are having on teen girls’ dating relationships, as well as to the larger impacts that the deterioration of these relationships might be having on their mental and emotional health.

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Kuang-Yi Ku

Abstract

Many cultures have their own systems of alternative medicine, the effectiveness of which cannot always be proven according to contemporary scientific analysis; the use of the tiger penis to increase virility in traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) is one such practice. While TCM may offer benefits beyond those available through mainstream western medicines, the huge demand for wild animals in TCM poses a threat to endangered species. Can a new interpretation of TCM resolve the conflict between health, culture, and environmental conservation? The Tiger Penis Project proposes the use of emerging biotechnologies to create artificial animal parts for Chinese medical applications both to prevent the further destruction of animals and traditional cultures and to provide more possibilities for the coexistence of human society and the natural environment.

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Voicing Pride and Futurity in the Age of A.I.

An Interview with Playwright Pao-Chang Tsai on Solo Date

Jing Chen and Pao-Chang Tsai

Abstract

This interview deals with the question of queer Sinofuturisms through the works of Pao-Chang Tsai, a Taiwanese performer, playwright, and director who became renowned for exploring the Taiwanese theaterscape with new media and novel performative techniques. With a special focus on his acclaimed theatrical production Solo Date (2016), the conversation inquires into themes of artificial intelligence, queer futurity, and transcultural performance featured in this one-man show. Linking the representation of A.I. interface as queer body with the demand for LGBT rights in Sinophone contexts, Tsai's innovative solo performance has examined changing discourses toward queerness and futurism in the age of advanced artificial intelligence. The touching story of how a gay man struggled to process his grief after losing the love of his life further raises critical ethical questions, since the protagonist's true identity is an A.I. robot.

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Jonathan A. Allan, Chris Haywood, and Frank G. Karioris

On the cover of this issue, we have another image from the Wellcome Collection. This image by ABIA (Associação Brasileira Interdisciplinar de AIDS/Grupo) is a not-for-profit organization mobilized in response to the emergence of HIV/AIDS in the 1980's. The image is a reworking of the “Creation of Adam” by Michelangelo and was used as part of HIV/AIDS prevention advertising campaign.

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Ambivalent Sexualities in a Transnational Context

Romanian and Bulgarian Migrant Male Sex Workers in Berlin

Victor Trofimov

Abstract

In this article, I explore negotiations of sexualities among Romanian and Bulgarian migrant male sex workers in Berlin. After explaining the concept of sexual script, I argue that inasmuch as those sex workers work on the gay male scene but spend the rest of their daily lives within the broader Romanian and Bulgarian communities, they need to negotiate between the gay male and the heteropatriarchal sexual scripts, which are prevalent in these social spaces, respectively. I examine six strategies by means of which the sex workers surf the binarisms of the scripts and in so doing reveal the ambivalence and sociospatial situatedness of human sexuality.

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Jacob Breslow, Jonathan A. Allan, Gregory Wolfman, and Clifton Evers

Miriam J. Abelson. Men in Place: Trans Masculinity, Race, and Sexuality in America (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2020), 264 pp. ISBN: 9781517903510. Paperback, $25.

Andrew Reilly and Ben Barry, eds. Crossing Gender Boundaries: Fashion to Create, Disrupt and Transcend (Bristol: Intellect Books, 2020), 225 pp. ISBN: 9781789381146. Hardback, $106.50.

Jonathan A. Allan. Men, Masculinities, and Popular Romance (London: Routledge, 2019), 176 pp. ISBN: 9780815374077. Paperback, $31.95.

Andrea Waling. White Masculinity in Contemporary Australia: The Good Ol’ Aussie Bloke (Abingdon, UK: Routledge, 2020), 222 pp. ISBN: 9781138633285. Hardback, $124.

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Breaching Flowery Borders

Early Twentieth Century Girls Scrapbooking Their Lives

Leslie Midkiff DeBauche

The American high school seniors I discuss in this article graduated between 1915 and 1922, tumultuous years that included World War I, the influenza pandemic of 1918 to 1919, and the ratification of the Nineteenth Amendment. During such extraordinary times, these girls did a most ordinary thing; they made scrapbooks to commemorate their high school years.

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James K. Beggan

Abstract

External ejaculation (the cum shot) is considered a central component of heterosexual pornography and is often used to visually mark the end of an action of sexual intercourse. Critical analyses of pornography have asserted that external ejaculation can be conceptualized in terms of the maintenance of heteronormative expectations of male dominance as expressed through hegemonic masculinity. The present analysis adopts a broader view of external ejaculation by considering the phenomenon in terms of contamination, performance, and discipline. The polysemic analysis presented suggests that in some cases the conventions of pornography as represented in the external cum shot can represent a threat to masculinity and male spectators by creating unrealistic expectations for male sexual performance.