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Phillip Joy

This image, Challenging Masculine Constructs by Oliver, is part of a photovoice project (see the article by Phillip Joy, Matthew Numer, Sara F. L. Kirk, and Megan Aston, Embracing a New Day: Exploring the Connections of Culture, Masculinities, Bodies, and Health for Gay Men through Photovoice, this issue) that explored the way culture and society shape the beliefs, values, and practices about food and bodies for gay men. Taken by the participant, this image is his way to challenge what he believes are limiting gender ideas for men and how masculine bodies should be dressed and presented to others. He disrupts these social constructs by dressing and presenting his body in ways he believed moved beyond typical masculine notions and by doing so reveals alternative gender expressions and new possibilities of living.

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Claire G. Davey, Frank G. Karioris, and Craig Owen

Steven Angelides. The Fear of Child Sexuality: Young People, Sex and Agency (Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 2019), 272 pp. ISBN: 978-0-226-64863-7. Paperback, $30.00.

Stephan Torre. Red Obsidian: New & Selected Poems (Regina, Canada: University of Regina Press, 2021), 152 pp. ISBN 978-088-977775-0. Paperback, $19.95.

James W. Messerschmidt. Hegemonic Masculinity: Formulation, Reformulation, and Amplification (London: Rowman & Littlefield, 2018), 181 pp. ISBN: 978-1-5381-1404-9. Paperback $32.00.

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Embracing a New Day

Exploring the Connections of Culture, Masculinities, Bodies, and Health for Gay Men through Photovoice

Phillip Joy, Matthew Numer, Sara F. L. Kirk, and Megan Aston

The construction of masculinities is an important component of the bodies and lives of gay men. The role of gay culture on body standards, body dissatisfaction, and the health of gay men was explored using poststructuralism and queer theory within an arts-based framework. Nine gay men were recruited within the city of Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada. Participants were asked to photograph their beliefs, values, and practices relating to their bodies and food. Semi-structured interviews were conducted, using the photographs as guides. Data were analyzed by critical discourse analysis and resulted in three overarching threads of discourse including: (1) Muscles: The Bigger the Better, (2) The Silence of Hegemonic Masculinity, and (3) Embracing a New Day. Participants believed that challenging hegemonic masculinity was a way to work through body image tension.

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“Exfoliation, Cheese Courses, Emotional Honesty, and Paxil”

Masculinity, Neoliberalism, and Postfeminism in the US Hangout Sitcom

Greg Wolfman

This article applies a conjunctural analysis to four US “hangout sitcoms”—Friends, How I Met Your Mother, The Big Bang Theory, and New Girl—to examine the tensions faced by masculinities in a neoliberal era. After establishing the “hangout sitcom” subgenre, I use critical discourse analysis to unpack three male subject positions. The postfeminist male singleton reacts neurotically to a perceived loss of power with a desperate search for true love. The douchebag responds with excessive performances of both masculinity and neoliberal subjectivity, while the househusband’s stable job and long-term heterosexual relationship reflect neoliberalism’s relationships with intimacy and the family. I argue that the hangout sitcom, and specifically its representation of masculinities, offers an under-explored opportunity to examine the politics of masculinities, postfeminism, and neoliberalism.

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Exploring Gay Men’s Threesomes

Normalization, Concerns, and Sexual Opportunities

Ryan Scoats, Eric Anderson, and Adam J. White

Although there is abundant research regarding group sex between men, much of the current literature constructs group sex as homogenous and overlooks the nuance of how and why men engage in particular sexual behaviors. Accordingly, this research expands our understanding of group sex by focusing on a specific type of sex: the threesome. The results demonstrate how perspectives on threesomes may develop over time; at first appearing exciting before becoming relatively normalized and indistinct from dyadic sex. Encounters and exposure are fostered through the sexual opportunities available, in particular, geo-social networking apps. Despite their normalization, threesomes are not necessarily viewed as risk free. Thus, this research offers insight and understanding into how gay men engage in group sex and the contextual factors which make it possible.

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

We are delighted to introduce the second issue of volume 2. We are beginning to see a pattern in the various submissions that we receive for the journal. While the editors have backgrounds in Literary Studies, Sociology, and Anthropology, the journal has appealed to the traditional social sciences and has reached out and connected to other disciplines, such as Art, Film Studies, Historical Studies, and Literary Studies. The journal is therefore beginning to see the making sense of gender and sexuality, moving beyond the established and perhaps somewhat hegemonic disciplinary focus on sociology and psychology. It is also important to keep in mind that when we say “social sciences,” we are talking about not only a range of different disciplines, but also heterogeneous approaches within those disciplines. For example, a journal recently advised an author that they would only accept qualitative research papers if the minimal sample was 35. Although the logic and explanation for this number in terms of saturation of themes and rigor of analysis appeals to themes of validity and reliability (although why 35 and not 36 or 34 remains unexplained), the idea of research on gender and sexuality as being framed through the scientific method still endures. This is not to say that we need to abandon approaches that aspire to the scientific method. On the contrary, such approaches are important, often providing systematic mapping and documenting of gendered and sexual processes and practices. By being grounded in the possibilities that the existing epistemologies are able to deliver, they provide an internal logic of certainty and a feeling of confidence. However, the criteria of validity and reliability in themselves limit what can or cannot be captured. This is part of the reason why we welcome submissions from the Arts and Humanities, as much as we do submissions from all other disciplines: we argue that they are able to open up and explore gender and sexuality differently. We are hopeful that we can develop the journal further to facilitate a platform to share a wide range of driven disciplinary perspectives and support a range of epistemologies.

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“Look at Me! I Can Change Your Tire”

Queer Female Masculinity in the Gym

Kristine Newhall

Outside of bodybuilding, queer women in fitness and exercise cultures have received little attention in popular discourse and academic research. In this article, I examine how queer use of gym space can inform and reify a queer identity, specifically the enactment of queer female masculinity. I use Jack Halberstam’s work on female masculinity and literature in the fields of cultural studies and sport studies to discuss how queer identity, space, and power operate on the body in the context of fitness culture.

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Andrew J. Ball and Aleksandr Rybin

The cover of this issue of Screen Bodies features the digital work “Crypto Queen” by restlessperson (Aleksandr Rybin), which the artist has minted as an NFT. We spoke with Rybin about the subject matter of his work, connections between digital and analog art, and the future of NFTs. His work is available on KnownOrigin.

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Affective Anachronisms, Fateful Becomings

Otaku Movement and the Joan of Arc Effect in Type-Moon's Transhistorical Anime Ecology

David John Boyd

Abstract

This article examines the temporal and phenomenological philosophies of Gilles Deleuze, Félix Guattari, and Paolo Virno, specifically in relation to the transmedia franchises of the Japanese game studio, Type-Moon. Against linear, national, and majoritarian grand narratives of the historical, the otaku artists, writers, and developers responsible for the Fate series postulate whether it is possible to harness the intense and affective forces described by Jay Lampert as “the Joan of Arc effect” in the blink of an eye or in the palm of your hand. Through a philosophical and formal analysis of three spinoff series from the Fate franchise, this article investigates how Type-Moon's deployment of the “anime machine” encourages its viewers and users to see and feel the abundance of flowing “nomadic memories” or counter-historical visions from the perspective of minor populations. Through this highly embodied and tactile experience of transhistorical (un)becomings, Type-Moon's series offer a deterritorialized, post-national world-image of the otaku database which mediates between the overloading affects of becoming-woman and the digitally encoded logic of transversal through the frames, windows, interfaces, devices, platforms, and bodies that constitute Type-Moon's vibrant anime ecology.

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Alexa, Affect, and the Algorithmic Imaginary

Addressing Privacy and Security Concerns Through Emotional Advertising

Linda Kopitz

Abstract

As millions of customers across the world invite digital voice assistants into their homes, the public debate has increasingly centered on security and privacy concerns connected to the use of the device. Drawing on Tania Bucher's work at the intersection between technology and everyday experience, this article proposes an understanding of an algorithmic imaginary of Alexa-enabled devices as explicitly nonthreatening in its ordinariness, positive potential, and gendered presence. As a case study, this article uses commercials for Alexa-enabled devices as a starting point: Instead of foregrounding the functionality and thereby the algorithmic intelligence underlying the voice assistant, these commercials focus on an affective potential as a narrative strategy to address privacy and security concerns. By connecting everyday interactions with emotional and empowering narratives, the way Alexa is portrayed as an embodied object functions as a balance to the equally public and publicized understanding of digital voice assistants as threats.