The controversies triggered by the Netflix adaptation of Jay Asher’s young adult novel Thirteen Reasons Why (2007) have focused on suicide and downplayed discussions of rape as a central plot device. Making use of stereotypical characters (such as the cheerleader and the jock) and archetypal setting (including the high school), 13 Reasons Why delves into the reassuring world of the suburban town; it deals ambiguously with the entwined notions of gender and power encapsulated in the teenpic genre. A detailed analysis of the series indeed reveals that its causative narrative reinforces the rape myth by putting the blame on girls for events that happen to them. In this article I explore the tensions of a TV series that endorses the rape myth through the entertaining frame of the teenpic.
Agency, Representation, and Neoliberal Jewish Girlhood
The focus of the essay is the well known (and worn) stereotype of the Jewish American Princess or JAP. Spoiled, frigid, loud, defiant, the JAP refuses to behave in civilized ways even as she constantly transgresses the boundaries of civilized social spaces. Both an intimate insider, and an eternal outsider, the JAP is a boundary figure whose presence draws and redraws myths of assimilative ideals and citizenship rights in American culture. The complexity of these social relations, their apparent contradictions, and the possibilities they may offer for agency and resistance in both 'real' and fictive contexts are explored through close examinations of four high profile JAPS—Cher Horowitz of the film Clueless, Monica Lewinsky, Jessica Stein of the film Kissing Jessica Stein, and Lizzie Grubman.
violence. Instead, she chooses peace, love, logic, and reason as viable tactics to overcome her enemies. These tactics are particularly significant because they not only subvert the platitudinous stereotype about the Muslim community, especially Muslim men
Stereotypes, a Single-Sex Program, and the School-to-Prison Pipeline
Joseph D. Nelson and Sangeeta Subedi
Single-sex schooling for boys of color has become popular throughout the United States. Leaders and educators often consider these environments a school-based intervention to address adverse outcomes associated with Black boys. A contributing factor to these outcomes have been negative stereotypes of Black males related to Black masculinity norms, which developmental psychologists contend boys internalize during childhood. Interviews and observations were conducted over 12 months to describe a single-sex boarding program for first-grade African-American boys, affiliated with a coed independent school. Designed to facilitate boys’ positive identity development, the program’s mission and vision, educational philosophy, and schedule/programming will be primarily described from boys’ perspectives. The goal is to explore the merits of this single-sex intervention to ameliorate how Black male stereotypes and masculinity norms contribute to the school-to-prison pipeline.
Themes in Male Engagement with Music
This paper examines the cause of exclusionary practices in music, documenting the core values that underpin this issue in relation to males’ engagement with music. The focus for the paper is on the way in which gender has been one of the primary principles for the exclusion of boys, based on presumptions without foundation except in the erroneous hegemonic stereotypical images that prevail in social institutions such as schools. Through historical investigation of philosophy and practice combined with results from interviews with participants, the study reveals experiences in relation to genderbased exclusion from music. It concludes by offering an insight into approaches that deal with addressing this issue.
Our longitudinal studies of boys over the past two decades have revealed that boys have and/or want intimate male friendships and that these relationships are critical for their mental health. Yet as they reach late adolescence, boys become wary of their male best friends even as they continue to want emotional intimacy with these peers. As the pressures of stereotypic manhood intensify, boys disconnect from the very relationships that support their mental health. The numerous challenges faced by boys in school and at home are in part a reflection of this disconnection.
The Chicano Gang Stereotype in Sociohistoric Context
In this brief research note, the author uses a sociohistoric lens to examine selected films that have employed the cholo, or Chicano gang member, stereotype. He finds that the cholo is a prevalent archetype of Mexican and Mexican American youth. The author argues that the depiction of the cholo as a hypermasculine, abject personage threatening the social order converges with how actual Latino youth are constructed in sociopolitical and media discourses—as both marginalized young men and migrants unworthy of membership in U.S. society.
This paper reports on case studies spanning four consecutive years (2005-2008) focused on addressing and challenging Australian primary school boys’ disengagement with English, particularly reading, using an action research process informed by both quantitative and qualitative data. Primary participants were all male and ranged from 8 to 11 years of age. Boys were identified and selected for each case study based on the questionnaire and interview results from whole grade surveys of both males and females. The data results identified the boys with negative views of literacy and boys who identified reading as being a feminine activity, thereby narrowing their perceptions of masculinity. These boys were involved in a reading/mentoring program with high profile professional Rugby League players. The celebrity rugby league players were involved in ten weekly mentoring and reading sessions with male participants each year. These sessions focused on building positive male identity, shifting negative attitudes to reading and challenging negative stereotypes of both professional sportsmen and boys as readers. After each of the case studies, quantitative and qualitative data indicated a positive change in the participants’ attitudes towards reading as well as their perceived stereotypes of males as readers and increased involvement in voluntary reading.
James Franco's Psychosexual Artistic Explorations of Boyhood
In 2010, James Franco debuted his exhibition “The Dangerous Book Four Boys” at the Clocktower Gallery. He appropriated his title from the Igguldens’ guidebook The Dangerous Book for Boys (2006). This paper explores Franco’s representation of boyhood, focusing on his anxiety over traditional gender roles. Dangerous depicts boyhood as a homosocial and homoerotic realm in which women are both envied and elided. Franco’s vision of boyhood is premised upon a longing for both domestic structures and practices. The exhibit is organized around several small rough-hewn wooden structures resembling small houses. Inside the constructions, the films Destroy House and Castle depict young men destroying identical domiciles with axes, shotguns and blowtorches. Ironically, these violent depictions are safely contained within intact replicas of the very structures being destroyed in the films. These constructions are emblematic of Franco’s fraught relationship to masculinity, stereotypical gender roles and domesticity.
New Understandings of the Phallus
Andrea Waling and Jennifer Power
This special issue brings together interdisciplinary work exploring the relationship between bodies, masculinity, and the penis or phallus. The symbolism, significance, and meaning of the phallus or penis has varied historically and across disciplines. In the psychoanalytic tradition, “the subject…can only assume its identity through the adoption of a sexed identity, and the subject can only take up a sexed identity with reference to the phallus, for ‘the phallus is the privileged signifier’” (Segal 2007: 85). Jacques Lacan’s work has inspired feminist critiques of “phallocentrism” in high and popular cultural texts since the 1970s (Segal 2007). Elizabeth Stephens (2007) describes the ancient Greek ideal of small penises as indexing self-control and rationality, while the Romans celebrated virility and power, which they associated with a large penis. Other scholarship has explored the racialization of penis size, such as the stereotype of Black men as possessing large penises, indexing hypersexuality and often depicted in racist terms as representing aggression or lack of civility (Lehman 2006).