A Practice-as-Research Project utilizing Butler’s (1990) Feminist/ Post-structuralist theory of Gender Performativity, as well as Connells (2001) system of Hegemony, Complicity, and Subordination to Interrogate the Formation of Toxic Masculinities through Practice-as-Research and Live Art Methodologies
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In the past twenty years or so, the concept of masculinity has come under increasing scrutiny. What used to constitute as socially acceptable behaviour for men to engage in, has increasingly become challenged by developments such as the MeToo movement. There are now stable grounds to argue that there is such thing as a toxic masculinity, an understanding that has been brought about through a series of questions that ask what grounds masculinity is constructing its position of authority and power upon, what behaviours associated with masculinity are bringing harm to both society as a whole, the individual man and how do we begin to hold men accountable for their actions associated with toxic masculinity? Although the possibility for gender expression is increasingly becoming more available, Western socio- cultural pressures to construct the male gender identity towards a traditionally heteronormative masculinity remains relatively the same. This project seeks to discover how my own masculine identity has conformed to these pressures and thus, encouraged me to pursuit acts of violence that are directly associated with toxic masculinity. By doing so, I seek to unpack the term toxic masculinity and address how toxic masculinity is not drawn from singular source but, multiple fragmentations of possibility.