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Diversity, Equity & Inclusion (DEI)

Key Terms

Masculinity is a gender identity based on a set of traits that have been traditionally associated with men. 

In reality, masculinities do not map onto biological sex and are instead learned and shaped by socio-cultural practices. There are many forms of masculinity and what gets described as masculine differs by region, religion, class, national culture, and other social factors. Any one person engages in many forms of masculinity which they adopt consciously and unconsciously, depending on context, the expectations of others, life stages and many other factors. 

From: Gender Innovations. (n.d.) Femininities and Masculinities

Male Privilege is the assumption that being a male in a patriarchal society gives a boy/man greater access to economic and political resources including sexual access to women's bodies and labor. Looking at male privilege intersectionally, we see that not all men have access to the same privileges of  "maleness" as others because of race, ethnicity, class, education, employment status, geography nationality, appearance, and temperament.

Toxic Masculinity is a narrow and repressive description of manhood, designating manhood as defined by violence, sex, status and aggression. It’s the cultural ideal of manliness, where strength is everything while emotions are a weakness; where sex and brutality are yardsticks by which men are measured, while supposedly “feminine” traits—which can range from emotional vulnerability to simply not being hypersexual—are the means by which your status as “man” can be taken away.

From: Male privilege/male dominance. (2013). In J. Myers (Ed.), Historical dictionaries of religions, philosophies, and movements: Historical dictionary of the lesbian and gay liberation movements. Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers


Related Terms: misogyny, sexism, patriarchy

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