Welcome to the Men’s Club: Homosociality and the Maintenance of Hegemonic Masculinity Essay

In Sharon Bird’s work, “Welcome to the Men’s Club: Homosociality and the Maintenance of Hegemonic Masculinity,” she explains what is homosociality and masculinity. Homosociality is when there are no sexual attractions held by men for members of their own sex. But according to Lipman-Blumen, homosociality promotes the distinction between men and women through segregation in social institutions. Not only that, Lipman says it also promotes the distinction of hegemonic masculinity and nonhegemonic masculinity between the opposing sexes. This leads to masculinity.

Masculinity in Bird’s definition is divided into three different viewpoints, emotional detachment, competitiveness and the sexual objectification of women. Bird defines masculinity as being emotionally detached from all situations. For men to express feelings is to reveal vulnerabilities and weakness. It is not considered a social norm or socially acceptable to express emotion because emotion is associated with weakness and femininity. This results in men encouraging internalizing feelings and emotions to avoid being labeled as weak by their own male group.

The second viewpoint of masculinity is competitiveness. Competition with other men demonstrates male dominance and masculinity. In Bird’s case, she reveals that men always compete to prove that they are better than the other person so they could become a higher rank in their hierarchy of masculinity. Those who do not compete are considered disadvantaged and weaker. Weakness is a trait that is considered associated with femininity. “A man risks a loss of status and self-esteem unless he competes” (Bird 128).

The last viewpoint of masculinity, “sexual objectification of women,” is reviewed where male superiority is maintained. To maintain male superiority, men are expected to have less heteorosocial relationships and are expected to have more homosocial relationships. The reason for this is because Bird states that men should distance themselves from women. Since men only see women as sexual pleasure and nothing else. Bird’s definition of masculinity views having female friends as a feminine trait. Therefore to avoid women, men objectify them.