Boys Will Be Boys—But What Kind? Homophobia, Bullying and Masculinity
Man up! Real men don’t cry! Boys will be boys. What do these phrases mean, and why do we say them? Who determines who is a “real man” and, consequently, who is not? In his research, Dr. Jonathan A. Allan, Canada Research Chair in Queer Theory, asks timely questions about how society constructs notions of masculinity. He argues through his research that our preconceptions of masculinity set men up for failure—and asks why, as a society, we cling to an idea of masculinity that no man can or will achieve. He explores who is “masculine,” what that might mean and why it matters.
Allan is developing new theoretical models and ideas through which to think about a range of masculinities. He is especially interested in how masculinities are expressed through emotions, affect and feelings. For example, what does it mean that “angry white men” have become a stock character? Why are people fearful of “feminine” men, and what does a word like “metrosexual” do to our perceptions of masculinity?
In his role as a Canada Research Chair, Allan will explore and publish on a range of subjects, including the fear of feminine men, homophobia, and queer theory. His research will continue to develop ideas on masculinity, especially concerning the teaching of “men’s studies” in an age of anti-feminism
Allan’s research will bring together queer theory, psychoanalysis, and affect theory to establish new theories of queerness and masculinity.