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"Hunk, Hustler, Hard-Ass" seminar an eye-opening look at masculinity

Jacob Martin

Issue date: 11/12/10 Section: Focus
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What does it mean to talk about a rape culture? What do men and women do to avoid being violated? These are just two of the many questions answered during the presentation "Hunk, Hustler, and Hard-Ass: Masculinity in the Media," sponsored by the Flora Stone Mather Center for Women November 4.

The presentation was given by Dr. Matt Ezzell, an assistant professor of sociology at James Mason University, and former full-time staff member in the rape crisis movement. He received his B.A. in Women's Studies and a Ph.D. in Sociology from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

With only a few empty seats in the 1914 Lounge of the Thwing Student Center, the audience was very engaged, asking questions throughout. However, it was Ezzell's question "So what?" that sparked the attendees and fueled the rest of the night.

"Ads are everywhere," Ezzell said. "They objectify women in many ways as victims of violence, property of males, and as sexual things." The ads of today, according to Ezzell, have harmful consequences on women and men alike, showing that masculinity consists of power and control.

Ezzell argued that if you watch any America's Next Top Model, it is clear that women are getting the wrong message from today's culture; there was an entire episode devoted to "dead" pictures. Also, a recent GQ magazine story titled "Glee Gone Wild" portrayed characters in lingerie and suggestive poses, sending a message to young fans that that sort of behavior is okay. Additionally, Ezzell targeted ads with colored men, explaining that the motif is that they are depicted as either very muscular jocks or dangerous criminals.

The discussion moved onto pornography, which as Ezzell said "is more of an industry with much money, not artistic expression." He discussed its harm to boys and men, saying, "The cost to men is forfeiture of our humanity. It makes me angry that my sexuality is being taken from me and fed back to me by corporate agencies."
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Issue Summary

News

  • A conversation with Ted Steinberg
  • CWRU law students' bar exam passage rate best in Ohio
  • Former cop suggests new approach to drug policy
  • IMPROVment draws huge crowd for first ever alumni show
  • Relay for Life kicks off today
  • Runners brave hail and rain for hole in the wall camps
  • Save time by automating your finances
  • University forum addresses online bullying
  • USG Brief

Sports

  • Cross Country travels to Great Lakes Regional
  • Fighting Gobies take home titles at North Coast
  • Spartan swim team host Veale Classic this weekend
  • Spartans drop final match at Rochester, miss out on NCAAs
  • Spartans earn best UAA finish since 2000, grab first ever NCAA berth
  • Two blocked field goals in final minutes doom 4-peat
  • Women's soccer drops match to Yellow Jackets after early lead

Opinion

  • Editorial: Something to complain about
  • Freedom of speech is dying - and there's nothing you can do about it
  • Honesty after our election tsunami

Focus

  • "Hunk, Hustler, Hard-Ass" seminar an eye-opening look at masculinity
  • A trip to Tremont
  • CIM president Joel Smirnoff leads CIM orchestra through exquisite performances of Mozart, Bartók, Beethoven
  • Dance Marathoners to stay on feet for 12 hour benefit
  • Happiness is a warm campus
  • Hitting the Spot: Gold Motel
  • Medical students band together for ShowCASE of campus musical talent
  • You're trying to seduce me
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