DO THE MARRIAGEABLE MEN WANT TO PROTECT AND PROVIDE? The Expectation of Black Professional Hybrid Masculinity
- Gender ideologies are embedded in intersecting race, class, and gender systems. Yet, Black masculinity is often defined unidimensionally, without attention to class variation in gender enactment. With regard to heterosexual partnering in particular, representations of Black masculinity most often involve men enacting compensatory displays to account for having too little masculine capital to meet dominant culture’s protector-provider prerequisites for accomplishing marital masculinity. Drawing from interviews with 42 never-married Black professional men, this article explores their ideas related to how masculinity ought to be done within the marital relationship—a critical site for the reproduction of gender inequality. Findings reveal that these men construct “Black professional hybrid masculinity” constituted by a simultaneously racialized and classed compensatory strategy of masculine protection and equitable spousal sharing, resisting simple classification as either hegemonic or counter-hegemonic. Rather, it is a distinctly hybrid masculine strategy. These men cherry-pick hegemonic gender norms to reconstruct gender identities that reaffirm their sense of manhood and idealize their future wives as symbols of hybrid femininity—work-devoted women who are also femininely in need of masculine protection. This research offers an intersectional extension of hybrid masculinity, and illustrates the need for heterogeneous and context-varied theories of how Black men do gender.
|Type of resource
|June 14, 2022
|Hill, Marbella Eboni
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