Men & Masculinities

Topic Description

History has been told from a male perspective of great leaders as men and activities, such as war, politics, and business depicted as the realm of men and masculinity. Men were traditionally identified as the “breadwinners” in families and makers of history, even though women worked just as hard or harder to support their families. The videos in this section ask students to think about which characteristics are traditionally defined as “masculine” and “feminine.” Are there biological differences between women and men that mean certain tasks must be assigned to men or women? Who are the people and what are the events that ask us to question our assumption around what “makes” a man or a woman?

Overarching Themes

  • The social construction of gender
  • The impact of gender identity on families, institutions, and individuals
  • How politics shape and reinforce gender identity
  • Attempts to subvert or challenge traditional ideas about gender