if you’re not just deconstructing being a man and having that celebrated

daydreamin

Member
Japanese
<——-Edited by moderator (Florenti52) to comply with four-sentence limit——->
Meanwhile, in mainstream pop culture, privileged men are praised by their stans, social media users and aggregate websites for wearing dresses, skirts or nail polish —empty signifiers when paired with a celebrity not speaking out on political issues related to gender and sexuality. “What is being a man for men who ‘being a man’ isn’t some meta-performance piece about deconstruction?” asks Healy. “The only form of masculinity that is celebrated is one that deconstructs it. So: in a dress.I don’t know what it is to be a man if you’re not just deconstructing being a man and having that celebrated.”

I was reading this interview with the frontman of a British rock band today, and the last sentence in this part of the article has confused me. Is he saying that you should just wear a dress if you’re a man and be praised by people for wearing the dress? That doesn’t really make sense to me. Could any native speakers explain what he means by that to me?
 
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  • anthox

    Senior Member
    English - Northeast US
    Is he saying that you should just wear a dress if you’re a man and be praised by people for wearing the dress?
    No, rather the opposite. He's saying that the only positive representation of masculinity being pushed in leftist-dominated "mainstream pop culture" is that of the 'deconstructed', effeminized male, who paradoxically behaves in a way that is more traditionally associated with femininity ("wearing dresses, skirts or nail polish"). This turns off more traditionally "masculine" men who then may gravitate toward right-wing politics, where they can find a more classical image of masculinity that they identify with, and he suggests that to avoid this, the left needs to modify its idea of the masculine to bring it closer to what your average male is more likely to identify with.

    With the final sentence, he is basically saying: "Mainstream popular culture does not present or celebrate any image of 'manhood' beyond 'deconstructed manhood', that is, this 'feminized' manhood. Manhood is only represented in this negated way; there is no 'positive' representation of manhood, in the sense of one that is not somehow feminized."
     

    daydreamin

    Member
    Japanese
    Please tell us more specifically where you found this interview.
    Sorry I didn’t really understand the rules. I’ll post my question with a link to an article when asking questions here.

    No, rather the opposite. He's saying that the only positive representation of masculinity being pushed in leftist-dominated "mainstream pop culture" is that of the 'deconstructed', effeminized male, who paradoxically behaves in a way that is more traditionally associated with femininity ("wearing dresses, skirts or nail polish"). This turns off more traditionally "masculine" men who then may gravitate toward right-wing politics, where they can find a more classical image of masculinity that they identify with, and he suggests that to avoid this, the left needs to modify its idea of the masculine to bring it closer to what your average male is more likely to identify with.

    With the final sentence, he is basically saying: "Mainstream popular culture does not present or celebrate any image of 'manhood' beyond 'deconstructed manhood', that is, this 'feminized' manhood. Manhood is only represented in this negated way; there is no 'positive' representation of manhood, in the sense of one that is not somehow feminized."
    Thank you so much for the explanation. That helps me a lot.
     

    daydreamin

    Member
    Japanese
    Mr Healy appears not to know the meaning of 'deconstruct' and 'deconstruction'. Maybe he should try to engage anthox as his media consultant.
    Do you mean there’s the difference between deconstruct and deconstruction? I thought it meant basically the same.
     

    lentulax

    Senior Member
    UK English
    Do you mean there’s the difference between deconstruct and deconstruction?
    Mr. Healy, in the passage quoted, uses both the verb 'deconstruct' and the noun 'deconstruction'; I meant that he understands the meaning of neither.

    I wonder what he meant by 'meta-performance piece'; there's something to be said for the cobbler sticking to his last.
     

    daydreamin

    Member
    Japanese
    Mr. Healy, in the passage quoted, uses both the verb 'deconstruct' and the noun 'deconstruction'; I meant that he understands the meaning of neither.

    I wonder what he meant by 'meta-performance piece'; there's something to be said for the cobbler sticking to his last.
    I see. Thanks for the explanation. He says nonsense sometimes or something abstract. I think that might be why it‘s kind of difficult for even native speakers to get it.
     
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