1. Masculinities, Gender Non-Conformity, and the Significance of Queer and Transgender Perspectives in Education
The Politics of Deconstructing Masculinities
Masculinities, Gender-Nonconformity, and the Significance of Queer and Transgender Perspectives in Education
In this chapter I investigate the contribution of queer and transgender literature for rethinking masculinities in education. Initially, I revisit early feminist poststructuralist literature by Bronwyn Davies (1989) to reflect on the significance of deploying texts and reading practices in the elementary school classroom to tease out their significance for destabilizing hegemonic norms that govern what is to count as a viable expression and embodiment of masculinity. This focus on deconstructing masculinity and gender transgressions serves as a basis for introducing important queer analytic frameworks that draw on Britzman (1998), who linked reading practices to the very structuring of certain forms of “intelligibility, identifications and modes of address” that are capable of interrogating the production of normalcy, and of attending to imagining alternative social imaginaries (p. 84). I also devote some attention to Butler’s (2001, 2004) scholarship on undoing gender and giving an account of oneself as a gendered subject, and apply this theoretical literature to reflecting on the thinkability, recognizability, and embodiment of masculinities as a contested set of norms governing what is to count as a livable gendered presentation.
It is in this sense that I focus on the significance of the queer and transgender project of interrogating gender and sex classificatory systems, which involves interrupting heteronormativity and destabilizing heterosexual normalization, as central to the politics of dismantling hegemonic masculinities. The use of trans...