Gender Roles: The Acceptable Man

Gender Roles: The Acceptable Man

Hegemony is an important term within the topic of gender roles. Simplistically put it is the mistaken belief that something which is a social construction is intrinsic within our nature; the confusion between nature and nurture. The ‘dominant male provider’ myth coincides today with the ‘submissive female’ myth and is perpetuated throughout every aspect of Western society, not just in advertising or design.
This photo was taken on High Street, in Auckland. It immediately caught my eye as it seemed strange to me that there was a diorama of an axe and logs of wood in a shop retailing suits. This is a typical example of the constructed idea of what it is to be a man. According to this myth a man is not ‘manly’ unless they are a provider, strong, dignified and independent. The wood and axe is a metaphor, a signifier of these values; the outdoor type man portrays these values. And apparently if I too buy a suit from this shop I will gain these values and be considered ‘manly’ enough and society will accept me.


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