The 14th issue of Masculinities: A Journal of Culture and Society is published at the same time as a new wave of MeToo movement in Turkey. Women in literary and publishing circles have been sharing their experiences of sexual harassment and exposing names of men in the same circles who harassed them. As members of the Initiative for Critical Studies of Masculinities (ICSM) and the Editorial Board of Masculinities Journal, we would like to start this introduction by stating that we stand by these women who have courageously opened up a space for discussion of gender norms conducing to harassment and gender-based violence.
This discussion has once again highlighted the significance of questioning and struggling against masculinities with their multiple facets (re)producing unequal gender relations. What is particularly striking in this recent wave of MeToo in Turkey is to see a stark lack of reflection on their own masculinities of the exposed men, most of whom advocate a liberal and progressive political stance. Yet, their critical stance does not extend to their own advantageous gender position consolidated with their highly regarded status as authors that they unacceptably abuse.
As ICSM, we stand by all survivors of sexual harassment and violence whether they have openly talked about it or not. We are against all forms of gender-based violence and we will continue to question and help transform masculinities conducing to gender-based violence with a vision for a gender equal society.
The 14th issue includes four articles, one research-in-progress paper and two book reviews. This issue opens with two articles in which performance of masculinities intersect with popular culture from different regions. In their article entitled “The Cowboy Scientist Saves the Planet: Hegemonic Masculinity in Cli-Fi Films”, Sam Kendrick and Joane Nagel focus on an emerging genre – climate fiction – to explore the kind of constellation of masculinity in these films. The argue that these films feature a particular kind of heroic masculinity, which they identify as the “Cowboy Scientist”, combining both traditional and modern characteristics. In the second article entitled “Men without Shirts: Bollywood, Bodybuilding and Masculinities in Pakistan”, Amna Nasir shows the connection between gym culture and Bollywood movies, which are very popular in the city of Gujranwala, by focusing on the male body. Nasir finds out that the particular hegemonic body types and certain behavioral patterns in Bollywood movies are idealized by the bodybuilders in the city and this creates increased interest for men to join the gyms.
The following article of this issue shifts focus to the femininities amongst women in a skateboarding community. Yuliya Kulynych brings this example of alternative femininities in conversation with masculinities and traces the disruption of hegemonic gender relations in her paper entitled “Resistant Formations of Alternative Femininities within Skateboarding — an Exploration of Gender at a Time of Feminist Transformation”. Kulynych shows exclusion of women and restriction of their bodies in skateboarding and emphasizes the role of female skateboarders’ resistance to the male hegemony in this sport culture.
In this issue, we also have an article in Turkish. Ahmet Duran Arslan’s article entitled “Murathan Mungan’s Stories Entitled ‘Suret Masalı’ and ‘Kâğıttan Kaplanlar Masalı’ as an Intersection of Hegemony, Homophobia, and Masculinity” focuses on two works by a most significant author in contemporary Turkish literature. Arslan deals with these stories to explore the narrative strategies Mungan uses to criticize masculinity and analyzes the representations of masculinities narrated by Mungan with two main focuses: hegemony and homophobia.
In the research-in-progress section, Ecem Nazlı Üçok’s piece entitled “The Impact of Migration on (Re)negotiating One’s Gender Identity: A Qualitative Study on First Generation of Turkish Migrant Men Living in Sweden” takes the issue of gender as an analytic concept for migration process and discusses the ways in which Turkish migrant men in Sweden create their gender identities in between of Turkishness, Swedishness, and the self.
The last section of the 14th issue includes two book reviews – both in Turkish. Firstly, Burcu Dabak Özdemir critically evaluates Ezgi Sarıtaş’s “Cinsel Normalliğin Kuruluşu: Osmanlı’dan Cumhuriyet’e Heteronormatiflik ve İstikrarsızlıkları”, which is based on Sarıtaş’s PhD thesis entitled “Heteronormativity and Its Instabilities: Sexual Modernity during Late Ottoman and Republican Periods” submitted to the Department of Women’s and Gender Studies at Ankara University in 2018. Secondly, Çiçek Nilsu Varlıklar Demirkazık reviews “Radikal Baba” (Rad Dad: Dispatches from the Frontiers of Fatherhood) edited by Tomas Moniz and Jeremy Adam Smith.
Finally, as members of the Editorial Board of Masculinities Journal, we would like to thank the authors and the reviewers of this issue for their valuable contributions. We hope you will enjoy this issue and share it widely. We also invite researchers to submit their work for the 15th and 16th issues of Masculinities Journal to be published in 2021. You can visit the journal’s website or send us an e-mail for more information.
Atilla Barutçu, PhD
Editor of Masculinities Journal