Khitruk E.B. “Invisibility of the Male” as a Marker of Gender Inequality in the Theory of Michael Kimmel

DOI: https://doi.org/10.15688/lp.jvolsu.2017.2.2

Ekaterina B. Khitruk

Candidate of Philosophical Sciences, Associate Professor, Department of Ontology, Theory of Knowledge and Social Philosophy,

Tomsk State University

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Prosp. Lenina, 36, 634050 Tomsk, Russian Federation


Abstract. This article explores the problem of gender inequality in the theory of the famous American sociologist Michael Kimmel. It reveals the fundamental culture settings that promote the reproduction of gender inequality in modern society. The main of the indicated installations are the following: 1. Universalization of the masculine, identification of the masculine with the universal and objective. This installation contributes to the invisibility of male gender in the social space. 2. Biologization of gender differences, the adoption of logic “from the natural to the social.” An appeal to natural order legitimizes gender inequality, representing a historically established hierarchy as a biologically determined invariant. 3. The idea of male in culture is closely related to violence. The status of a “real man” is played out as a trophy in the course of implementing various practices of sexual, domestic, ethnic violence. The article concludes that gender inequality produces binary opposition of male and female in culture. However, a significant rethinking of the concepts of masculinity and femininity has already found place in society. As  a  result  of  this  rethinking,  the  imperative  of  opposing  male  and  female  “nature”  is  consistently mitigated.Thus, masculinity and femininity are seen in Michael Kimmel’s theory as social categories, the content of which must be reviewed every time humanity comes to a new level of self-understanding.

Key words: Michael Kimmel, gender inequality, binary oppositions, gender of violence, male, masculinity, biological determinism.

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“Invisibility of the Male” as a Marker of Gender Inequality in the Theory of Michael Kimmel by Khitruk E.B. is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

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