Masculine femininities/feminine masculinities: power, identities and gender

Paechter, Carrie F.. 2006. Masculine femininities/feminine masculinities: power, identities and gender. Gender and Education, 18(3), pp. 253-263. ISSN 09540253 [Article]

EDU_Paechter_2006a.pdf - Accepted Version

Download (208kB) | Preview

Abstract or Description

This paper is basically about terminology. In it I discuss the terms 'masculinity' and 'femininity' and how they relate to being male and being female. My theme arises from an increasing difficulty that I am finding in understanding how individual identities relate to dominant constructions of masculinity and femininity. Christine Skelton and Becky Francis argue that we should not be afraid to name certain behaviours as masculine even when they are performed by girls. After a discussion of the problems of defining both 'masculinity' and 'femininity', and a consideration of the power relations between these terms, I go on to consider the concept of 'female masculinity' (Halberstam). I argue that this formulation is problematic, due to its dependence on a main term whose definition is unclear. Finally, I argue that we need to distinguish 'masculinity' and 'femininity' from 'masculinities' and 'femininities'.

Item Type:


Identification Number (DOI):

Departments, Centres and Research Units:

Educational Studies


May 2006Published

Item ID:


Date Deposited:

12 Mar 2009 15:41

Last Modified:

29 Apr 2020 15:27

Peer Reviewed:

Yes, this version has been peer-reviewed.


View statistics for this item...

Edit Record Edit Record (login required)