Faeries, Bears, and Leathermen: Men in Community Queering the Masculine by Peter HennenFaeries, Bears, and Leathermen: Men in Community Queering the Masculine by Peter Hennen

Faeries, Bears, and Leathermen: Men in Community Queering the Masculine

byPeter Hennen

Paperback | July 15, 2008

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Over time, male homosexuality and effeminacy have become indelibly associated, sometimes even synonymous. In Faeries, Bears, and Leathermen, Peter Hennen contends that this stigma of effeminacy exerts a powerful influence on gay subcultures. Through a comparative ethnographic analysis of three communities, Hennen explores the surprising ways that conventional masculinity is being collectively challenged, subverted, or perpetuated in contemporary gay male culture.

Hennen’s colorful study focuses on a trio of groups: the Radical Faeries, who parody effeminacy by playfully embracing it, donning prom dresses and glitter; the Bears, who strive to appear like “regular guys” and celebrate their larger, hairier bodies; and the Leathermen, who emulate hypermasculine biker culture, simultaneously paying homage to and undermining notions of manliness. Along with a historical analysis of the association between effeminacy and homosexuality, Hennen examines how this connection affects the groups’ sexual practices. Ultimately, he argues, while all three groups adopt innovative approaches to gender issues and sexual pleasure, masculine norms continue to constrain members of each community.
Peter Hennen is assistant professor of sociology at the Ohio State University at Newark.
Title:Faeries, Bears, and Leathermen: Men in Community Queering the MasculineFormat:PaperbackDimensions:240 pages, 9 × 6 × 0.9 inPublished:July 15, 2008Publisher:University of Chicago PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0226327280

ISBN - 13:9780226327280

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Table of Contents


1. In Their Natures: Gay Men, Queer Men, and Gendered Strategies of Resistance
2. Girlymen: Cultural and Historical Perspectives on Effeminacy
3. Fae Spirits and Gender Trouble: Resistance and Compliance among the Radical Faeries
4. Bear Bodies, Bear Masculinity: Recuperation, Resistance, or Retreat?
5. Feeling a Bit Under the Leather: Hypermasculinity, Performativity, and the Specter of Starched Chiffon
6. Fielding Questions, Fielding Possibilities


Editorial Reviews

"The ethnographic and archival data create a strong piece of empirical work that pushes forward gender and sexuality research--particularly the intersections between the two--in new and insightful ways. . . .The style of writing, particularly in the ethnographic chapters, makes the book widely acessible to students. With Hennen's provocative arguments throughout the text, the book will certainly open up the discussion on a variety of topics about gender, sexuality, and the possibilities and mechanisms of social change."