Never Cry. A young boy comes to masculinity through a historically rigid social climate, constructs, and pressure. Be A Real Man. He learns that in order to be seen, he needs to suppress the innate conjuring of feeling and vulnerability in exchange for not being perceived as weak. Man Up. His expression of self becomes limited.
Never Called A Pansy: In Consideration of Masculinity, explores the spectrum of masculine gender expression, and the forms that masculinity can take during a period of radical restructuring of such a deep seeded construct. Never Called A Pansy features the work of Mike Smith, Tema Stauffer, Rob Amberg, Laua Letinsky, Stacy Kranitz, Molly Sawyer, McNair Evans, and James Henkel. Each piece leans into notions of masculinity, through toughness, tenderness, absence, presence, sensuality, struggle, and conditioning.
The stigma of feminized men fuels the upheld belief that men are to be dominant and unaffected, placing masculinity within a binary of feminization. Transcending the idea of proposed masculine identity informed by cis heteronormativity, allows for a fully actualized presence of masculinity. In a period of time where women are claiming their autonomy, culture climate seeks safer spaces, and a desire for fluidity comes to the mainstream; reconsidering the notion of masculinity is of inherent and crucial value. Never Called A Pansy: In Consideration of Masculinity asks, what would a world embody should masculinity be devoid of machismo? If young men were allowed to hold their exploration of gender, free of influence set forth by a history of generations obsessed with power? Free to claim what masculinity means to them, and for them.
Never Called a Pansy: In Consideration of Masculinity is an online-specific exhibition.