The Concept of Love in Masculinist Blogs : A Strategic Ideal
Saresma, T. (2018). The Concept of Love in Masculinist Blogs : A Strategic Ideal. In D. Byrne, & W. Y. Ade (Eds.), Fluid Gender, Fluid Love (pp. 108-126). Brill Rodopi. At the Interface / Probing the Boundaries, 108. https://doi.org/10.1163/9789004380233_008
Published inAt the Interface / Probing the Boundaries
© Brill/Rodopi, 2018.
Love is often considered a positive emotion and an ethical relationship between people. The representations of love in contemporary culture usually emphasise its beneficial, even empowering effects. However, the fluidity of the concept also enables other kinds of representations of love to flourish. For example, the advocates of traditional gender order — masculinists or male rights activists (MRAs)-— use idealistic images of heterosexual love, often intertwined with the idealised heterosexual nuclear family, to promote repressive ideologies such as misogyny and antifeminism. This is increasingly done with the help of internet sites. In this chapter I wish to show that the fluidity of the concept of love enables various strategic uses of the ideal of love. I deconstruct love as a utopian force by critically analysing its strategic usages on the internet. Inspired by multidisciplinary cultural studies and feminist studies, I apply rhetorical analysis in close reading of discourses about love on a male activist site. My hypothesis is that love is used as a repressive, heteronormative ideology in an attempt to re-position women and men within the traditional, rigid gender order. In my reading of the Angry Harry website, which is explicitly linked with the international male activist and antifeminist movement, I wish to show that although performing gender is at the very core of the site, it always intersects with other hierarchical differences. In addition to that, I aim to demonstrate how love is used to justify restoration of a traditional, patriarchal gender order in which the white heterosexual Western male dominates, subordinating people of any other gender, sexuality or ethnic background. ...
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