Although young men's subjectivity continues to be defined in terms of their heterosexual performance, they feel vulnerable when women increasingly resist submission to men's desire and control. However, the sexual objectification of women, driven by consumerist urban culture and commercial media, is rapidly pushing the boundaries of men's (hetero)sexual expression. Men are thus compelled to renegotiate their masculine heterosexual subjectivities in response to women's resistance and the demands of the moralistic middle-class society. Based on the performativity–performance framework, this article uses focus group data with Hong Kong college men to illustrate the ways that Chinese young men are "performatively vigilant," resorting to different cultural and discursive resources to construct multiple and diverse subjectivities in defining manhood and responding to their vulnerabilities in different relational contexts. In this process, the hegemony of men as sexually and culturally superior to women and in control of themselves and the situation is propagated. Copyright © 2018 The Author(s).
CitationLiong, M., & Chan, L. S. (2020). Walking a tightrope on (hetero)sexuality: Performatively vigilant masculine subjectivity in response to sexualized culture. Men and Masculinities, 23(2), 225-241. doi: 10.1177/1097184X17753267
- Chinese masculinity
- Masculine subjectivity
- Sexualized media culture
- Young men