Masculinity comics 7

Now graduating from boys and normative masculinity to men and normative masculinity, but still in the comics. Via Verdant on Twitter, the Lieutenant and Sarge in an old Beetle Bailey (apparently from 3/30/65):

At issue is the status of illegible vs. neat handwriting with respect to normative masculinity.

Sarge, offering himself as an authority on the matter, identifies his own illegible writing as rough, and is about to brand the Lieutenant’s neat writing as, well, at least soft.

From Michael Kimmel’s discussion of the Boy Code and the Guy Code, on normative values of masculinity in modern American culture:

… avoid “Mama values” (at the risk of becoming a “Mama’s boy”): cleanness, neatness, respectfulness, “proper grammar”, no “dirty talk”, etc.

All this propriety is prissy rather than masculine, according to the Codes, hence risks getting you pegged as a sissy, a faggot.

Kimmel also observes that this brand of “masculinity is largely a “homosocial” experience: performed for, and judged by, other men” — most relevantly in the comic strip, by Sarge.

One Response to “Masculinity comics 7”

  1. Bill Stewart Says:

    Sarge beating up Beetle Bailey was always pretty disgusting. Same for Aunt Loweezy beating up Snuffy Smith. Popeye and the Three Stooges are equally terrible.

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