Gun Culture and Masculinity Essay - Essay Prowess

Gun Culture and Masculinity Essay


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Relationship between Gun Culture and Masculinity

I need an English essay written please,I have put the instructions below.
INSTRUCTIONS: Topic: Write about how gun culture is often aimed towards men and how masculinity also falls in with gun culture.
You have to use the three sources I have linked below throughout the essay as they are a requirements. These links that I have provided are peer reviewed resources. The teacher stated that after we use our three peer reviewed sources we are allowed to use two outside sources.
This needs to be at least 1300 words 
OTHER REQUIREMENTS & USEFUL TIPS MLA formatting for the essay, the works cited page, and the in-text citations. Youtube Video: MLA Formatting, Quoting, Paraphrasing • Works Cited Page that includes all sources. You can use a citation generator online, like Easybib or Citation Machine. • Serious and substantial engagement with your sources and research. This is to be shown through the use of quotes and paraphrase. There should be multiple citations of sources in your paper. I recommend that you have at least 2 longish quotes (BLOCK QUOTES) and 4 to 5 other shorter quotes from the readings. Use block quoting for quotes that take up more than 4 lines. • While careful engagement with sources is necessary, YOUR VOICE must come through. When using research, explain it in your own words and tie it into YOUR argument/claim/opinion. Make sure that you don’t overuse research/sources; at least about 80% of the words of this paper should be yours, give and take. • When using a source, it usually helps to summarize the source shortly the first time you mention it in at least one to two sentences. If you have already mentioned the source, then simply mention the author. Then use your quote or paraphrase, include a citation, and finally, interpret or explain the information/quote in your own words. This is called framing your quotes. INTRO, QUOTE, EXPLANATION. • Never end a paragraph with a quote. • Paraphrasing is as useful as quoting. When you paraphrase you should also insert an in-text citation

Relationship between Gun Culture and Masculinity

            The majority of men use small arms, and they also consist of the highest percentage of direct victims that have suffered from gun violence. In most cultures, gun possession and masculinity is linked to strong cultural and social associations. Furthermore, most violent individuals consist of men influenced by inflated notions of masculinity, like the ideology that rage is allowed as a response to frustration, vengeful violence is acceptable, and seeking assistance is equivalent to the inadequacy of a man. Therefore, this essay will assess the association between gun culture and masculinity while examining the different perceptions and ideologies that made this assumption viable to society. 

           For a long time, guns have been perceived as a representation of masculinity because they are portrayed as a symbol of domination, power, lack of emotion, and violence. Lund and Garland researched the forms of paramilitarism and its cultural representations in different identities. The researchers stated that “Men with guns sometimes also includes women with guns, but paramilitarism as a cultural and political phenomenon is inseparable from able-bodied militarized masculinity, patriarchal moralism, and a male-dominated state-market duopoly” (18). In other words, the gun culture is associated with men, but this is often the case because masculinity is usually militarized, and guns are also marketed in a way that shows male domination, and this influences the perceptions of society. 

           Guns are easy to associate with hegemonic masculinity because men are often viewed as protectors of women and children, which may force men to reason that they need a gun in order to offer protection. Utter and True, the authors of the article The evolving gun culture in America, have researched the gun rights and gun culture supporters and non-supporters and evaluated the different aspects of gun possession both socially and politically. The researchers indicate that “While beliefs and images of the gun rights and gun control are popular opposites, in some senses each side believes it represents the mainstream of American culture” (67). This means the despite the urban perceptions of gun control and rights; there are still limitations on the socialization of gun activities because of the bias that only reviews the adverse effects of gun ownership with men. Yet, the same rights are accorded to women who still inflict adverse action through their use. The biases against gun ownership and service to men only have generalized the masculine perception of its use as well. 

           One of the main characteristics of hegemonic masculinity applies to physical domination and strength. Men are not expected to be victims, and this disables them in a way or makes them lack physical strength, which means that gun transform into the great equalizers. Jimmy wrote the book American gun culture: Collectors, shows, and the story of the gun, which focused on how guns are represented in the American culture both politically and socially and how this affects the perspective of gun ownership. Jimmy stated that “Our interaction with something as simple as a gun might influence the way gender is performed in a social context. As all forms of culture have symbolic meaning, all forms of culture communicate something to the social world” (4). This means that the use of the gun is automatically associated with masculinity because of its power and the social context that this has on how people expect such weapons to be used. Therefore, it is not just about an assumption of which gender should use the gun but rather the societal context surrounding the use of weapons overall. 

           Guns are increasingly being used to portray male dominance and an unequal system, which results in violence rather than the provision of safety for American citizens. Ella wrote an article that focused on masculinities theories as a cultural normative used to explain male behavior and how this is used to show the male’s dominant position. According to Ella, “The deadly problem of gun violence is fundamentally gendered- men, women, boys, and girls are differently impacted, differently involved and have different responses” (3). In other words, gun-related violence is not only impacted by men but by women as well, which makes them just as susceptible to the notion that women are just as violent as men when it comes to the use of guns. However, since most times, it is assumed that violence is only performed by men, the biased notion usually remains without balanced arguments. 

           Women are rarely perceived as protectors or possessing the ability to save themselves or others physically; hence, they are not expected to use a gun for protection as a man does. This indicates that when it comes to regulations of gun use, men are considered to have more to lose compared to women. Cox wrote a book that focused on the cultural meanings of gun culture, specifically in America, and how their familiarity with guns is represented as American manhood. Cox states that “Using of guns to assist in the fulfilment of masculine duties certainly has roots in the colonial period, a time when guns – serving as tools to accomplish manly endeavors – implicitly contributed to colonial ideas about manliness” (141). Men are usually celebrated when they exert dominance and are often encouraged to be violent compared to women. They are also viewed as the family, nation, and community protectors, which makes guns an essential tool for them since the colonial period. 

           Gun culture usually reinforces female expectations and stereotypes, especially with regards to motherhood (Jimmy 7). Furthermore, gun culture also leads to frontier masculinity, often at the American core, whereby hegemonic male ideologies are linked with rugged individualism, self-sufficiency, and strong work ethics. Most women have been found to possess and use guns as a way of protecting themselves from violence and victimization; in other words, they use guns for self-defense as opposed to protection like men do. Jimmy states that, 

           “Inversely, for women, it has been suggested by Browder (2006) that the persistent historical linking of both masculinity and citizenship to guns, is one way in which women have had difficulties in claiming or cashing in on the totality of their rights as a free citizen and patriot…Whether gender is socially constructed, an extension of genetic coding, or a little bit of each, is a crucial and unsolved mystery” (11).

This indicates that women are only expected to act in self-defense because of their perceived embodied vulnerability.

Most men favor the protection of gun rights compared to women that prefer the control of gun ownership. This variation is partially because of the varying ways men and women are raised in terms of their perceptions towards gender relating to guns. Utter and True state that:

           “…31 percent of the militia in the various states were actually armed, which represented sufficient arms for just 12 percent of adult white males. When compared with the often-made assertion by many of the present supporters of a right to keep and bear arms, these estimates fall short of the ideal view all Americans ready and able to become active members of their state militias” (71).

This indicates that even though men favor gun rights, there is still more that should be done to train them and help them understand other ways in which they can apply gun related activities which may limit acts of violence often inflicted through the use of guns.

In conclusion, masculinity in gun culture is often promoted through the creation of violent music, video games, and violent films whereby the gun is used as the instrument of violence. It has been found that such violent media exposure promotes the use of aggressive behavior in men which also makes it appealing for them to acquire a gun in order to reassert their level of masculinity. At the same time, gun manufacturers seem to have recognized the sales benefits in promoting guns as dangerous and masculine (Ella 6).  Similarly, hyper masculine names are often given to various Spanish firearms for instance which invoke images of mythical Gods and heroes and fearsome animals. Therefore, the strong association between masculinity and gums is because of various intersecting social factors such as glamorization of guns and attitudes of particular women who expect gun use and violence among men. Such gender norms need to be challenged and this can eventually result in non-violent masculinity which will impact men positively.

Works Cited

Cox, Amy Ann. “Aiming for Manhood: the transformation of guns into objects of American masculinity.” Open fire: Understanding global gun cultures (2007): 141-52.

Lund, Joshua, and Anne Garland. “Men with Guns: Cultures of Paramilitarism and the Modern Americas.” The Global South 12.2 (2018): 1-27.

Page, Ella. “Men, masculinity and guns: Can we break the link.” London: IANSA–Women’s Network, no date (2009).

Taylor, Jimmy. American gun culture: Collectors, shows, and the story of the gun. Lfb Scholarly Pub Llc, 2009.

Utter, Glenn, and James True. The evolving gun culture in America.” Journal of American & Comparative Cultures 23.2 (2000): 67-79.

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