Taken for granted, normalized as a non-category, and thus invisible, masculinity is a topic that largely escaped public and much academic attention until the birth of men and masculinity studies. It is my belief that this discipline will play an important part in the future of gender studies, which is why my paper doubles as an appeal for more scholars to join me and learn more about this lesser known side of gender theory. In my analysis of Hunter’s Run (2007), an American sci-fi novel for mature audiences authored by George R. R. Martin, Gardner Dozois, and Daniel Abraham, I use Connell’s hierarchy of four masculinities and other research. I quickly reveal that the novel is filled to the brim with commentary on men and ‘mankind,’ so much so that the greatest plot point is when the protagonist confronts his harmful ideal of hegemonic masculinity and admits that he despises the toxic person it has made him. The message is a rather loud criticism of hegemonic standards that make men emotionally stunted, prone to violence, afraid of admitting any kind of weakness or dependency, and desperate to one-up and dominate women as well as other men (as observed by Brittan in 1989 and many others). As if that was not enough, the language of the novel overuses the word man in such striking ways it demanded a section of its own in this paper. Considering all my findings, it is shocking that neither the three authors, nor the publishers, or the reviewers seem to have noticed this major theme. Instead, they claim that Hunter’s Run is a story about humanity and identity, even though only the male side of these concepts is ever discussed. This leads me to further explain invisible masculinity as it was conceptualized by Kimmel in 1993, and to announce the need for more masculinity research in the stories we consume.
Monster to Monster: Masculinity as an Invisible Major Theme in Hunter’s Run.
Journal of International Women's Studies, 20(3), 17-27.
Available at: https://vc.bridgew.edu/jiws/vol20/iss3/3