The spectacularized penis - Contemporary representations of the phallic male body

Stephens, Elizabeth (2007) The spectacularized penis - Contemporary representations of the phallic male body. Men and Masculinities, 10 1: 85-98. doi:10.1177/1097184X07299332

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Author Stephens, Elizabeth
Title The spectacularized penis - Contemporary representations of the phallic male body
Journal name Men and Masculinities   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1097-184X
Publication date 2007-07
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1177/1097184X07299332
Volume 10
Issue 1
Start page 85
End page 98
Total pages 14
Place of publication Thousand Oaks
Publisher Sage Publications
Collection year 2008
Language eng
Subject 780107 Studies in human society
420303 Culture, Gender, Sexuality
Abstract Feminist critics have often remarked on the striptease of appearance and disappearance by which the phallus both determines dominant cultural assumptions about sexuality and corporeality while simultaneously effacing the specificity of the penis. Through an examination of contemporary representations of the penis in the popular media-such as the media coverage of the Bobbitt trial, The Puppetry of the Penis stage show, the freak-show performer Mr Lifto, and the work of Cynthia Plastercaster-this article elucidates the mechanisms of effacement by which the specificity of the physical penis is obscured by a phallic ideal. In bringing the relationship between phallus and penis into focus, this article aims to challenge a number of important critical assumptions about the structure and operation of phallocentrism. Contrary to the widespread assumption that the phallic male body represents a rigidly stable and self-contained corporeality, in this paper I will argue that it is precisely the phallic penis which opens the male body to the possibility of transformation and otherness.
Keyword Sociology
male bodies
phallic masculinity
penis/phallus relationship
male nudity
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code

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Created: Mon, 18 Feb 2008, 17:35:55 EST