May Real Men Cry in Court? Masculinity, Equality and the South African Constitutional Court


Pieterse, Marius. 2014. “May Real Men Cry in Court? Masculinity, Equality and the South African Constitutional Court.” Journal of Southern African Studies 40 (2): 361–79. doi:10.1080/03057070.2014.901641.

Author: Marius Pieterse


This article takes issue with depictions of masculinity and male gender identity in the South African Constitutional Court's judgements on gender equality and sexuality. It argues that, while the Court rightly acknowledges that male gender identity is problematic and that societal norms and expectations relating to masculinity are core causes of the subordination of women, many of its judgements uphold and reinforce outdated, essentialist, hetero-normative and restrictive conceptions of masculinity. These notions appear to leave little room for men to transcend conventional gender stereotypes, to form and adapt their identities freely and to participate in the transformation of gendered norms.

Topics: Gender, Men, Masculinity/ies Regions: Africa, Southern Africa Countries: South Africa

Year: 2014

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