Please welcome the 13th issue of the Masculinities Journal prepared at the times of COVID-19 pandemic that the world is facing. The first COVID case in Turkey has been detected on March 10th, 2020 and we all started a “new normal” in which the social, political, physical, personal, and interpersonal lives are deconstructed through the new health practices. Our “new normals” have brought social and relational troubles in addition to economic and health-related ones. Due to stay-at-home restrictions, men’s violence against women has increased around the world, women’s home-based labour is getting more and more exhausting. Also, LGBTQ+ people face augmented vulnerabilities during the pandemic due to the already existing prejudice and discrimination, the inability of accessing health care and de-prioritization of the LGBTQ+ people for the “urgent” cases in health care systems, the restriction of access to hormonal treatments for trans people, a risk for compromised immune systems of people living with HIV/AIDS, or the psychological problems that unsupportive family-environment of LGBTQ+ people during the lockdown. However, even in this social and health emergency context, we did not want to miss an opportunity to celebrate pride month, and we do so with rainbow colours on our cover page!
Currently in the stay-at-home days, we keep our hope alive. We try to unveil the dominance of masculinities by supporting our scholars to enrich the scope of the readers in critical studies of men and masculinities. It is our pleasure to present stimulating research from different sites of the world. In that sense, the 13th issue of the Masculinities Journal welcomes the readers with three research articles, one research in progress, one symposium review and one book review. The research in the current issue covers diverse topics related to masculinities such as masculinities at war and the 68-generation in Turkey, critical exploration of the challenges that men face as feminist allies, masculinities in safe sex education, the role of troubling times in the masculinities research, and men’s experiences at war
The current issue starts with Çağlar Çetin-Ayşe’s article “Challenges Facing Men in Questioning Masculinities: A Critique of Men’s Organizing as Feminist Allies in Turkey”. In their article, Çetin-Ayşe examines the processes of how men questioning gender-inequality negotiate with their privilege and how they take a step forward to diminish gender-inequality in Turkey. Thus, Çetin-Ayşe selectively chooses men’s organizations for gender equality to represent views and struggles/confrontations of both trans and cisgender men in Turkey. Eventually, Çetin-Ayşe fruitfully presents the tension between men’s groups and feminist groups, the role of internalized sexism on this tension, and how they regulate their pro-feminist (as the author frame) experience within a social environment which is still privileged for them.
In their article titled as “Life, Liberty, & the Pursuit of Happiness: The Question of Race and National Belonging in Safer Sex Education”, Ivan Bujan investigates the homonationalist safer sex campaigns among gay men in the USA. Bujan questions the function of (so-called) multiculturalism with the inclusion of Black gay men in the 1990’s campaigns. Bujan uses an archival methodology to deeply examine and compare the 90s political, social, and cultural environment holistically. By doing so, Bujan sees the visual materials as performances of gender and political cultures of the era.
Following this, Demet Lüküslü sheds light onto discourse behind the political movement in the 1960s and the ‘68 generation of Turkey and uses “masculinities discourse” as a keyword to understand the social and political construction of the ‘68 generation. Lüküslü reaches a conlusion that it is not only the political war existing in the 60s, but it is also a war of masculinities in the Turkish political movements.
In addition to these three seminal research articles, the fourth one is a research in progress presented by L. Alp Akarçay. Akarçay deeply investigates the subjective experiences of being a trans man in Turkey and how trans men perform their masculinity in relation to societal norms about masculinity. With in-depth interviews conducted with nine trans men living in İstanbul, their research opens a new door for the further interrogation of trans men’s visibility in Turkey.
The current issue also presents a symposium review by Jeff Hearn and a book review by Çimen Günay-Erkol. Hearn reviews the 2nd International Symposium on Men and Masculinities in Turkey hosted by the Initiative for Critical Studies of Masculinities (ICSM) and Özyeğin University, held on 12-14 September, 2019 in İstanbul. Hearn’s overview presents how the “troubling times” are the essential part of the critical studies of men and masculinities worldwide and why there is a need to take a closer look at the enmeshed relationship between the troubling times and performances of masculinities around the world and specifically in Turkey’s political environment.
In the last piece of the current issue, Günay-Erkol reviews “Cihan Harbi’ni Yaşamak ve Hatırlamak: Osmanlı Askerlerinin Cephe Hatıraları ve Türkiye’de Birinci Dünya Savaşı Hafızası” by Mehmet Beşikçi in Turkish. Reading Günay-Erkol’s review in relation to Lüküslü’s and Hearn’s discussions related to how wars and political troubles reconstruct masculinities, Günay-Erkol’s review provide our readers with an insight about how men in war experience their masculinities.
Last but not least, we owe our deepest gratitude for the authors who see Masculinities Journal as an academic outlet for their works; the reviewers for their valuable effort for reviewing the manuscripts; and the readers who follow Masculinities Journal. Please enjoy the 13th issue of the Masculinities Journal and spread the word.
On behalf of the Editorial Board of
Masculinities: A Journal of Culture and Society