Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Professional WrestlingSport and Spectacle, Second Edition$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Sharon Mazer

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9781496826862

Published to University Press of Mississippi: September 2020

DOI: 10.14325/mississippi/9781496826862.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM Mississippi SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.mississippi.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University Press of Mississippi, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in MSSO for personal use.date: 17 June 2021

Real Men Don’t Wear Shirts

Real Men Don’t Wear Shirts

(p.85) 4 Real Men Don’t Wear Shirts
Professional Wrestling

Sharon Mazer

University Press of Mississippi

Professional wrestling’s play of masculinity is profoundly carnivalesque as it affirms and mocks, celebrates and critiques prevailing definitions of what it is to be a “real” man in contemporary American culture. Because it is centered on, and always returns to, the display of male bodies, and because the action is both a simulation and a parody of violence between men, the performance is always highly ambivalent and profoundly transgressive, at once hypervisible and hypermasculine. As professional wrestlers mask their profound dependence upon and cooperation with each other in the ring, so too they perform a denial of intimacy, even as their performances are exceptionally, provocatively intimate. Despite its apparent social subversiveness, in the end, professional wrestling affirms the dominant culture; it is always a performance by men, for men, about men. Both its ethos and its aesthetics are explicitly centered on the idea of masculinity at once essential and performed.

Keywords:   Manliness, Carnivalesque, Homosociality, Heteronormativity, The male body

University Press of Mississippi requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs , and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us.