Hollow femininities: the emerging faces of neoliberal masculinities

Gregory Wolfman, Jeff Hearn, Tray Yeadon-Lee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)


Through the latter half of the twentieth century, the commodification of men’s lifestyles has grown apace, such that men’s lifestyles in the global North are routinely sold for the various ways they present alternative forms of masculinity. Simultaneously, men’s growing participation in the service sector, as well as an emphasis on cultures of care in office work, suggest that men’s labour has faced similar changes. Drawing on one interview and two focus groups with men aged 18–30 in England, as part of a larger study, we argue that these phenomena are best placed in the context of neoliberalism and examined for the ways in which masculinity continues to adapt to the demands of neoliberal subjectivity. We deploy Bridges and Pascoe’s concept of hybrid masculinities to argue that neoliberal masculinities adopt a series of ‘hollow femininities’. These undermine femininity by conflating it with otherness through a process of commodification of feminine modalities, simultaneously recuperating both patriarchy and neoliberalism. This paper explores three of these key modalities: men’s absorption of otherness, feminine or feminised bodily discipline, and, finally, men’s performative rejections of the gender binary.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)217-234
Number of pages18
JournalNORMA: The International Journal for Masculinity Studies
Issue number4
Early online date29 Oct 2021
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2021


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