By now everyone has heard something about the “hot felon” that has been offered contracts for modeling and been given more news press than most prisoners. In the article “Buff and Busted: Criminalizing Men” by Lindsey Feldman, talks about how men can use their masculinity as a way to help get themselves out of poor situations, yet there is a side to “bad boy” masculinity that can be harmful and permanently categorize men so they cannot escape the social brand.
The article touches on a lot of different parts of masculinity that were talked about in class and other works, but the part that stood out best to me was this quote “For male inmates, the potential for escape can potentially come in the form of blue eyes and bone structure, in the power of masculinist ideals.” This quote brings up many of the ideas from Byron Hurt Beyond Beats and Rymes. In the movie it was said that the American mindset that a violent man with a gun is exactly what a man should be. It was also mentioned that there are two sides to a man, the “you” and the “thug,” each of which can be a prison of sorts. Masculinity is both empowering and damaging to men and this article shows both sides.
Unless social stigmas about men and masculinity change, there will always be categorizing of males into certain groups. The individual in a masculine standpoint is not as valued as the idea of what a real man is envisioned as. This is a huge anthropological problem because to change the mindset of society, it will take a great deal of effort-much of which no one wants to bother with. Hot felon or not, men will only be able to rely on their masculine features so much before they become more of a curse than a blessing.