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Androcentrism

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Androcentrism is the privileging of masculine or male-associated traits over feminine or female-associated traits, whatever the gender of the person with these traits.

Examples of androcentrism might include:

  • the expectation that boys and men will not relate to female-centric characters or story lines in books, films, comics, television shows, and other forms of entertainment, while simultaneously assuming male-centric story lines in entertainment are relatable by all. (Examples include the terms chick-flick and chick-lit; note the lack of gendered counterpart terms.)
  • disgust for the colour pink, as worn or liked by anyone
  • dress codes (whether formal, or, as in geek culture, informal) that privilege wearing pants over skirts or dresses
  • steering young women towards "masculine" hobbies and subjects or actively away from "feminine" hobbies
  • The "male gaze" as the default in comics and films
  • Using he, his, or him when speaking abstractly
  • Groups which other women as the non-default, such as competitive teams. (For example, men compete in chess tournaments, while women compete in women's chess tournaments.)

Note: critiques of androcentrism do not require that women have feminine traits or presentation, simply that women and others that do have these traits should not be discriminated against or considered lesser.

The societal assignment of traits to the masculine and feminine categories in the first place is a core part of the maintainence of the gender binary.


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