Glossary of Terms

Chauvinism the act of condescending to others because of a perceived position of superiority. Most often used to refer to a weaker kind of misogyny, but can apply to attitudes directed at any group imaginable.

Cultural Capital – Capital is used here in the economic sense. Cultural capital is the power a story, a person, a brand, etc. holds within a culture. Cultural capital can be spent when a brand/person/story departs from cultural norms.

Fan FictionDerivative works that are set within copyrighted worlds and/or utilize copyrighted characters or the lives/identities of real people. For more, see TV Tropes. For a more charitable definition, and some very interesting, in depth ongoing coverage of the legal and ethical concerns see Feeling Elephants.

Feminismthe radical notion that women are people, that everyone –man, women, everyone in between and outside of that continuum have equal rights to pursue happiness, feel safe, and control their own body.

Masculinitymaleness, the pattern of behavior considered conventional for boys and men. The act of “being male.”

Masculinity Studiesthe study, and often deconstruction, of masculinity. Masculinity Studies asks What does it mean to be a man? How has it changed? What pressures and forces are at work in constructing masculinity? Should the notion of “man” exist anyway?

MythAn archetypal story that holds cultural capital, usually illustrating a culture’s world view.

Queer – The quick definition is non-normative people in terms of gender and sexuality. This heading includes gays, lesbians, bisexuals, pansexuals, asexuals, transgender, intersex, pretty much anybody who feels weird about conventional gender and sexual norms.

Queer Studiesthe family of critical theory that explores the issues of queer characters and audiences.

Theatricalityfrom The American Heritage Dictionary is “affectedly dramatic.” Theatricality refers to phenomena that you can look at or hear and you only feel it belongs on the stage. Theatricality is dramatic lighting, visual or auditory metaphor. Heightened visual (or auditory) language. It is not truth as we know it. It is greater than our reality, but hopefully illuminates something about it we never saw before.

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