‘The last refuge of male chauvinism’: print culture, masculinity, and the British Antarctic Survey (1960-1996)

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Abstract

In 1996, the British Antarctic Survey opened Halley Research Station (Halley) to women researchers, thereby officially giving women equal access to all Antarctic bases. A main reason that Antarctic researchers insisted that women be excluded from British Antarctic research stations was fears that they would disrupt base cohesion. Through examining magazines produced by the men stationed at Signy and Halley, the author offers evidence that alongside this exclusion, the men developed a homosocial culture, using overt sexualisation of women to perform masculinity. Rather than becoming more respectful, many of the clipping from erotic magazines, references to prostitution, pornographic stories and jokes, and sexual fantasies became more explicit as the integration of women drew nearer. The print culture at British Antarctic research stations demonstrates social and cultural norms predicated on simultaneous objectification and exclusion of women.

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McCahey, D. (2021). ‘The last refuge of male chauvinism’: print culture, masculinity, and the British Antarctic Survey (1960-1996). Gender, Place and Culture. https://doi.org/10.1080/0966369X.2021.1873746

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