This 1999 film featuring Jackson Katz looks at the relationship between figures in the popular culture and male identities’ social construction in the United States. Here, media messages play a huge role…
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Movie summary on "Tough Guise"
When Katz asks young men to define what it means to be a man, he gets feedbacks like physical, in control, strong, athletic, stud, tough, and powerful. However, when men fail to conform, they are called emotional, bitch, fag, queer, and pussy. In this film, it is depicted that men tend to be more aggressive and physical, but women are the exact opposite. Towards the end in a section referred to as “Better Man,” Katz documents that America has made some positive attempts and features several earlier examples from more human and sensitive men and media content. Analysis of feminist theme in “Tough Guise” Masculinity and violence “Tough guise” was well-developed, using effective and interesting examples to bring out its main topic about masculinity and violence. The rest of the ideas presented were well supported to give good insight into the concepts of masculinity constructed by the current society. Regardless of these strengths, the movie over exemplified the idea of masculinity by merely addressing “toxic characters.” However, this does not erase the fact that the movie clearly shows the application of masculinity to violence and crime. The movie is really a challenging one especially when one thinks of the way films and the media marginalize men.
While watching the movie, it is important to reflect on the discussion in the book, Women's Voices by Shaw and Janet Lee about gender and performance. They argue, “There are politics in sexual relationships because they occur in the context of a society that assigns power based on gender and other systems of inequality and privilege” (Shaw & Lee 46). Most of the critiques of masculinity may be inclusive of arguments that it disregards dissimilarities and outlines ideas in a heteronormative conception of gender. Such critiques are put forward by feminist thinkers who discuss this concept. The arguments by Shaw and Lee are very interchangeable and have a clear connection with the film because it is argued that masculinity can be replaced by “aggressiveness” and “femininity” with “passiveness.” The constant arguments constructed on ideas of femininity and masculinity proves the authors’ suggestions that none of these misconceptions are natural but mere performances. When the society scrutinizes dissimilarities between women and men as well as ideas of gender, it seems like people will often be performing to a certain degree. I agree with the theme of violence and masculinity in this movie that the two issues are part of the continuing crisis in America. The question that really arises when one watches the movie is “why do men behave in the way they do, and why is a huge percentage of violence committed by men and boys?” It is not merely in such few places like in video games that these happen, but it is in what is evident in normal culture. It forms part of the normal conditioning and training of
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