Analysis of Kenneth Mackinnon Article Masculinity in Movies


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In the article “Manliness in Movies” by writer Kenneth Mackinnon the writer discusses the job of manliness in motion pictures and how throughout the years it has turned into a fundamental piece of the general public as individuals like the connection of manly character with the utilization of body as instrument of intensity and control. The author recommends different techniques through which motion picture pictures of manliness have helped western culture to develop thoughts of manly character, and furthermore the colossal of these pictures.

Mackinnon features another perspective which is that the universe of superheroes is regularly homo social yet the undeniable danger of being ordered as homoerotic is enthusiastically opposed through emphasis on hetero sentiment or marriage, or gruffly by unmistakable homophobia. He talks about the wide assortment of motion picture kinds, motion pictures, film stars and has additionally examined about the pressure between hyper-manliness and woman’s rights. The proof in this part is boundless and tremendous however the emphasis is primarily on manliness, mechanical advances, homoeroticism and oppression of manliness motion picture have helped western culture to build thought of manly character.

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This article goes over different movies, genres, and actors that all affected the perception of masculinity we have today. Specifically, the article discerns that some of the highest paid actors such as Sylvester Stallone and Clint Eastwood were involved in action movies that reinforced masculine ideals and created a masculine identity for the characters. These characters in the movies were strong, hard, and gritty, furthering the idea that all men need to act this way as well. We can see movies today such as the remakes of Tombraider, new Star Wars, and Star Trek movies, that are building off of the masculinity identities movies created in the 1970’s and 1980’s. The movies then and now are furthering the American culture that is built on the perception of masculinity, and specifically white masculinity. The concept of white masculinity can be seen considering a majority of the popular male actors that were well-paid were white.

One aspect of action movies that contain immense amounts of masculinity is relationships between men that are rough with the intimacy “kept at bay. ” The movies from the 1970’s and 1980’s display male relationships as expressed through roughhousing and messing around with each other. There are no emotions displayed in the relationships because this was seen as overtly feminine and not manly. One example of this would be in the movie Lethal Weapon, as the article references, with Mel Gibson and Danny Glover. Both of the characters have different personalities and personify the idea of rugged male relationships. A modern-day example of this is the movie Baby Driver. This movie features Ansel Elgort and other male as well as female roles. However, Ansel Elgort who plays Baby, has a tumultuous and “manly” relationship with the other male characters who are murderers, gunslingers, and involved in gang activity. Hence, movies today are still emphasizing male masculinity similar to the 1970’s and 1980’s movies.

Star Trek and Star Wars are often considered extremely masculine movies, but one of the classic American genres portraying masculinity was Westerns. References to Cowboys can still be found in American culture today and still represent this idea of masculinity that Americans have. These Western movies were created so that when men felt their masculinity was threatened, such as when we lost the Vietnam war, they can turn to these movies and feel that their masculinity has been restored. Some modern-day Cowboy movies include True Grit, The Salvation, and The Homesman, all movies that were fairly popular within the past 10 years.

Overall, masculinity has been commonplace in action and Western movies for decades. American men specifically have utilized these movies to regain their masculinity after losing wars, others gaining rights, and women gaining more rights as well. These types of movies cater specifically to white men, as a majority don’t have any minority characters or roles in them. We can see this in newer movies like Baby Driver, True Grit, and Star Wars, some of which had one African American actor. Just like the famous Marvel series of Avengers where men are portrayed as figures who save the world with immense powers whereas women need the shadow of masculinity to excel. Different age groups watch these movies, especially kids, subconsciously feeding them that only men should be brave. These types of movies have “manly” heterosexual relationships, that are intense and not overtly feminine or emotional in any way. Ultimately, it is important to understand where these masculine movies began and how they still impact our society today.

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