Monday, April 4, 2016


Masculinity in its most basic and renowned conventional form can be observed in The Terminator franchise film series. “Hardcore masculinity” revolves around the notion that masculinity is founded on big muscles, even bigger guns, and a knack for high-tense, brutal violence and fiery explosions. Add in some fast cars, a deep voice, and a questionable morality and “hardcore masculinity” is fully manifested: “for… action adventure heroes, the legal system is only an impediment to getting things done” (Jeffords 142).
However, outside of just the Terminator Hollywood franchise, other films perpetuate the same notions. Animated children films---often working with dichotomous caricatures—will implement conceptions of masculinity into their characters. For example, Finding Nemo had Nemo’s dad Marlon voiced at a much lower pitch than the head shark who tried to eat him. Mind you that Marlon was characterized as less apprehensive and “manly” than other male fish in the film. Jeffords, nevertheless, points out that perhaps the reasoning behind Disney’s use of masculinity was “to forward the image of unloved and unhappy white men who need kindness and affection rather than criticism or reform, in order to become their ‘true’ selves again” (148).

Jefford continues to explore masculinity through Disney children films. He notes how Beast cared for Belle: “all of Beauty’s needs are met magically” (150). Beast is the provider of Belle, giving her his home, food, servants, etc.—despite her being held against her will. In the end, however, it is Belle that breaks his hard, literally beastlike exterior, reinforcing Jefford’s idea that masculinity often masks the notion that the man needs to be made happy.

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