Tough Guise: Violence, Media, and the Crisis in Masculinity

Part 1

This week in my Intro to Gender Studies class we watched this film, but I think it’s an important subject and should be discussed and examined by the general community, not just gender studies students, because these issues impacts us all. 

The documentary Tough Guise by social theorist Jackson Katz masculinity examines specifically how in modern American society masculinity and violence have become almost inseparable.  The film looks at whether or not this “tough guy” mask is helpful for those who wear it, whether violent crimes should be gendered (rather than being seen as a racial or age related issue), and some of the social consequences of such  a limited definition of what it means to be a man.

If you get a chance, I encourage you to watch Tough Guise.  It’s a great video. 

And if you’re interested, the next part in the documentary can be found here.


2 thoughts on “Tough Guise: Violence, Media, and the Crisis in Masculinity

  1. I really do think that US culture in general and many others (both in West and East) are targeting “masculinity” as a form of the burly, “manly” “hero” archetype. This violence is projected not only through normal activities such as sports or martial arts but also the intimate horizons of sexuality.

    The men in media are portrayed so aggressively that they seem detached from emotional a.k.a human terms and rather dehumanized into “beating, bloodthirsty creatures” who submissive males and females (all of them) should be afraid of.

    In most mainstream videos I see men and women are very negatively sexualized; men usually are preferred to be dumb-horny beasts and women as bimbos with nothing but silicons and clothes.

    I think it is important to define males not only by their success (as Michael Moore brilliantly talked of in “Capitalism: A Love Story”) but also by both their emotive and strategic talents.

    Misandry is the only product that can be produced by such violent portrayals of men and women.

    • I think a much fuller and realistic representation of both men and women in the media is important, both the “horny bests” and “sexy bimbos” stereotypes are only hurtful. Personally, I think that when both genders are portrayed so poorly in the media both misageny and misandry are the results. There’s an interesting section later on in the video (you can find the whole thing on YouTube) that addresses some of the backlash against women and gays, which is interesting. It’s a thought-provoking video, if you get a chance you might want to watch it in its entirety. I just didn’t want to scare people off by posting the whole thing. 🙂

      Thanks for taking the time to comment! And welcome to my little corner of cyberspace. 🙂


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