In recent years we have seen that more and more attention is paid to “toxic masculinity”, especially by two great exponents that he had in Donald trump and in Harvey weinsteinThe former was president of the United States between 2016 and 2020, the latter is a famous film producer whose reign fell when the #MeToo movement got a big boost in October 2017, when it was revealed that Weinstein had harassed and abused actresses for decades. .
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It is important to pay attention to the most negative aspects that throughout history have been associated with “true” masculinity, and culture plays a very important role in this. Movies and TV series have reinforced the ideas of how a man must be to be considered as such, and broadly speaking it has been reduced to two alternatives, the unsuccessful-effeminate-crybaby-weak, and the winner-macho-impassive- strong. In a recent article by The Guardian he has hit the nail on the head by pointing to various modern film heroes as vivid examples of the second alternative, which almost always carries elements of toxic masculinity, if not the very incarnation of themselves.
The most prominent examples in recent years are antiheroes like Bryan Mills (Liam Neeson), from Relentless search – 58%; John Wick (Keanu reeves), from the saga John wick; and the most recent, Hutch Mansell (Bob odenkirk), from No one – 88%. In all cases we have a protagonist who suffers a very great injury and decides to take revenge, so he takes advantage of his combat skills and murders his enemies left and right; These characters are very attractive and it fills us with satisfaction that they make the evil ones pay for their actions, but what else do they tell us about the current situation of masculinity?
The article of The Guardian also mention the movies The straw dogs – 91%, starring Dustin Hoffman; A day of fury (1993), starring Michael Douglas; Y The Anonymous Avenger – 67%, starring Charles Bronson. Like Bryan Mills, John Wick, and Hutch Mansell, the antiheroes in these stories are victims of violence of some kind and their response is “pick up a gun and reconnect with their murderous instincts.”
What the aforementioned films tell us is that behind civilized and seemingly submissive men there is a powerful tamed warrior, as in The fight Club – 80%, within each Edward Norton there is a “super-cool, super-violent Brad Pitt who wants to be released ”. Steve Rose, author of the article, continues:
The question is always whether these films serve as a warning against such impulsive, often fascist forms of violence, or whether they inspire them. Looking at the current climate of ‘toxic masculinity’ – misogynistic online abuse, sexual misconduct and violence (particularly in the entertainment industry), strong politicians and armed rebels cosplaying military – one could hardly guess that what the world needs now is more old-school manhood.
To top off your article “Toxic masculinity: are violent films such as Nobody a warning or a celebration?”(Toxic masculinity: are violent films like Nobody a warning or a celebration?), Rose says that the film starring Odenkirk does not offer any nuances, so it does not differ from its predecessors, and then adds that the Masculinity should not be reduced to the dichotomy of “sheep or wolf, Norton or Pitt,” as “other forms of manhood are available, ones that employ the brain as well as the testicles.”
People’s concern about these violent characters is much more understandable when we remember that the films they star in are admired by many young people who have access to firearms and who are sometimes part of reactionary groups. At the beginning of the year the taking of the Capitol worried many Americans about the possibility that it would turn into a veritable carnage.
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