Thursday, January 11, 2007

Mythic Heroism and Masculinity

Lauren has a great post up over at Faux Real wherin she discusses Save The Day Guy, a variation of sorts of The Nice Guy.

Among her best points, and one that is apropos of things I'm interested in, is this:
Over time, after spending far too many nights in dark rooms watching Mel Gibson movies with very dudely guys, I realized just how scarily these young men internalized mythic heroism and the sect of Hollywood that promotes it. The thing about heroism is that it isn’t very glamorous — it’s being in the wrong place at the wrong time and keeping one’s head on straight, it’s managing to hold your arms out when you realize there’s a baby flying at your head from the sixth floor of a burning building. Heroism is predicated on the potential of tragedy, so I worry about those who aim to base their identities on being present during the misfortunes of others.

I think the ways that men are indoctrinated into this sort of mythic heroism that she's talking about mean that men also need to struggle against such things. I remember a group of three friends who were mugged a few years back: two women and a man. The man noted that he had gotten a lot more 'why didn't you fight back?' sorts of reactions than he had suspected, and it affected him more strongly in that way than he had thought it might. The thing I like about Lauren's post is she's questioning the very meaning of this sort of mythic heroism, and its links to traditional masculinity along the way.

Plus, she makes fun of Bush Jr. And while that's like shooting fish in a barrel at this point, it's still almost always worthwhile.
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