Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Comic Lessons in Masculinity

It's been almost a week since I posted about traditional masculinity and comic strips, so it's high time that I talk a bit about what's going on over in the strip Monty. This is an often funny little strip that started out as a strip called Robotman in the 80's. As with lots of different comic strips, the funny mostly comes from the inanity of the main character, Monty.

Currently, Monty has accidentally traveled very far forward in time. In this distant future, men have ceased to exist, and women rule the world (and live forever!)(as always, click to enlarge):
Leaving aside for the moment that the year is 6969, which is actually pretty funny in a way and surprising that it got through whatever censors are involved, let's just say that, yeah, the strip is written by a guy who has probably had that fantasy, too. So, we have some sexist stuff, with a little bit of self-deprecating humor thrown in (Monty is, after all, a sap in the strip, really) to make it seem more palatable. Or does it just make it seem creeeeeeepy?

Next up: More self-deprecating humor that reinforces traditional masculinity stereotypes!
Also disturbing is the fact that the poster looks vaguely like a young Ronald Reagan. Shudder.

Next up we have both a straw-feminist portrayal (I don't know any feminists, or anybody at all, who thinks that if men weren't in power that we would have an instant utopia--most of the positions around women gaining more power are more nuanced than typical utopian ideals) and some sexist stereotyping that women in the year 6969 are big freakin' nags, just like they are now!.
Hardy-har-har.

Next, some Universal Truths About Gender are provided for us:
Because (real) men don't drink wine spritzers! That's a girly thing! And no women like the Three Stooges! Because that's a guy thing!

And finally, some more self-deprecation combined with a reinforcement of traditional masculinity, this time enforced by the women of 6969:
Though the thing about doing something before he takes off his pants is funny, darn it.
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