when i was younger ( I’d say early teens or tweens as some call them ) I was a hopeless romantic. I read those terrible teen drama novels and I was ( and to an extent still am) a sucker for watching the old classics weepers that left me emotionally overwhelmed. I believe this admiration had began as a child when my parents would surprise me every month with a new Disney film set to get me all teary eyed and leave me day dreaming about my prince charming for days. Being older and grown up (haha) I still enjoy those Disney films but things have come to light that really make me second guess the production and viewing of these films on children. The construction of the male and female hero’s and heroin’s can give children a negative impression of what is masculine and what is feminine . In week 8 we focused primarily on masculinity in our lecture so i aim to do so in this post.
In terms of masculinity, the main focuses was on what Raewynn Connell discusses in her paper as Hegemonic masculinity. Hegemonic masculinity is different from the notion of a general masculinity and is therefore is different from the notion of a general “male sex-role”. So what Connell is implying when discussing hegemonic masculinity we are not talking about the real man but rather transcending and looking at a man who really doesn’t represent the real masculinity but still remains “the ideal representation of masculinity”.
so what is our interpretation as a society of the hegemonic man. I decided the best way to find out would be to simple Google ” the hegemonic man ”
this is what i got:
Connell discusses that for western society our hegemonic masculine men are our film icons who specialise in actions movies involving the protagonist saving the day with his mental and raw physical strength.
why do we recognise these men as representing hegemonic masculinity?
Connell highlights that hegemonic masculinity is very public – this is why there is such a focus on the media and its perception of masculinity. Its not only about just googling the men like I did then to understand why these men hold social power- were not interested in that – like Connell said
“Masculinity is not necessarily what powerful men are , but what sustains their power and what large numbers of men are motivated to support”
when i googled these men i thought about their physical features and how similar they were to the are to the heroes in Disney films.
this is when I found this ….
oh how i wish this was larger.
i found a while bunch of blogs that discuss why and what i believe is a perception of hegemonic masculinity evident in the physical depiction of the males in these Disney films. although this picture about is some fan work -this does represent what these male characters look like and even in their normal drawn out attire they are still drawn to look strong and sexualised.
in these blogs i found a short little documentary called ” sexism, strength and dominance: masculinity in Disney movies “ that highlight and discuss the negative effects of the Disney Hero’s. in short the doco is divided up into different sections, each discussing a different negative effect . what i thought related most to the topic was the part about “physical prowess” and how there is only one body type for Disney hero’s – chiseled abs and big muscular arms. whats more is that he uses a case study to highlight that the male character that aren’t like that physically are usually the outcast in society.
For instance in beauty and the beast Gaston is terrifyingly muscular and big chinned and just plain scary but is highly respected in the little french town where the play is set. However Lafou, his sidekick is unattractive and is ignored by the towns people.