Tough Guise in the Light of Feminist Theories Essay

Tough Guise in the Light of Feminist Theories  Feminist theories are developed around facts of gender inequality in literature, arts, economics, sociology, philosophy, anthropology and all other areas of knowledge with elements of feminist politics.  Tough Guise is an educational film about images of men in popular culture, including films, and the macho male who may turn violent against women or seek dominance over them at a personal and/or institutional level.

  Even as media portrays brawny males as models to emulate, women are expected to be slim.  This stereotyping has a relationship with aggressive behavior displayed by men.  According to Jackson Katz, the Women’s Movement is a backlash to this trend in popular culture (Tough Guise).Of course, the Women’s Movement is based in feminist theories, fighting for the equal rights of women being its chief goal.

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  But, Katz mentions that the macho male image in popular culture is also a backlash against gains made by women in social as well as economic spheres.  When violence is celebrated in action games, slasher movies and pro sports, men are trying to assert their dominance over women.  It is mostly men, after all, that are depicted as violent.  So, Arnold and Stallone build up huge muscles and the ability to destroy many men at the same time.

  Women, on the other hand, should be petite objects for macho men to fall in love with (Tough Guise).The film, Tough Guise, reveals this stereotyping of males in the media as a movement of men in its own rights.  What is more, it expresses the fact that stereotyping becomes part of the culture.  For a male, therefore, it is an American cultural norm nowadays to wish that his body were as strong as Arnold’s.

  American women, on the contrary, should desire to slim down and wear the kind of makeup that the prettiest models on television wear.  Although there is nothing wrong with developing such cultural norms, Katz shows that the high rate of rape, school shootings and domestic violence may very well be connected to the macho male image in popular culture.  After all, most individuals that shoot in schools are young men.  Likewise, men rape women more often than women rape men.

  And, there are more wife batterers than husband batterers in our society (Tough Guise).Radical feminism is a feminist theory that recognizes male dominance as the cause of rape.  The film, Tough Guise, demonstrates the kind of research that radical feminists seek to prove that their theory is correct.  The fact that men are expected to be physically tough while women are expected to be thin – even if they must suffer from bulimia in order to comply with the cultural norm of admiring slim women – suggests that it is difficult for women to be physically tough enough to fight men who turn violent against them.

  As a matter of fact, when popular culture shows only men as physically tough beings, society tends to believe that men are naturally dominant over women.  After all, they may easily beat down those women who turn against them.  But, feminist theories would have women viewed as equals to men.  Of course, women, too, may develop strong muscles to beat those men who turn violent against them.

  Portraying the toughest ones as white males in American society is, therefore, considered unfair by developers and believers of feminist theories and participants in the Women’s Movement (Tough Guise).     Works CitedTough Guise. Dir. Sut Jhally.

USA: Media Education Foundation, 1999.

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