Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Event #2 - Wrestling With Manhood

The movie was about how the world of professional wrestling creates a culture of men being dominant. It’s about violence and power and more. Young men watch these shows and are influenced by it. Shows like WWF, RAW and Smackdown are some of the most popular shows on cable TV. What young boys and others don’t understand is that wrestling is fake and constructed to fit what the viewer wants. The wrestlers create their character and it becomes a soap opera for guys. Girls watch it too, but it’s geared toward males.

The movie was broken down into parts. The first section was Happy and Escalating Violence. Violence is the made question in wrestling. It gets young boys all into the fighting and sometimes boys apply what they see the wrestlers doing to real life. In the movie it shares how young boys have hurt and even killed other imitating wrestling moves. This is awful because these moves are actually fake. This relates to Kimmel’s “What Little Boys are Made of” when he says “Virtually all the books cite the same statistics: boys are four to five times more likely to kill themselves than girls, four times more likely to be diagnosed with attention deficit disorder, and 15 times more likely to be victims of violent crime”. Why would we show them more violence then? Or is this the reason why boys are more violent because they watching programs like wrestling? In the segment it continues to say how wrestling is like cartoon violence because no one really gets hurt, but the problem is, is that it all looks real.

The next segment is Glamorizing Men: Bullying. In the section it explains how to be a “man.” Wrestling models how men should be and everything is done through violence. The wrestling use violence, mentally subjugate, and verbally torture their opponents to win. And the person who wins is the “man.” What kind of message is this sending to young boys? That the only way to be a man is to be a jerk. Wrestling glorifies the bully. This reminds me on the Croteau piece on media. These are ideologies created by the media, and boys follow them.

Homophobia is a big topic in the film. Wrestling is very sexualized because the wrestlers wear very little clothing and are always in close contact with each other, but to be gay is looked down upon. The wrestlers use sexual moves and things to prove their masculinity to others. They insult other wrestlers masculinity and so on. They act as the police of masculinity. This relates to the other film that I went to The Bro Code, and how people in your life police masculinity as well.  There is a pair, Chuck and Billy, who are used to pick on as the “gay” wrestlers because they are a team. Their role asserts heterosexuality in the show.

Divas: Sex and Male Fantasy is also another piece of the film. The role of women in wrestling helps demonstrate heterosexuality. Before the 1990’s there really weren’t any females in wrestling, but now there are many Divas. They are used for entertainment, not so much of a role model to people. Their fights are different from the men’s, and usually the winner is always the woman who gets all the clothes off of the other. This is a really good way to show how women are equals. The way that these women show they have power is by getting men to look at them, and having large breast.

Finally the film talks about Normalizing Gender Violence. In society gender violence is a big problem, but wrestling just takes it to another level. In wrestling women are just there for men. This is all written into the scripts. The guy wrestlers force themselves onto the women and talk down to them. They say to the crowds that this is what the women deserve. In one scene of the movie one wrestler makes the women wrestler get down on the ring floor and act like a dog. But this is one of the most watched cable TV shows, I don’t get it. All these images show men controlling women and dominating them, and this is not the way it should be. 

Random Blog # 1

Last night I watched the Victoria's Secret Fashion Show, a lot of people watched it too. It was pretty, and entertaining. They always have musicians sing live too. But what struck me most was when the models were talking about shooting the commercials and how they thought is was wonderful and shows how women are and blah blah. The commercials do not show how women are, in my opinion. They show a very small population of women, and this is what we're "supposed to" look like. What's really depressing about the show is that you see these beautiful women, but there's beautiful women who are short, or have curves. Why can't the models represent that?

Event #1 - Bro Code

The movie was about how our media today instills values and ideas about how men should be and about how men should act. It showed how everyday TV shows, movies, magazines and more portray men to be big, strong, successful, and powerful and the list goes on and on. The main focus of the film was to show how this idea is taught to today’s youth. Keith did this by breaking down the movie into four short segments. The segments were; Step 1: Train Men to Womanize, Step 2: Immerse Men in Porn, Step 3: Make Rape Jokes, and finally, Step 4: Obey the Masculinity Cops. Each step took you through how men learn to disrespect and put down women through media.

Starting with Step 1. The media trains men to womanize. Keith describes how men are portrayed in media. They are always looking for sex, power, and control. They have to be telling women what to do, when to do it, and how to do it. Women are portrayed in these scenarios as objects of desire, or almost like something that is being hunted. Keith explains this by using MTV reality shows, mainly Jersey Shore. Jersey Shore reinforces theses patriarchal ideas that our society today still inhabits.
This reminded me of the Johnson piece we read. It is just another way to show how men are privileged over women, but with this culture there is never going to be any change if we don’t change the media.

Step 2: Immerse Men in Porn talks about how porn transforms the way that men look at women. In 1970 hardcore porn flourished and makes more money then many other big industries. Keith talks about how easy it is for boys to gain access to pornography because of the Internet. Now boys as young as twelve are being submerged into porn. Keith also mentions that girls will start watching at around age sixteen. It’s then continued to be explained how this is the sex education that boys are getting today, and the idea that women are sex objects is shown through this. The movie then talks about how there is porn that is extremely degrading to women, and more violent – hate porn.
I watched this movie well before we did our sex positivity blog and discussion and I don’t believe that porn is a bad thing, I just don’t think this is the way many boys should learn about sex.

Step 3: Make Rape Jokes is about how “boy culture” makes this okay almost. Keith talks about how this is a big issue. It has an impact on victims of rape and just shows violence against women. This should never be joked about in my opinion. These jokes are major problems on campuses. They make women more vulnerable, in the film there are even an idea, parties, trap the woman, and make her pass out. Achieving these things give guys status according to the film. Keith even mentions that there’s a no snitching rule. (In another class we watched a video about snitching, the culture is big in certain parts of cities and places).

Finally, Step 4: Obey the Masculinity Cops which is pretty much everyone who surrounds you. In this section Keith talks about how your dad, brothers, mothers, coaches and friends all reinforce how boys are supposed to act. This section also compares women to slaves, and mentions how women’s “love” is the only thing that will make a bad boy good.
This section reminded me of the Kimmel piece we read. How little boys are thought to be a certain way, like violent and muddy. But this isn’t the case, our culture definitely does submerge boys into an idea of how they’re supposed to be, and it is known to be true that men are at higher risk for violence then women, but this doesn’t mean we need to make is worse for boys by policing them.