Little Women

Little Women' Review: Greta Gerwig Makes An Old Story Feel New Again

One of my new favorite movie is called little woman. The movie starring actors such as Saoirse Ronan, Emma Watson, Florence Pugh, Eliza Scanlen, Timothée Chalamet and Meryl Streep is the seventh film adaptation of the 1868 novel of Louisa May Alcott. The movie happening in 1868 talks about the life of 4 sister breaking out of their performative roles. The predestined housewives all have dreams and passion that they want to pursue and all decide in their own way to break the expectations society had for them. I love this movie because it represents the struggles women faced during that historical period and society views on what a woman should be. It’s a touching  romantic comedy that talks about many issues feminist have fought for.

Lets talk about the 1800 first, at this time, marriage involved ore financial aspect than love. Women were not able to do many things and the father had to be the figure of authority in a household. In the movie, the father is a loving man that is appreciated by his whole community and his daughters. He doesn’t impose anything on them and just wish each of their happiness which is in my opinion honorable. Still, marriage was inevitable for a good life so the four girls already had a path drawn for them. The fact that many women thorough the world still live in those condition where they have no choice on who they are going to marry or if they want to marry someone is still an ongoing issue that I can’t get out of my mind. Social status also were a really important thing that prioritizes money over happiness. Education is also a subject addressed in the move since it shows how women school weren’t as good as boy’s school and the inequality in the learning system. The four women in the movie were faced with all of those issue and tried to denounce its absurdity in a moving way.  

The main character is Josephine March most commonly named Joe. She is an inspiring woman that really stood her ground in adversity. She is an author whose only dream was to write a books about crimes and bloody battle. Those not really feminine taste caused her to hide her passion for a long time and publish her short stories anonymously. She had no interest in getting married which made her even weirder in the eyes of her family .We can see misogyny issues in the first 15 minute of the movie when Joe goes to publish her first short story in the New York time and the publisher tells her that her character needed to either end up dead or married at the end of the story because readers wanted something that reflect their reality. Its with disappointment that Joe changed the end of her story and it was also the first time she experienced sexism that way. She wanted to go fight in the union army with her father but was denied since she was a girl . Joe says that being a woman in that time is a curse and I couldn’t agree more. she has always been taught that no woman could have her own path and her only way of escaping marriage was to be rich (which wasn’t the case for her). She then started teaching in a girl boarding school in Mississippi where she was revolted by the fact that boys school were much superior than the girls school. For Joe, getting married was renouncing to her liberty. She wanted to prove to the world that a woman wasn’t only good at love and that it wasn’t her only destiny. She did follow her dream and she published a book of a new genre which became a best seller. She also opened a school and proved to the world that she didn’t need to marry anyone to be happy or succeed. Those morals even if they are not the same as modern one can also be applied in the modern woman life and I think that she gives a great lesson to all the fierce independent woman out there .

Even if they are less represented, the 3 sisters of Joe also have interesting character development. Meg, the oldest, renounced to have a wealthy life with a rich man to marry the one she fell in love and going against her aunt will. Beth wasn’t represented long enough in the movie but she did inspire all of her sisters to follow their passion and not give up on their dream. To finish with, Amy is a self conscious girl who went to Paris to perfect her art in painting. She realized soon enough that even if she was more talented then the men in her classes , she would never get the recognition they get because she is a woman. That crushed her so she decided to marry a rich man to secure her life. She sees marriage as a financial proposition  and often refer to herself as “only a woman”. Her opinion of marriage changed when the man she loved proposed to her and she lived  happily after teaching arts to the kids at her sister school. She realized she was good enough and that she could marry the man she wanted and have the life she dreamed of. They each broke out of expectation and taught us valuable lesson about the importance of happiness our life.Our own happiness should always come first and the choice we made should always be based on our desire. If the girls would have listened to society none of them would have had their happy ending.

In conclusion, little woman is an historical masterpiece and really show the high and the lows that a woman can encounter in her life. It teaches us a lesson on perseverance and acceptance. Each girls has a unique character and end up being happy because they are true to themselves and that’s what we should all go for in our lives whatever our gender is. Gender shouldn’t define our lives and how we want it to end. We are the only master of our destiny and we are the only one responsible to make it great. I definitely recommend that movie. Some tears might be spill but at the end its all worth it.

This scene made me cry but its also my favorite. Joe reject the marriage proposal of her best friend because she is not in love and doesn’t want to get married. For her marriage at this time in her life would make it impossible to achieve her dream.

Final Project: Legally Blonde

The movie Legally Blonde was one of the most popular and well-known movies in the early 2000s. While this movie is seen as a lightweight, “girly” type of comedy and romance movie, I believe it demonstrates real struggles women face on a daily basis. In a nutshell, this movie is about a young woman named Elle Woods who initially sets off to go to Harvard to win her boyfriend back, after getting broken up with for “not being serious enough”. As she emerges on this journey to get him back, she ends up finding herself, as well as discovering she is much more than what people perceive her to be. She does this all while dealing with stereotypes, misogyny and sexual harassment. 

In the beginning of the movie, she is seen as a sorority girl who’s only good for shopping and getting her nails done. While there is nothing wrong with liking those things, many people underestimated her since she liked to show her femininity quite often. To them, they saw that as a sign of weakness. On several occasions, she was taken as a “dumb blonde” and tried to be fooled until she stood up for herself and proved them otherwise. Not to mention she was judged and not taken seriously for wanting to attend Harvard Law School. She constantly gets minimized by the people around her based on her interests and her appearance. Her parents didn’t have faith in her along with many other people seeing as for them, she wasn’t smart or capable enough to survive there. Although, nothing let that stop her from achieving her goal. 

As she continues to settle down in her new school life, she continuously gets mocked by classmates and teachers. Considering how challenging it can be to live and study in a somewhat male-dominated field, it is even harder getting knocked down and tormented by other women. This is something almost every woman has experienced in their lives and it is sadly something that is all too common in our society. We live in a toxic society where people stereotype woman which also leads to women bringing other women down and the cycle continues. In the movie, Elle goes against the normal “mean girl” stereotype by being this bubbly, sweet and sunny person, who tries to create a respectful environment with some of the other women in her class (mainly her ex boyfriends fiancé Vivian). Although, Vivian as well as the rest of them completely disregard that and become a cruel bully to Elle for no reason. This just shows how toxic society is and how it can influence people to be inhumane to others.

Later on, in the movie, Elle and some other classmates were assigned to work on a case with their professor at his firm. This was a very exciting opportunity for her since she had worked so hard to get to where she was. However, one night her professor was sexually inappropriate with her after everyone else had left. He also indicated that the only way she could make it as a lawyer was if she crossed boundaries and got sexual with him. After she immediately told him off, she left only to be accused by a fellow associate (Vivian) that she was the one to initiated this inappropriate act. This incident caused her question her place in the firm and resulted in her almost quitting law school, until one of her female professors encouraged her to go back and fight for what she had worked for. This event just goes to show how women are constantly being sexually harassed and violated in work environments. Not to mention that they are the ones who are more likely blamed for these incidents instead of the men.

While her initial intention to attend Harvard wasn’t exactly a good reason, since no woman should ever have to go out of their way to change and prove themselves to any man, she soon realizes to achieve all these obstacles for herself and to anyone who ever doubted her, all while staying true to her identity. She refused to let anyone’s opinions about her affect her work and success. Instead, she studied hard and worked hard to prove to everyone else and herself that she is capable. This movie was made at a different time, so some aspects of the film I didn’t necessarily agree with but there were definitely several key points that demonstrated the struggles women have to deal with as well as some positive aspects we should learn from.

Blog 6 – The Fosters

The Fosters is an American drama show, written and produced by Peter Paige and Bradley Bredeweg, that aired between 2013 and 2018. It follows the lives of a lesbian couple and their biological and adoptive twin children. It paints the portrait of a not so fair foster system and the complexity that comes with adding foster kids to the family. Indeed, everything is going fine in the house until Callie and Jude arrive. They have stayed in many different foster homes in the past, each as bad as the other. When they are placed with the Fosters, things are different this time, and they end up getting adopted. I chose that show because of how much it taught me, and because of the impacts it has had on our generation’s thinking and perception of social differences.

Firstly, Callie, the main character, is who I believe to be a perfect example of strength and perseverance. From the youngest of age, after the death of her beloved mother, she had to take on the role of caregiver for her brother. And that, even if far apart and in the worst of situations. The show actually begins with her getting out of juvenile detention after having wrecked her foster dad’s car with a baseball bat, trying to defend her brother from his violent acts. She is also the one who introduced Jude to the Foster family, once again trying to get him away from the vicious man. On multiple occasions, she had to do so as she was ready to do anything for her brother to live a regular life. These situations, as well as many others, caused her to be the victim of several crimes and injustices and to ultimately build herself a thick skin. It is also due to this that Callie became a social justice fighter after getting adopted, and that I believe her to be a model of determination.

Secondly, there are two other strong characters that I believe represent well a fundamental concept of feminism; equality. Indeed, Lena and Stef Foster make up an interracial lesbian couple who have five kids under their care. They are what one can consider as unique, and they are not scared to show off their colours. In the show, it is possible to see them teach their children, as well as the viewers, valuable life lessons. For instance, Stef experiences troubles trying to organize their wedding as she realizes internalized homophobia prevents her from enjoying the event. She then has a talk with her children about the importance of accepting oneself and of always trying to find the underlying meanings behind mental obstacles. This issue is one that is common among LGBTQ+ members due to the taboo nature of sexuality. They also teach kids that the traditional composition of a family is not one that is necessary to the development of a child. As long as a proper division of labour is done, everything can work out well in the end.

Lastly, another important character on the show is Aaron, played by actor Eliott Fletcher, a trans man. His character is also one of a transgender man who is Callie’s love interests. This relationship is not one that is really common on television – transgender people’s love lives are a complete mystery to some. This new-on-screen type of love demonstrated to the youth watching the show that it is fine to be different and to be attracted to difference. Throughout the episodes he was in, he tried to convey this message of positivity and acceptance of oneself. His presence in the show got the support of the trans community, furthermore spreading awareness and the normalization of trans individuals in the media.

All in all, The Fosters is one of my favourite shows for many reasons, the main one being that it paints the portrait of a world that actually represents modern society. It conveys incredible messages and, even if it controversial for some, this series demonstrates perfectly this need for change and acceptance that society longs for. I have yet to find another show that so brilliantly touches all taboo subjects, trying to normalize things such as the existence of other sexual identities and orientations. Hopefully, people will learn from the show and model their own version of it so that more generations get to understand the importance of living in a society promoting equality.


Final Project Blog: The Joker

Toxic masculinity can be perceived as a way to hold dominance over men, women and society. Although some may choose to agree that toxic masculinity mainly affects women, I’m here to talk about the contrary. We forget that even though men are men, they can still be easily affected by toxic masculinity. I chose to watch the film, The Joker directed by Todd Phillips in order to present the ways that men can harmfully dominant one another. The main character, Arthur Fleck is a failed comedian who is completely disregarded by society due to his mental illness. Towards the end of the film, toxic masculinity drives Arthur Fleck to the point of madness in which he turns into the well-known psychopath, “Joker”. Although this film is fiction, being beaten by men on the street, abused by male character Thomas Wayne and bullied by male character Murray Franklin, result in how Arthur Fleck transformed into the criminal mastermind, Joker. 

Towards the beginning of the film, Arthur gets his work poster stolen by a gang of men, which results in him being beaten up in an alley way. The purpose of this scene is to demonstrate just how cruel some men may be to others. In Michael S. Kimmel’s, Masculinity as Homophobia, he shares an example at the playground that if two boys pick a fight with each other, one will either have the option to run like a “sissy” or to stand up and fight like a “man”. In most cases, men will choose to fight for themselves because they don’t want to be perceived as the weaker individual. The scene relates to Michael S. Kimmel’s playground story because the gang of men chose to fight Arthur in order to hold power over him. I believe this is an example of toxic masculinity because it represents the men that choose to be violent instead of civilised to others around them.  

Towards the middle of the film, Arthur’s mother tells him that the character who plays the Mayor, Thomas Wayne is his father. When Arthur sneaks his way into the men’s room to speak to Thomas, he confronts him and tells him that he is his son. Thomas Wayne automatically tells Arthur that he and his mother never slept together, that he is adopted and crazy. When Arthur refuses to listen, Thomas results in violence and punches him right in the face. This scene relates to what bell hooks had to say about patriarchy in, Understanding Patriarchy. She mentions that, “Patriarchy is a political-social system that insists that males are inherently dominating, superior to everything and everyone deemed weak…through various forms of psychological terrorism and violence.” The scene in the film relates to patriarchy because it demonstrates how Thomas used violence to dominant Arthur because he knew he was weak. This ties along with toxic masculinity because once again men use violence as a tactic for defense instead of confronting their feelings in a different way. 

The end of the film is about how Arthur gets called to be on character Murray Franklin’s live show. Unfortunately, Murray Franklin only asked Arthur to be a part of his show in order to ridicule him in front of thousands of people. Once Arthur understands that he is being made fun of, he retaliates and reaches his character’s full potential. In Michael S. Kimmel’s, Masculinity as Homophobia, he explains that, “Manhood is equated with power.” I thought that this quote explained Murray Franklin’s behavior perfectly in the film because he only made fun of Arthur in order to feel like a powerful man. This scene relates to toxic masculinity because it demonstrates that some men bring other men down in order to feel powerful. Although the film ends off with Arthur killing Murray Franklin due to his frustration, it shows how toxic masculinity had a hand in making him this way. I choose to believe that if society had treated Arthur in a civilized way, then maybe he wouldn’t result to becoming a criminal mastermind.

To conclude, Arthur Fleck transforms into the Joker because he was abused, bullied and ridiculed by different men throughout the movie. In no way should one result in becoming a criminal mastermind like the fictional character Joker, but this film does demonstrate the ways that toxic masculinity could push one into madness. If men learned to go against toxic masculinity stereotypes, then society would have a higher chance of being civilised. Although this movie was quite disturbing, I thought the writers and directors had a brilliant way of showing how men could harmfully dominant other men. I would definitely recommend this film, not only did it keep me at the edge of my seat, but it educated me on how society could be so cruel to some people as well. 

By: Julianna Noto

Blog 6: The Danish Girl

The Danish girl is a biographical drama/romance movie that came out in 2015 directed by Tom Hooper and starring Eddie Redmayne. It is based on a true story. I saw this movie the first time when it came out and honestly I really loved it. Not many movies make me cry but it definitely made me shed quite a few tears.

I’m going to start off this blog with talking about the general plot to make sure everyone reading this is on the same page. To continue, the movie takes place in Copenhagen in the mid 1920’s and is about a man named Einar and his wife Gerda, who are both painters. Gerda asks Einar if he can pose as a woman for the painting that Gerda is painting and it reveals Einar’s lifelong struggle with gender identity. Einar who now identifies as Lili, begins her journey as a woman and deals with many things such as still having to dress as a male in public, the changing relationship with her wife and all around emotions about being “different.” It all becomes too much for Lili and seeks help from psychologists because she thought she was mentally insane for feeling the way she felt. Eventually, she meets a doctor who says that he’s met a lot of individuals like Lili and suggests gender reassignment surgery in which Lili would be the first woman do undergo the procedure in the world. Lili immediately agrees and travels to Germany, undergoes the surgery and shortly dies soon after, but as a woman, her lifelong dream.

Firstly I would like to mention that this movie isn’t exactly historically accurate. The real Lili had many successful surgeries but she died of complications from a uterus transplant. Even so, this movie was very emotionally moving and really showed how strong Lili was despite the historical time she was living in. One of my favourite scenes is at the end, briefly mentioned in the above paragraph, is directly after Lili’s surgery and she’s on a rocking chair. Her wife, Gerda, despite everything Lili put her through, is still by her side, supporting her through everything. Lili says, “how have I ever deserved such love,” and then dies shortly after. It really shows the bond that Lili and Gerda and how even though Gerda had a hard time with it, she was supportive.

Some key concepts of feminism are demonstrated throughout this movie. One key concept is equality. Feminism in its essence supports the equality of all, regardless of gender, age, profession, sexual orientation, ethnicity and religion. Lili lived in a time where being transgender was never heard of and often categorized as having schizophrenia or being homosexual, needing treatment above all. I don’t know exactly how Lili was treated, but I can imagine how difficult it was for her to live day by day feeling like the odd one or thinking about being put to death or requiring jail time, which was the punishment in many countries at the time for such “crimes.” To emphasize LGBT treatment in the 1930s, Germany criminalized homosexuality requiring jail time or being sent to concentration camps to die there. Even so, Lili, according to history, was able to get a divorce, get her name legally changed and even her own new passport with her new name on it. I doubt Lili was treated exactly equal to any other person identifying as cisgender, but this movie really supported equality and how we should treat everyone with equal intentions and actions. Another concept of feminism is the notion of self acceptance. Feminists want everyone, especially women, to feel good in their own skin, feel unique and love themselves as they are. Lili was confused with her past male presence and decided to take a leap forward and live the way she wanted to live, displaying strength and fortitude.

In conclusion, the movie “The Danish Girl,” is a portrayal of the struggles of gender identity and the journey to self acceptance and explores the concepts of equality and self acceptance despite societies standards. I hope anyone going through something similar can find the strength and courage to do what feels right and have access to help whenever needed.


Lili Elbe:

Information on the movie:

LGBT laws in 1930s:

Equality and gender equality:

To watch the trailer click here:

Femenism is for Everybody

Ever since I am a little girl, I have been socialized to expect men to act a certain way. Men are the fairy tale’s prince charmings, who came to the rescue the vulnerable princess. They were brave, they fought dragons and rode a mighty horse, while the helpless princess waited for him to save her. They were the great adventurers who were afraid of nothing. In the school yard, they were those who were expected to be the fastest runners, or the best kickers. They are the ones who are expected to be brave enough to tell women how they feel about them and they should be able to provide for the woman they love. So many expectations; it must be scary to be expected to become the head of the family, to be expected to act like a man. What I find crazy is that, it seems like men put the burden of being a man, act like a man and think like a man on themselves! Through history, it seems to me like they were the ones to put unwritten rules on their behaviours. Hooks and Kimmel explain to use just how much these expectations society has toward them can affect their personal life and their way of expressing themselves.

In his article Masculinity as Homophobia, Kimmel said “The fear of being seen as a sissy dominates the cultural definitions of manhood” (1994, 147). Which is totally true! I had never realised how much men are limited in the way they can express themselves until I read Kimmel and Hooks’ works! It happens in front of me everyday; Almost every time a guy says something slightly effeminate or even emotional, people are quick to say ” Man, you are acting gay, what’s up with you!?” And often the guy reacts and laughs about what he just did or said and adds ” It was a joke”. And that is such a painful thing to watch because, nothing is wrong with a man being effeminate, or talking about his feelings, or being scared or being sensitive! But men insist in acting as if it was wrong, which is difficult for me to understand because they are blocking themselves from expressing their true self! Also, according to Hooks, the big problem is patriarchy. The concepts that men are in control. Many men that agree with this ideology stress that “men cannot be men, only eunuchs, if they are not in control” (n.d., 4). This idea is not only harmful for women, who are seen as inferior by men, it also has a big impact on men who feel threatened by other men’s quest for power.

I sincerely think that, if men are no longer afraid of being themselves, no longer afraid of being seen as “sissy”, human relations would be greatly benefited. I think if men are free to say what they really think, without fear of judgement, it would be a big step forward towards gender equality because men wouldn’t express themselves with intimidating agressive manliness, but with respect and openness to other ideas. I also think that the gradual abandonment of the patriarcal ideology would bring a great boost to our society’s quest for gender equality. neither men nor women would be in power over one another, but working in partnership to achieve common goals, it would be amazing!

That being said, we do not live in an ideal world. In order to build a wonderful and equal world, I think an important thing to do is to talk about the issue of patriarchy, and educate people about the issues it brings to our society. It is also important to educate men and woman about the importance of acceptance. We must accept people for who they are and we must respect how a person expresses their personality, the same way we want to be respected. I think many men would be more than glad to learn that it is patriarchy that is behind all the expectations society has for them. Since we cannot control what a person think or says, I am convinced discussion is the way to change people’s perspective on the role of the mal in society. Educate to elevate.

Hooks, B. (n.d.) Understanding Patriarchy. Retrieved from file:///C:/Users/noe-a/AppData/Local/Packages/Microsoft.MicrosoftEdge_8wekyb3d8bbwe/TempState/Downloads/hooks_UnderstandingPatriarchy%20(1).pdf

Kimmel, M. (1994) Masculinity as Homophobia. Retrieved from file:///C:/Users/noe-a/AppData/Local/Packages/Microsoft.MicrosoftEdge_8wekyb3d8bbwe/TempState/Downloads/10_Kimmel_MasculinityasHomophobia%20(1).pdf

Blog 5: Feminism is for Everybody

Masculinity is something that most men don’t know about or that are not aware of. However, they commit acts and behavior that increases the idea of masculinity. Kimmel’s definition of masculinity “is about the drive for domination, the drive for power, for conquest” (Kimmel 149). Many men around the world have the concept to be powerful and dominate the weak. For example, in a household, the father is the one that takes the final decisions and has the veto to overrule anything that he deems not in his favor.   

Kimmel talked about how masculinity increases homophobia in men. For him, homophobia is far more than just being afraid of gay men. Is “is the fear that other men will unmask us, emasculate us, reveal to us and the world that we do not measure up, that we are not real men” (Kimmel 147). Masculinity increases homophobia because of that “fear” of how other men might judge them to be more masculine and less “sissy”. Furthermore, Kimmel says that men often don’t agree when feminist women say that men are powerful because men say things like “what do you mean… my wife bosses me around”. He that it is part of our psychology and society that has engraved into our heads that men are supposed to be powerful and dominant. It is not their fault is only what they learned in their childhoods that has brought this feeling and the expectation of being powerful.   

In hooks’ article, she talked about patriarchy which is very similar to masculinity. For hook, patriarchy “is a political-social system that insists that males are inherently dominating, superior to everything and everyone deemed weak, especially females, and endowed with the right to dominate and rule over the weak and to maintain that dominance through various forms of psychological terrorism and violence” (hook para 3). Like Kimmel, hook believes that masculinity is something that has been socially constructed. In hook personal life, the church was present and she learned that God had said that “created man to rule the world and everything in it and that it was the work of women to help men perform these tasks, to obey, and to always assume a subordinate role in relation to a powerful man”. The social and religious institution has a big role in defining was is masculinity. Furthermore, most people blindly follow the patriarchy system because they keep it in silence and deny that it exists. It should be said out loud that it is not good for nobody because it adds a burden on man to have more stereotypically masculine traits and that brings homophobia in that mind of men. In addition, it increases violence in the world and especially in the household. A lot can be learned by hook’s father. Her father believed in the idea of patriarchy and men should men dominate. Her father beat her with a bat because she was going against his system of dominance.   

If men must redefine the definition of masculinity, they would be no social pressure. For instance, men would not follow the stereotypical behaviors that society imposed them to follow. In addition, they would have a better household. Their family would better function because there would be a proper understanding between them and their partners. Decisions would be made together instead of one person deciding on everything. Furthermore, men could express their emotions more openly. Instead of keeping their feelings in they could let it out and feel more relief. Men often keep their soft emotions like crying privately by redefining the definition they could get their stress or anxiety decrease.  

Blog 5: Feminism is for Everybody

The society that we live in has constructed many ideas for men and women. However, these social expectations do not apply to every individual. Indeed, some people may have a certain amount of fear about things like their actions and their sexuality if they do not meet society’s expectations. Some individuals may even choose to fake it as they feel forced by their surroundings to act a certain way. For instance, some men might feel obliged to act “manly”, which could lead them to not be themselves and to them losing their fundamental right of expressing themselves

In the text “Masculinity as Homophobia” by Michael Kimmel, he suggests that men are scared of acting not manly enough and therefore they will be considered as being homosexual. Indeed, he states: “The fear of being seen as a sissy dominates the cultural definitions of manhood.” (Kimmel 147). This shows that he thinks that men are afraid of showing their true colors as they have been taught by society the “correct” way for them to act and if they do not follow the “correct” way, they will not be accepted by their surroundings. However, these social expectations do not work for every single man. In fact, they are taught to be strong and to endure everything without needing any help, which could put a lot of pressure on men and how they need to be. However, men could be liberated if we as a society redefined the idea of being a man and the expectations we have set for them, such as their roles, their sexuality, their likes and much more.

In the text “Understanding Patriarchy” by Bell Hooks, the author defined patriarchy as the following: “a political-social system that insists that males are inherently dominating, superior to everything and everyone deemed weak, especially females” (Hooks, 1). This system puts a lot of pressure on men as well as is unequal between sexes. The author opens up about her experience in her household, where her parents believed in a patriarchal system and did not support her through her life. She felt excluded. For instance, she couldn’t play with marbles because her brother would not give her any as he said it was for boys (Hooks, 1). Hooks also points out that patriarchy can lead to violence between the patriarchal parents and the children as many problems can arise in this system (Hooks, 2). However, this does not only negatively affect women as it also negatively affects men as they are lead to maintain this lifestyle, which can prevent them from their emotional well-being (Hooks, 3). 

After reading both these texts, I further understand how by redefining masculinity, men could be liberated as it could take away a lot of the pressure that is put on them. Unfortunately, this issue happens still to this day with many families who still have a patriarchal system. Thus, we have to as a society realize that gender and political systems like patriarchy are socially constructed and that we can deconstruct them if we stopped enforcing them and if we redefined masculinity.

Blog 5: Feminism is for Everybody

Masculinity and what it means to be a “man” means different things to different people. The traditional and stereotypical characteristics created by society that dictate what a man should be can be detrimental and toxic. Forcing men to be put in a specific box of masculinity. A lot of men feel forced to fit into the box of masculinity that is widely accepted but it limits self-expression and individuality. This pressure leads to insecurity about not living up to social norms and being put down or having their masculinity invalidated.

In “Masculinity as Homophobia”, Michael Kimmel discusses how if a man is “unmanly” and does not fit into society’s version of masculinity by not fitting into certain gender norms, he will be painted as emasculated and therefore “gay”. This limits men to only present themselves in way that will satisfy the social norms of masculinity so that they will not be associated with any gay stereotypes because being associated to anything that is gay would be the worst possible thing to ever happen to a man. This is the way that society has dictated men to feel and Kimmel expresses the following when he mentions that “homophobia is more than the irrational fear of gay men, more than the fear that we might be perceived as gay”. This limitation of toxic masculinity linked with homophobia is extremely problematic and imprisoning of men. Kimmel states that men feel this pressure to remain manly in almost every aspect of life, “What [they] wear. How [they] talk. How [they] walk. What [they] eat. Every mannerism, every movement contains a coded gender language.” Kimmel says that this definition of masculinity should change and I agree. Redefining this version of masculinity that confines men would free them from the toxic constraints of gender norms and expectations that are intertwined with homophobia. Redefining masculinity would help everyone do whatever they want without fear of judgement.

In “Understanding Patriarchy” by bell hooks, she mentions that “patriarchal ideology brainwashes men to believe that their domination of women is beneficial when it is not”. She holds both men and women accountable for misrepresenting masculinity and the patriarchy is limited to benefitting men, however, it also negatively impacts men too. It is more complicated that placing blame on only women and only men for gender and social norms and she emphasizes that both sexes are responsible for defying these norms and systems.  She states that “we have to both acknowledge that the problem is patriarchy and work to end patriarchy” and that a solution lies within a collective effort to end sexism and homophobia and ending the way that men and women invalidate each other’s experiences and sufferings from the constructed systems of masculinity and the patriarchy. 

With the discussions made in these two readings by Kimmel and Hooks, we can see how redefining masculinity can be freeing and liberating. Once people start to realize that masculinity and gender roles are completely made up constructs and decide to let go of judgements of other people, it will be a much more vibrant and accepting world. Many things can be solved with an open mind and an accepting heart.

Masculinity: “Qualities or attributes regarded as characteristic of men”

It’s clear that men have always had a stereotype associated to them. The man is always supposed to be “tough” and show no feelings. For some reason, men who show feelings, are considered “unmanly”. The term “unmanly, is the most ridiculous concept to me. Men and women are both humans, and both have feelings, as they should! So why is it considered unacceptable for a man to show them? How does being a man and having feelings make you any less of a man? This concept never made sense to me. Men also have the fear of being portrayed as homosexual if they act in this way. “Homophobia is the fear that other men will unmask us, emasculate us, reveal to us and the world that we do. not measure up, that we are not real men. We are afraid to let other men see that fear” (Kimmel 147).

Bell hooks and Kimmel have similar points on how men are viewed. “Patriarchy is the single most life-threatening social disease assaulting the male body and spirit in our nation.” (Hooks).  Hooks explains a story about her childhood, and a game she liked to play with her brother. Her father however made it understood that this was a game for girls only. When she stood up for her brother and contradicted him, she was made sure to never do that again. And that’s everything wrong with how these social norms.

In Michael S. Kimmel’s, Masculinity as Homophobia, he targets more the way men are pressured to act tough and follow the stereotype if they don’t want to be portrayed as homosexual. If a fight breaks out, no man wants to go through the embarrassment of not fighting back. This is to avoid the feeling of being “unmanly”. They have to follow these “norms” that shouldn’t even be norms, because in reality they make no sense.  

The only way to diminish these views for men, is being open and okay with the fact that they are equal to women. As young adults, we are the ones that should be promoting this idea, because our children should grow up with the mentality that men and women are both allowed to speak, act, dress, and do what they want without being judged. We are all human beings, and more importantly all unique, different, and special human beings. A man’s tears have no correlation with their sexuality.

I will say that slowly this stereotype will be less common. I’ve already been noticing within the passed year or two, that men are more comfortable with their sexuality in the sense where they are not afraid to be that “icebreaker”. Once men loose that fear of being perceived as not powerful, homosexual, or “unmanly”, that is when this ideology will change completely. And I think that’s super important because the more men ACCEPT other men and don’t judge them for acting the way they do, the easily this will be on them. Of course, this is a lot easier said than done and I understand that!