Tough Guise Essay

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In the documentary, Tough Guise: Violence, Media and the Crisis in Masculinity, the focus is on mass media and society’s influence and expectations of the male gender and how ‘real men’ are defined. “Boys and young men, learn early on that being a so-called, ‘real man,’ means you have to take on the tough-guise,” Jackson Katz, Ph. D. continues, “In other words, you only have to show the world certain parts of yourself that the dominant culture has defined as manly.” In the opening segment of the documentary, Dr. Katz, one of America’s leading anti-sexist activists, provides the audience of how the title was developed. Together with The Media Education Foundation, the documentary encourages the audience to think and analyze the influence mass media has, socially, politically as well as culturally in the development of young men. Tough Guise breaks down the correlation of pop-culture imagery and the social…show more content…
Hence the title suggests that being ‘tough’ is a disguise or mask or front that many males define themselves by to gain the respect of others. For the documentary, several young men from different races, ethnicities and backgrounds, were asked what terms are used to describe what “manly” is and what terms are given to those that are not considered “manly.” The response that a “real man” is strong, powerful, respected and tough; then using terms such as “girly,” “bitch,” “queer,” and “fag” to describe someone who was not a “real man”. The importance of bringing attention to the way masculinity is perceived and putting the spotlight on the pressure boys and young men deal with to conform to the mold of what a “real man” is and to be “just one of the

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