Jackson Katz Tough Guise

Topics: Man, Violence, Domestic violence Pages: 23 (9269 words) Published: April 10, 2013


Challenging media


Violence, Media & the Crisis in Masculinity (ABRIDGED version)

Executive Producer & Director: Sut Jhally Producers: Susan Ericsson & Sanjay Talreja Written by: Jackson Katz & Jeremy Earp Editors: Sut Jhally, Susan Ericsson, Sanjay Talreja & Jeremy Smith Featuring an interview with Jackson Katz Anti-Violence Educator

Media Education Foundation © MEF 1999


[Montage of images and clips from mainstream entertainment and news media] -- We’re going to murder those lousy Hun bastards by the bushel. -- Never show weakness. The only pain that matters is the pain you inflict. -- It’s the roughest and toughest show on TV: The American Gladiators. -- You gotta out-tough people when you get down there, its man-on-man out there. -- Police say boys age thirteen and eleven were arrested near the school carrying guns and wearing camouflage. -- Two in three million Americans are battered in their home every year… [Pearl Jam song: Better Man] Talkin’ to herself, there’s no one else who needs to know... She tells herself, oh... Memories back when she was bold and strong And waiting for the world to come along... Swears she knew it, now she swears he’s gone She lies and says she’s in love with him, can’t find a better man... She dreams in color, she dreams in red, can’t find a better man... She lies and says she still loves him, can’t find a better man... She dreams in color, she dreams in red, can’t find a better man... Can’t find a better man… [Movie: The Wizard of Oz] Oz has spoken! -- Who are you? I am the great and powerful Wizard of Oz. -- You’re a very bad man. Oh no, my dear, I’m a very good man. I’m just a very bad wizard. JACKSON KATZ: The climactic scene where Toto pulls back the curtain to reveal a nervous, tragic man, pretending to be the great and powerful Oz, represents more than just the classic moment in American cinematic history, rather, it also gave us a metaphor for looking at masculinity in a new way. Not as a fixed, inevitable state of being, but rather as a projection, a pose, a guise, an act, a mask that men often wear to shield our vulnerability and hide our humanity. This mask can take a lot of forms but one that’s really important for us to look at in our culture at the millennium is what I call the Tough Guise. The front that so many men put up that’s based on an extreme notion of masculinity that emphasizes toughness and physical strength and gaining the respect and admiration of others through violence or the implicit threat of it. Boys and young men learn early on that being a so-called "real man" means you have to take on the "tough guise," in other words you have to show the world only certain parts of


yourself that the dominant culture has defined as manly. You can find out what those qualities are if you just listen to young men themselves: YOUNG MEN: -- A real man is physical. -- Strong. -- Independent. -- Intimidating. -- Powerful. -- Strong. -- Independent. -- In control. -- Rugged. -- Scares people. -- Powerful. -- Respected. -- Hard. -- A stud. -- Athletic. -- Muscular. -- A real man is tough. -- Tough. -- Tough. JACKSON KATZ: And just as most young men know what our culture expects of a so called "real man," they also know very well what you get called if you don’t measure up: YOUNG MEN: -- You get a called a pussy. -- A bitch. -- A fag. -- Queer. -- Soft. -- You’re a little momma’s boy. -- Emotional. -- Girly. -- A wimp. -- Bitch. -- Queer. -- You get called weak. -- Wuss. -- Sissy. -- A fag. -- A fag. -- Fag. -- You’re a fag. JACKSON KATZ: So for boys, and this is true for every racial and ethnic background, and every socioeconomic group, to be a real man – to be tough, strong, independent, respected


– means fitting into this narrow box that defines manhood. The terms that are the opposite of...
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