Kill Bill Hides a Male Adolescent Taste for Violence

Topics: Gender, Violence, Male Pages: 3 (1074 words) Published: January 31, 2012

The claim risks becoming rather self-defeating. It assumes that violence is a predominantly masculine trait but betrays confusion about its stance on masculinity and aggression. One must choose whether violence defines men, or men define violence; this question tries to sustain both possibilities simultaneously and ends up subtly promoting a masculine stereotype. If men are inherently violent, they cannot be blamed for finding it everywhere. It defines them and so much of what they see. This "naturally violent" understanding of masculinity then operates as an apology for male behaviour. A woman expressing aggression, the question implies, is an aberration.

Rather than "female aggression", the awkwardly contradictory term "female masculinity" has been chosen- suggesting that women cannot be aggressive or have a "taste for violence" but can only be violent under the guise of a male because violence is male by definition. Although comparatively rare, it is quite obvious that women are capable of aggression, to the point of atrocity, too. The equation of maleness with violence is not fallacious, but it is not the whole picture.

Indeed, the patriarchal society is so antithetical to female violence that women will often have to go through the channels of the "male adolescent" just to be able to express their natural aggression at all. In the unaccommodating patriarchy that often refuses to acknowledge female drive and aggression, the nearest default category for the adult woman, if she is to feature on a social radar at all, is often that of the brutal, burgeoning male.

Tarantino makes many strong statements about vengeance and redemption and parenthood, but these are, perhaps, almost too overt. Although ostensibly driving the film, these serious themes work too hard, embarrassingly obvious attempts to afford the movie some critical credibility. Kill Bill is a misogynist fantasy in a literal sense; it features appalling violence towards women-...
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