Masculinity And Violence In Tarantino's Kill Bill

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Topics: Gender, Violence, Male
Introduction

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
…show more content…
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- but it must be taken in context. The murder of females in framed by the core hierarchy: although the Bride has many women on her "list", her real target is a male. The abuse of women is shocking in part simply because it is surprising and unusual, and as a "pop video" stylisation, an allegory rather than anything pertaining to realism, this film's "cat fights" are among the most spectacular, brave, and beautiful in recent Hollywood …show more content…
The sexist males are occasionally dealt with with gory pyrotechnics but the fact remains that every event in the film somehow springs awkwardly from woman-hating attitudes. When Go Go butchers the geeky boy in the toilets, the response is so excessive we can only conclude she is mad. This time, she wasn't responding to sexism, just male sexual attraction- is Tarantino naively, and rather insultingly, suggesting that the "feminist" response to natural maleness is "ball breaking"? The lack of fit between the trigger and the response muddies Tarantino's agenda. It is unclear whether he is misunderstanding feminism, satirising it, or characterising female aggression as irrational hysteria. The question is apt for the Bride, too- whose agenda is driven entirely by paranoia, and whose cold psychosis makes her cartoonishly two dimensional and

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