April 17, 2009

A player is not born…

…he is made.

According to the website, Become A Player, men can learn the secret tools of the trade and “evolve” into a “real man” by becoming “a player” on this self-proclaimed “seduction mega-site.” One can learn some interesting things by browsing through this site and I am not talking about the men. I’m referring to heterosexual women.  This site is the first one out of 153,000,000 that Google pops up in the organic search when you search “how to become a player.” 153,000,000! And this site is tops.

So, what does this site offer?

Tips and tricks, a rule book, products that teach men how to become an “alpha male” (“how a strange discovery by a 22 year-old virgin can hypnotically draw women to you”), how to double their dating, boost their confidence, meet women online, learn the “seduction science,” “sexual mastery,” “deep inner game,” the art of approaching, and a guide that proclaims to teach men “all about women.”  The site also offers personal coaching and pick-up lines.  All this in order to “double your dating” and “evolve” into a “real man,” “the alpha male” that “the most beautiful women want.”  The banner at the top features a man with three women in line waiting for his attention.  This is the last stage of evolution.  The stage before is a man on his knees apparently begging a woman for her attention.  THAT is not a real man.He’s a pathetic creep with half a dick.  A real man is the cocky male that has his pick of the litter so to speak.  In fact the site even offers “cocky humor” for the budding cock-to-be.

Now, while this is interesting, slightly nauseating and, in many ways, down right stupid and silly men are clicking on this site and this site is not much different than the messages boys and men receive across the culture.  The main difference is that the site offers these messages in one concentrated package. And the messages, lame or gross as they might be, are similar to the messages heterosexual girls and women receive except with a twist.

Girls and women learn how to find and keep a man. How to please a man.  How to find a man to have a relationship with. Heterosexual men, on the flip side of the same gender socialization coin, learn how NOT to have a relationship.  Rather, they learn how to be independent, cocky players that bed multiple women at the same time or over time.

That’s why I say women have a lot to learn from this site. It helps explain why the men they are trying to “catch” or “trap” behave the way they do.  All around them, these boys and men learn how to avoid a relationship, that they should avoid a relationship and seek to sleep with as many women as possible.  Given these divergent and contradictory messages I can’t help but wonder how most heterosexual couples work. Oh, right, most don’t.


Go check out the site and pick up any “lad mag.”

December 29, 2008

Masculinity and The Spirit: at theaters now

Filed under: Gender,Media,Sexuality — Tags: , , , , , , — Melanie @ 1:58 pm

Here’s a great take on the latest comic book film, The Spirit, from Bitch Magazine:

The Spirit is Frank Miller’s tribute to Will Eisner’s classic comic book series from the 1940s, and it features quite a line-up of female characters: Sand Saref (Eva Mendes), Ellen Dolan (Sarah Paulson), Silken Floss (Scarlett Johansson), Plaster of Paris (Paz Vega) and Lorelei Rox (Jaime King).  But don’t get too excited about this – after all, what we’ve really got here is a sexy jewel thief, a sexy surgeon-next-door, a sexy secretary (Silken Floss was actually demoted from scientist to secretary in the film adaptation), a sexy exotic dancer, and a sexy siren (yes, a siren!).  Oh, and I haven’t even mentioned that there’s also a sexy female cop in the film, too.  Kudos to the actresses who play these roles, as they really do make something out of their characters (Scarlett Johansson actively lobbied Miller for more to do in the film).  And it’s worth noting that these women are not helpless: Paulson commented in a recent interview, “The thing I liked about the part was just that there’s not a single woman in this movie who’s a damsel in distress. There’s not a single woman in this movie who isn’t a strong woman.” The Spirit and Sin City pretty clearly show us that Frank Miller knows how to write tough women.  The central problem with The Spirit isn’t so much the female characters or the cleavage shots, but the fact that they’re entirely deployed in the service of a dumb, juvenile fantasy of malehood.

Here’s Miller on the film: “I wanted to recapture some of the glory of manlihood that I feel the
world has lost. I wanted to bring it back through the Spirit.” Comic book adaptations took some leaps and bounds this year with their more thoughtful representations of masculinity and it’s a bummer to see Frank Miller close out the year by wasting so many talented actresses on a completely adolescent fantasy.  And it’s not great news for men, either.  Miller basically flushes The Spirit and his nemesis the Octopus, played by Samuel L. Jackson, down the toilet – yes, they even get a fight scene in sewage.  Crazy, sexy babes and toilet humor: is this a comic book masterpiece?

September 16, 2008

COMING OCTOBER 10: "Barack and Curtis: Manhood, Power and Respect"

Film-maker, activist and lecturer Byron Hurt (creator of the documentary, “Hip Hop: Beyond Beats and Rhymes“) has completed his short web documentary, “Barack and Curtis: Manhood, Power and Respect.”

Byron Hurt’s intention is to examine masculinities.  Plural.

As Feminsting pointed out in June, Barack Obama has come under attack for not being “masculine” enough.   Obama was and is criticized for his lack of “masculine” hobbies such as hunting and  his “effeminate” values (peace? diplomacy? ) and “effeminate” charateristics (not shooting moose? caring for the environment?). Note: During her speech at the Republican National Convention, Sarah Palin criticized Barack Obama’s emphasis on the environment by stating, in her characteristic mocking tone, “What does he actually seek to accomplish after he’s done turning back the waters and healing the planet?”

Susan Faludi, in the New York Times, noted disparaging comments directed at Obama that referred to him as being “a kind of wuss.”

In line with anti-violence educator, Jackson Katz, who is best know for his documentary, “Tough Guise,” Hurt seeks to move beyond our narrow, one-dimensional notions of what it means to be a man in our culture.