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How Movies are teaching Manhood to boys
Movies are a source of entertainment and information for the mass audience. Likewise, they also shape the cognition and moral values of the viewers. This mass audience includes children too as an active audience, boys are exclusively taught the concept of manhood through movies, indirectly. Movies represent the social notions about masculinity and what it takes to be a man. For instance movies such as Star Wars (1977) are teaching violence to the little boys through fight scenes and fantastic settings such as outer space 1. In this movie, it is also shown that only men are capable enough to go into outer space and rescue the female characters. Moreover, it is a common perception in children's movies that only a knight or a brave soldier can rescue a princess or a desolated girl because they are too fragile to defend themselves. Likewise, in this way only they can win the lady love and they can live forever happy then. According to Stokes, boys are learning the heroic values of valor and bravery nonetheless, but at the same time, the ideas of toxic masculinity are introduced to them1. For example, they cannot act in the supervision of a woman because only men are able enough to take up the leadership roles and a woman cannot speak for herself. Disney movies are patronizing them about patriarchy through cultural artifacts and female heroes are not given the central position in the movie because of their gender.
Few children movies, such as The Wizard of Oz (1993) teaches girls the value of comradeship and kindness whereas boys are misled by designing specific fighting and action sequences. So that gender roles and a fixed sense of gender can be manifested in their brains from a very tender age1.
Boys are not educated about the values of loyalty, perseverance, kindness, and empathy in men because according to these patronizing movies such qualities are part of fragile masculinity. Whereas, they are teaching young boys to man up because only in this way they can survive in society. Unfortunately, there are generally few non-conventional role models for boys in the children's movies but such narratives play a major part in teaching them about manhood and toxic masculinity. They should instead be introduced to such movies that will teach them how to develop good qualities such as kindness and empathy and how patriarchy should be challenged.
How movies teach manhood [Video]. Youtube. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ueOqYebVhtc Published January 18, 2013. Accessed November 18, 2019.
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