‘Amy': Our Love Didn’t Do Her Any Favors

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Mainstream media loves to watch when a famous woman–Courtney Love, Britney Spears, Lindsay Lohan–breaks down in public. The posts and articles all feign “concern” but what they really do is exploit the problems of these women for clicks. Perhaps the most extreme recent example is Amy Winehouse, whose single “Rehab” was climbing up the charts at the same time that the paparazzi (particularly dogged and shameless in her native England, where tabloids have illegally hacked celebrity phones) captured her worsening alcoholism and addiction.

‘Kingsman: The Secret Service': An R-Rated Movie for 4-Year-Old Boys

Colin Firth and Taron Egerton in 'Kingsman: The Secret Service'

‘Kingsman: The Secret Service’ wants to remount the early campy Bond movies for the 21st century. Kind of like ‘Austin Powers’ did, but without so many jokes, because they detract from how coooooool these spy dudes are. We’re talking gadgets, one-liners, babes, convoluted action sequences, and brooding permitted only upon the death of one’s father or mentor.

Fuck Daniel Craig’s haunting pathos and Oscar-caliber cinematography. Bring on the shark lasers.

Call For Writers: Dystopian Landscapes

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The Oxford Dictionary defines dystopia as “An imagined place or state in which everything is unpleasant or bad, typically a totalitarian or environmentally degraded one.” Literature and pop culture are brimming with examples of dystopian landscapes because they serve as a vehicle through which we can follow certain ills in society to their potentially logical and tragic conclusions.

‘Silicon Valley’ Adds Women, Convinces Me It Shouldn’t Add Women

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Women aren’t really treated poorly by ‘Silicon Valley,’ but it’s weird that they’re treated as being so different from the male characters on the show. Where the men have recognizable – if exaggerated – human failings, motivations and personality tics, the women are much more inscrutable, like adults who’ve walked into the middle of a children’s game. It’s a pattern that exists outside of just this show, but it’s something that stops women from being full participants in the story even if they now, at least, exist there.

‘Grace and Frankie': Sexuality for Seniors and Life After Marriage

Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin star in Netflix’s Grace and Frankie

Tomlin and Fonda’s onscreen chemistry is absolutely spot on, giving life to moments that may otherwise have fallen flat. One of the most refreshing things about Grace and Frankie is its attitude to female sexuality in older women. Life (moreover, sex) doesn’t have to stop because you’re getting older. The series illustrates this with frankness and honesty, and we don’t shy away from seeing the woman in that light.

Masculinity: The Roundup

Shaun and Ed, Shaun of the Dead

Check out all of the posts from our Masculinity Theme Week here.

‘Entourage': Masculinity and Male Privilege in Hollywood

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Turtle reminds Vince that “the movie is called ‘Aquaman,’ not ‘Aquagirl.'” This line is indicative of the “boys club” that continues to thrive in Hollywood. An actress’s livelihood in the industry is dependent on her co-star.

The Courage to Cry: Men and Boys’ Emotions in ‘Naruto’

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However, when boys are told that “boys don’t cry” and that men should “man up,” their emotions are not respected, and they often internalize this stigma, sometimes with devastating consequences. Of course, simply crying won’t cure a condition as severe as PTSD, but men being shown that they are not “weak” for experiencing emotions and needing help will undoubtedly aid in the road to recovery.

Man Up: How ‘VEEP’ Emphasizes the Value of Masculinity in Politics

The promotional image for Season 3 of Veep.

Because he doesn’t display the same aggressive temperament (he’s actually rather sweet and nurturing) nor does he have a similar function as the rest of the group, his value is regularly questioned and his masculinity is nearly erased. Walsh broaches this issue in the second episode of the series, “Frozen Yoghurt,” when Egan flippantly claims that the famous bag is full of lip balm: “Everything you say to me is emasculating.” And it’s true!

‘Mr. Robot’ and the Trouble with the White Knight

Poster for Mr. Robot Starring Rami Malek

This is another one of the problems that I have with White Knight syndrome. The types prone to exhibiting this behavior tend to have a lower opinion of women that than their outwardly sexist counterparts. White Knights take up the causes of the women in their lives and speak out for them, but it is usually done in a manner that seems to suggest they think that these women are incapable of speaking up for themselves.

Let’s Hear It for the Boy! Masculinity and the Monomyth

They’re softly lit, and ready for action.

As the monomyth evolves, the question is: will it evolve to include the “everywoman” hero archetype, or will the nature of myth itself change to embrace not just the messaging of individualization, but the representation of unique stories for unique people?

Moving Away From the Anti-Hero: What It Means to Be a Man in ‘Better Call Saul’

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Slippin’ Jimmy was to James McGill what Heisenberg was to Walter White–a hyper-masculine alter-ego. OK, Slippin’ Jimmy was only conning a few business men out of their Rolexes, but essentially both men created an alternative, more masculine version of themselves in order to survive and gain success.