“Unfeigning Masculinity”

Hokay. So. The awesome, awesome Gerard Butler fans (I tip my hat and snap my stocking to these ladies) recently did this interview with the man himself.

Putting aside the general issues of hotness, Hollywood, and historical accuracy, Gerry Butler had this to say about the way in which the film “300” may appeal to women:

“…I think that there is something about the unfeigning masculinity of these characters, both the way they act and the way they are and the way they look. I can’t help thinking it’s going to be more attractive to women. I don’t just simply mean the physical shape, but in the way they are. It feels like because we haven’t tried to look in terms of the…there is something there that is kind of honest and unapologetic about the Spartans… by the end of the film you kind of love and respect them all the more for that because we never bet for anybody including the audience. There is something simple and masculine and honorable about that and I think, to me, I’m not a woman, but I can’t help think that would really appeal to them. That’s what I’m hearing. And that’s right from the top dog. Hilary Clinton herself.”

– Interview hosted on GerardButler.net

What he may be on to is the reason for which women like me love epic action films (sometimes even more so than our male partners) – they present a chiseled (both inwardly and outwardly) version of masculine heroism – men that use their power NOT to slap their wives around, for example.

I’ve been lucky to have a great man by my side for a number of years now (and hopefully will get to keep him for many more) – while he doesn’t run around in a loincloth, throwing spears and giving inspirational speeches with words like “honour” and “glory” featuring prominently, his presence in my life has helped me reflect on my desires (especially the desires I had as an adolescent) and see them in a whole new light. You want someone who can and will support you, especially when you yourself are at your most vulnerable. And you don’t want this vulnerability to be an excuse for any sort of abuse or degradation.

There is something horribly violent and banal about human nature and our own perceptions of masculinity in this context – and epic action brings these attributes to the surface as well, if you happen to read them closely (and sometimes you don’t even have to do that). But what they can ultimately offer is a kind of absolution – the idea that something magnificent does occasionally grow on poisoned soil.

Which all goes to say, of course:

Is it March yet? 😉

6 thoughts on ““Unfeigning Masculinity”

  1. You could be on to something Natasha. But consider this, we are as kindred spirits to the women behind the men through the ages. In our time, many of the scenarios are the same, minus the honor and glory speeches, of course. While most of us stand behind our men in the day to day life of careers and the institution of marriage (such as it is), there are growing numbers of wives, girlfriends, mothers, sisters, etc. standing behind their men as they go to war. There are many types of war which occur worldwide, even in places we have yet to hear of. And more often than in the past, women take part as well. Whether the war is the standard government variety or your everyday rebel with a cause, you have to wonder is there a man behind the woman? As we feel the strength of the ages guide us as “helpmates,” would we be so lucky when the tables turn.

    Action films in and of themselves don’t always reach out to women. When the storyline is rounded out to include the possibility of reality, the woman behind the man, the family, the community, all come into play and bring a passion that you tend to find in real life. Something we gravitate towards. Gratuitous violence, nonstop battle, save those for the Man Club. What the Spartans bring to the big screen is the origin of democracy, something we all have a stake in.

    Granted there’s a good amount of hero worship going on in 300, and not only where the king is concerned but his queen as well. And what can you say about The Butler? Frankly my dear, I don’t give a damn? Oh but we do, and then some. You have to applaud the filmmakers for having the forethought to choose their “heroes” from all over the globe. Were there a few women behind the men as they cast this film?

    Lastly, I must say I’m jealous Natasha. I have yet to find a man with the qualities yours has. I can only hope to be so lucky.

  2. ****And what can you say about The Butler? Frankly my dear, I don’t give a damn? Oh but we do, and then some. You have to applaud the filmmakers for having the forethought to choose their “heroes” from all over the globe. Were there a few women behind the men as they cast this film?****

    https://nataliaantonova.wordpress.com/2007/02/02/gratuitous-harem-and-kultur-blogging-the-spartan-edition/

    https://nataliaantonova.wordpress.com/2007/02/01/we-have-a-saying-in-russian/

    “Happiness is a warm Spartan.” 😉

  3. ***Lastly, I must say I’m jealous Natasha. I have yet to find a man with the qualities yours has. I can only hope to be so lucky.***

    We were introduced by a mutual friend. I never expected it to lead to anything, actually.

    Life can always surprise you. 🙂

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