Tough Guise Essay

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The Media and Tough Guise In Jackson Katz’s video Tough guise: violence, media, and the crisis in masculinity, Katz presents the media as culprits in creating a culture crisis in masculinity. In the video, Katz uses the movie The Wizard Oz as a way to describe the use of the term “tough guise”. In the movie, the Wizard is a nervous, small man who hides behind a curtain to mask his appearance in order for him to be perceived as tough. Thereby, the term tough guise to refer to the different disguises men exhibit to show that they are tough. In the video, several young men, from different walks of life, give adjectives such as physical, powerful, respected, athletic and tough to describe what they consider a real man is. Men who are not physical, powerful, respected, athletic and tough are referred to as a wimps or gays.

Katz attributes these images to the manner in which the media portrays masculinity in today’s society. He feels that the media’s images produce social and cultural pressure on males. Tough guise describes the mask that men wear to live up to the expectations of what the media has deemed the image of a real man. Whether on television or the written media, Katz feels that the sexist attitudes portrayed by the media has given young men the perception that a real man is tough and that demonstrating this toughness often times results in violence.

The video gives statistics that plainly show that the most violent crimes are perpetrated by males. According to Katz, males are responsible for 90% of the violence in today’s society. Over 85% of murders, 95% of domestic violence and 99% of rapes are all committed by men. He believes that in order to decrease the violence among males, masculinity has be redefined. Although he recognizes that it will not happen overnight, it is a needed change in an attempt to decrease the violent crimes committed by men. Katz sees the images that are presented by the media as sexist. Sexist, as defined by the online dictionary is the attitude, conditions or behaviors that promote stereotyping of social roles based on gender. The media is in control of the wide spread images of men.

It suggest to the public that men should be in control, dominant, physical and tough in order to be real men. If young men do not meet these preconceived images of a real man, Katz believes that they turn to violence to compensate for their shortfall in meeting society’s standards. He discusses how, since 1996, all of the schools shootings that have occurred are committed by young men; and if these young men live, they reveal that their actions are of revenge. Their appearances does not meet the standard of what the media portrays as real men. The shooters in in the 1998 shootings in Jonesboro, Arkansas say that they were bullied and they wanted to show that they were not weak.

They turned to violence to prove to others that they too were powerful, in control and in a sense, tough. Katz believes that the images that are portrayed of a real man should change. He admits that there are changes in the making; but, stresses the need for young men to see themselves as more than tough, physical and in control. Once this way of thinking has been redirected to a more positive image, Katz is convinced that the violence committed by males will decrease.

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