To be honest, watching Tough Guise 2 and Dreamworlds 3 made me feel utterly uncomfortable and ashamed of being a man myself since the media has done a very great job at depicting gender inequality when it comes to music videos or violence.
Dreamworlds 3 examines the social constructs of music videos and how they draw from, reinforce, and shape cultural ideas and ideals about masculinity, femininity, and individualism in regards to sexuality, power, and gender roles in our society. On the other hand, Tough Guise 2 examines male violence in our society and whether or not men are naturally violent or learn how to be so through socialization. The fact that these two documentaries focus on two different issues men tend to be responsible for, it demonstrates how fucked up men can be towards others, especially women.
My favorite aspect that was discussed in Dreamworlds 3 is the trap that female artists end up in as pornographic gaze. As any women in a man’s dreamworld, they are also hyper-sexualized in order to sell their music and make money. I enjoyed how the director of the documentary showed the difference between the hyper-sexualized and undersexed artist, including Britney Spears, Madonna, Beyoncé, and many more. They are trying to conform to something they’re not, but something the rest of society wants. They do it all for success, leaving their innocence to be treated like adults for mega-publicity.
Tough Guise 2 made me cringe here and there as Jason Katz examines male violence through events such as the mass shootings at Columbine, Sandy Hook and Virginia Tech, or even through the entertainment and gun industry. It is interesting to learn what causes male aggression and the consequences of this aggression. Violence dominates the male cultures through movies, video games, and other forms of media. It’s something that boys are pressured to become as they get older. If you are loving, caring or vulnerable, these basic human qualities will define you as a “pussy” or a “fag” because they are considered to be feminine traits. Men teach each other to be the opposite of that—aggressive, dominating, powerful and many more.
Watching these two documentaries made me upset to realize what kind of reality we live in. I personally wouldn’t consider women who party wash cars, have sex, and strip as my “dreamworld.” I see women as more than just commodities. It’s disgusting to see how they’re always depicted as someone who seeks men’s attention by willingly stripping off their clothes, acting very sexually, and even doing whatever it takes to make sure they get what they want from men. As for men, it disappoints me to see how most men go for the same objective and share the same sexual fantasies. This dreamworld of theirs is no longer a dreamworld when such things are actually happening out there in our society.
I’m also just realizing how many of the music videos that appear in Dreamworlds 3 I’ve actually watched, yet was never bothered by them until now. Every music video will depict femininity one way or another. It’s still occurring, as seen in Shakira and Rhianna’s “Can’t Remember to Forget You” music video. This weekend, my friends were constantly talking about the video, so I had to check it out for myself to see what the big fuzz was about. I see it as a typical music video of women moving around a bed, shaking they bodies up against a wall, etc. But for some reason, it has men all horned up like wild dogs. Check it out for yourselves.