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The Objectification of Men: Satirical Films

Updated on August 19, 2014
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I have a B.A. in English with a minor in Gender and Sexuality Studies. I've been a Goth since age fourteen, and a Pagan since age fifteen.

Image courtesy of thaikrit at
Image courtesy of thaikrit at | Source

Men are victims of objectification just as women are. Men are expected to fit certain body types in order to be considered attractive or worthy of admiration. Some of these expectations include a lot of muscle, tall height and enough hair on their head. Magazines featuring men on the cover would not choose a man who is overweight and bald. It's necessary to recognize unfair gender rules for men if society ever wants to reach full equality.

Dr. Jack Michler: Sadly, I must report that the last patient I ever treated, the great lover Don Juan DeMarco, suffered from a romanticism which was completely incurable, and even worse, highly contagious.

Marlon Brando - The Wild One [Public Domain]
Marlon Brando - The Wild One [Public Domain] | Source

Don Juan DeMarco (1994)

Marlon Brando was not a stranger to objectification. He was familiar with being used in movies for the sake of his attractive appearance. For example, one of his memorable bad-boy "hunk" movies was A Streetcar Named Desire (1951). He teamed up with Johnny Depp for the film Don Juan DeMarco which pokes fun at male attraction. In the film, Depp plays a man who is convinced he is Don Juan. Brando plays the psychiatrist Dr. Mickler who finds him attempting to commit suicide, and takes him under his supervision. During their sessions, together, Mickler comes to realize Don Juan is still a mystery, but he makes very good points about perception of reality. Don Juan is so involved with romancing women that Micker admires his lifestyle, and begins to mimic it with his own wife, Marilyn.

Have you seen "Don Juan DeMarco?"

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Wade "Cry-Baby" Walker: Grandmother, Uncle Belvedere, you've made me the happiest juvenile delinquent in Baltimore! And guess what? I met a girl!

Photo of Henry Winkler as Fonzie from the television program Happy Days. 2 August 1977 ABC Television
Photo of Henry Winkler as Fonzie from the television program Happy Days. 2 August 1977 ABC Television | Source

Cry-Baby (1990)

Johnny Depp was put with Marlon Brando because he has experience being cast in movies for his physical appeal, too. Don Juan DeMarco was not the only film Depp has been in to mock this unfortunate reality. Earlier, in 1990, he was cast in John Waters' Cry-Baby. Depp plays Wade Cry-Baby Walker. Cry-Baby is a greaser-type, like the characters Marlon Brando has played, whose gang is his family. He's a drape who falls in love with a square, Allison (Amy Locane). The film makes light of the seriousness of greasers like Fonzie from Happy Days. It was an opportunity for Depp to make fun of the critics who applaud him for being their ideal physical type.

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Pootie Tang: I gots to say na nay no.

Pootie Tang (2001)

Pootie Tang is a satire of exploitation. Lance Crouther plays Pootie Tang, a musician who makes the women scream, literally. He speaks his own language, and lacks intellect; fortunately, his sex appeal makes people love him. He is used for marketing purposes, but his advertisements cause other products to lose money; therefore, the business men want to use him in commercials for products he disagrees with. When he refuses their demands, they use a double who causes major issues in the industry. Pootie has to fight to correct his newly ruined reputation.

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What is your opinion of satires?

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When used correctly, satire can be a very useful medium for getting opinions into the world. Not everyone would want to listen or read about such negative and upsetting situations in the entertainment industry, but satires allow the creators to be completely honest while having fun, too. When the satires are understood for what they are they inspire people to talk about these issues.

© 2014 social thoughts


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