Monday, April 6, 2009
In my viewing of Fight Club, I was immediately struck by its portrayals of what gender roles for men are and how they are reinforced or torn down in the film. The nameless everyman Narrator is shown in the beginning as a consumerist, Ikea-furniture-buying corporate drone, stuck in the same routine and order. As the film continues, we see this seeming Beta male shocked when his world is rocked when his condo is destroyed. The example of the yin-yang table in his condo might be seen as a portrayal of the balance between male and female that the narrator has in the beginning. Once he loses his worldly possessions, a rather extreme turn is taken towards the "primal" male power, reinforced by Fight Cub and leadership. The power system in the film is obviously masculine aligned and violence is worshiped. Being a man in the film means being tough, ready for action, ready to do what needs to be done and full of testosterone. The roles exemplified in the film are of violent gender roles and for women to be mere sexual objects instead of being seen as other people. Both of the notable women in the film only want sex before they die and not to make something of themselves. The film seems to reinforce the roles that modern perhaps Western society places on men. The film looks to shake things up in a complacent society with chaos and destruction, with a male-ordered society with a structure advocating physical power. "Fight Club" returns modern men to roots of hunting, force, and a "traditional man's place" in the world. This film only restricted men's roles and it did not allow for deviation from what is considered appropriate and proper for men, as in not allowing them to show weakness, cry, be truly affectionate, etc.