The media currently play an imperative role in the learning environment. Tough guise is an educational video that has been instrumental in underscoring the relationship between culture and development of masculinity. According to the video, male dominance is a social aspect that has been pervasive in the society since ancient times. Men have always been presented as being strong physically as well as tough and powerful. This perception is ingrained in the societal culture, values and norms. As such, men are expected to conform to the preceding attributes at all times. In particular, young boys are exposed to tough situations and are expected by the society to remain not only strong but also unemotional. This according to the video has had far reaching implications on the wellbeing of the male gender. In this regard, this can be used to explain why they in most cases engage in violent and criminal activities. Nonetheless, the society perceives this to be normal and expects men as opposed to women to engage in violence.
Keywords: Tough Guise, video, masculinity, violence
Tough guise is an educational video that tries to explain the relationship between the pop culture and the development of masculinity in today’s society. It is a video that was released in 1999 but it is still very popular in the education systems. The video examines the masculine dominance that has been invisible for a long time. The video shows how the male population has always been represented to be dominant over all through examples in the features and books that have been published. Men are always brought up while being fed on the information that they are suppose to be tough, strong, powerful and physical. They are taught to conform to these roles and the media makes it worse by showcasing men in this light making violence to appear to be the norm of the masculine being in the society. Criminal activities experienced in the society today are majorly committed by men. From the video it is very true that the more crimes are not mentioned as having been committed by men against the other members of the society; the more it is taken to be the normal norm. Men continue to be shown as powerful by the media, for example in movies such as batman and superman, making the young boys watching want to imitate such roles. The media continues to showcase men as the tough guys with the greatest and biggest guns executing crimes (Pezzote, 2008).
The mentality that is instilled in boys when they are still young that they are supposed to be tough, strong and unemotional is the major cause of the increase in crime today. According to Katz, boys that are abused in their tender age end up being perpetrators in crime and becoming delinquents at an early age. The information portrayed in the media of men being tough or moving from one state of toughness to a tougher person has also contributed a lot to the development of masculinity seen today. For example the video games and the kind of programs aired on television today influence the behavior of the men in the society. For example programs like superman and batman shows that a tough guy can have it all, and puts admiration in the minds of the young boys who will want to be tough to ape the people seen in the media.
The best part of Katz video is the conclusion part where he provides hope for the kind of posturing men are taking. He gives examples of good movies that show men as normal people with a kind heart and a more sensitive side to them. The video creates the impression that the media contributes a lot to the violent behavior of men and the society has taken the violent masculinity to be the norm. The society pretending that such a behavior is cultural normal has led to the escalation of violence. Examples used in the video are of videos, news or programs aired by the media showing its high contribution on the subject. Katz video can be said to be a reflection of today’s society especially with the kind of things seen in the media. The high rate of crime such as rape and shootings that take place in the streets today are some of the experiences that we witness in the society. The fact that such crimes have increased greatly with the increase in technology shows that the popular culture has contributed largely to the way men identify themselves. It shows that the popular culture has influenced men to be tough and violent because of what they learn through watching the programs in the media and the values that the society presents regarding the masculine gender.
Pezzote, A. (2008). Straight acting: Gay men, masculinity and finding true love. USA: Kensington.