Four heroes who make masculinity look exhausting

1 Indiana Jones

indiana jones, bashed again
indiana jones, bashed again

Indy’s a good lad who is not afraid to break the rules of academic objectivity and non-violence in the pursuit of an ancient artefact or a smoking-hot Nazi. He’s a strong fighter, but he’s rarely strong enough. I remember feeling every punch when he’s beaten up by that strong guy underneath the grounded airplane in Raiders of the Lost Ark. Poor Indy’s face gets totally battered. Fortunately there’s a propeller that Indy can push the bad guy into. If it wasn’t for that propeller I’m not sure Indy would have survived that fight. It’s one reason why he’s a great hero; he’s always on the verge of failing, so it keeps us on our toes. Continue reading

Game of Thrones: yay, naked gays but hardly the future

Gay of Thrones? (Groan.)
Gay of Thrones? (Groan.)

Who likes to see the naked gays on Game of Thrones? Is it the straight women watching? Or the straight men? Or the gay men? The latter category is almost definitely a yes. It makes us feel happy because we see gay men in a mainstream show, and they’re naked and having sex with each other. We’re visible that way.

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More and more men are sexy, and why that’s OK

It’s hard to feel sorry for Kit Harington. He’s beautiful, he’s good at his job, and he gets to wear a jacket made from crow feathers to work. Here he is as Jon Snow in Game of Thrones:


I called Harington beautiful, but he might not like that. He recently said that being labelled a hunk is demeaning. Poor lad. But I don’t think that’s what’s going on. I don’t think that a few people saying he’s a hunk strips him of his dignity and respect. He’s not objectified like a woman on Page 3 is objectified. (Kit got me thinking about objectification and my own body and my experience with desire—see this post.)

When it comes to men, what we have is not objectification. Not in a systematic way anyway. What we have is this: some men play characters on TV and bring joy to some people who find those men attractive. The men we’re talking about, like Harington or Aidan Turner who plays Poldark, are in fact rarely naked or sexualised in the way they’re presented. I can only think of once in four whole years that Harington has been playing Jon Snow when he actually got his top off, and that was in a murky pool in a cave. (You didn’t get to see much, even if you paused your DVD.) Continue reading