The subject of hyper-masculinity in African-American males shines in “Moonlight”. The film follows the life of a young black man from childhood to adulthood as he struggles with his identity and sexuality in the ghettos of Miami. The main character, Chiron, faces the crisis of being a homosexual black male. To further add, the lifestyle of where he lives places him at a disadvantage. From a young age, black men are taught to be “tough”, “cold”, and “hostile”. Anything that doesn’t fit the criteria of being “gangster” or “hard” leads one to the idea of homosexuality. But why is being homosexual a sign of being weak? If showing emotion and being expressive means you’re not “masculine”, how does this affect our relationships with others, also ourselves? What does it mean to be a “man”? What does it mean to be “homosexual”? Why are categorical definitions given to each term? In the film, not being hyper-masculine caused Chiron to be bullied. Why are children teased for this behavior? For being silent? For being “soft”? For not being being so aggressive in all they do? I believe teaching our boys to shy away from showing emotions and being transparent about their feelings leads to a life full of faulty relationships and identity issues. Navigating our boys to believe they should lack empathy eventually builds up feelings of desolation and sorrow. “Moonlight” delivers the topic of hyper-masculinity in a way that shows all, no sugarcoating.
My favorite part of this short reading was Spigel addressing the changes to living space that televisions brought to homes. Spigel asserted that pianos were replaced by televisions and televisions became the center of home entertainment. She indicated that children gradually became disinterested in arts and music. This most interested me because becoming less intrigued in arts and music leads me to the concept of damaging creativity and inventiveness. Most American families today own more television sets than pianos. Does this mean children now compared to children in the past (before television was created) are less imaginative and artistic? I can argue that because of the advancement of technology, individuals have access to a number of different music and art computer softwares that allow one to be creative. Also certain television programs such as “Brain Games” and “America’s Got Talent” help foster creativity and promote the arts in ways viewers are influenced/motivated. I don’t believe television has sabotaged ones ability to follow music and the arts. Perhaps when television first emerged because programming restrictions. But this day in age, where there are certain channels dedicated to music and the arts, I feel individuals have the ability to foster their creativity if wanted.
During World War II, thousands of women were needed to fill industrial site positions while men went away to fight. Women were assigned to build ships, bombs, planes, etc. These same job responsibilities were once considered of befitting a man, therefore women in this workforce became a controversial topic of discussion. Women were stereotyped to be weak and only concerned about breaking a nail. It was difficult for women to become fully accepted in this lifestyle since being a stay-at-home mom was the habitual norm. Even today, society doesn’t believe women are built for a job considered of befitting a man, i.e construction or crane and tower operation. Extremely physical and heavy lifting type of work is deemed nontraditional for women. But this is unfair. While it is considered dangerous, why are women deemed incapable of these things? Jobs seem to be gender specific due to suitability, rather than gender. Your sex should not matter. Women should not be teased for working industrial positions.
This reading specifically resonated with me due to my ethnic background. I’m not Mexican, however I am of Hispanic descent. In 1943, an attack against Mexican-Americans wearing zoot suits erupted in Los Angeles. These altercations between sailors/law enforcement and Mexican-Americans were sparked by racism. After reading the article and being aware of the aggressive outbreaks the LAPD refused to assist the race affected with, I was furious. The LAPD has a history of being corrupt; it’s known world wide. But how can majority of an entire police department be placed on the streets WITH GUNS to protect and to serve? How can we learn to trust these authoritative individuals with our lives when most of them have racism pretty much embedded in them? What has changed about police brutality, or ignorance, in America? It is the bane of our existence. Rodney King. Sandra Bland. Michael Brown. Trayvon Smith. Edgar Arzate. Eric Garner. How many more lives have to be terrorized and/or lost for the law to change?