[personal profile] almac82
In the movie, "Peaceful Warrior", the main character,Dan Millman, demonstrates the transformation from the traditional alpha male into the new model of masculinity. Dan Millman is a varsity gymnast who "is in great shape, finds school to be a breeze, and only sleeps alone when [he] absolutely wants to". He has the stereotypical alpha male identity: competitive, self involved, promiscuous, and due to not being very loyal towards his closest friends and teammates, socially isolated.
Dan is haunted by nightmares that give him chronic insomnia. One night, following a nightmare, he goes for a mid-night run and finds himself at a local gas station, there he encounters the man who later inspires his transformation, Socrates. Socrates seems to understand more of what is happening to Dan than Dan does. Dan is intrigued by Socrates and begins questioning him about his mysterious abilities; this is the beginning of Dan's transformational homo-social relationship. Through giving Dan a series of tasks and lessons Socrates attempts to teach Dan how to be present in every moment and stop listening to his mind; Dan attempts these tasks but eventually turns back to his old ways and disregards the lessons Socrates has attempted to teach him. Not long after Dan returns to his old ways he takes his fall from his alpha male role and is emasculated by a motorcycle accident that leaves him barely able to walk, let alone compete as a gymnast. This accident completely destroys Dan's image of who he believes himself to be. After his accident Dan reconnects with Socrates and moves forward in his journey in developing the mindfulness, presence, and heart that this intimate relationship with Socrates helps him cultivate. Through Dan and Socrates' relationship Dan is able to triumph over his injury and return to being a gymnast with new insight and ability. The secondary intimate relationship that Dan has in the film is with Joy, a protege of Socrates. She has some influence on Dan's transformation but it is fairly minimal, though in the end of the film is said that Dan and Joy eventually marry. This process of Dan's transformation demonstrates this new model of masculinity very well as it shows that Dan was transformed from his alpha male identity into a much softer, empathetic and humble person through emasculation and his homo-social relationship with Socrates, just as the article, "Post Princess Models of Gender: The New Man in Disney/ Pixar" demonstrates.
The media's portrayal of this transition into a new model of masculinity is very representative of what is happening to men in this post feminist world. Men were once expected to uphold what was considered the masculine traits in society in order to be successful, this is no longer the case. Feminism has allowed women to cultivate their masculine side so they can participate in the domains that were once considered exclusive for males, and because of this, men also need to cultivate their feminine attributes so they can fit into these new gender roles. I believe Disney Films are portraying this transition in their movies.

Discussion Question: Can you see how gender roles have changed from your parents generation to now?
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almac82

June 2014

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