Monday, 9 September 2013

Marginalisation and Masculinity; colonial ordering of masculinity in Harold and Kumar go to white castle (2004) Concusion

In conclusion; when talking about masculinity one cannot talk about the masculinity. Rather there are several masculinities in Western society. There is no essentialist description of what is a male. There will be males who do not satisfy the criteria. The masculinities present in society are not static but are a mixture of historical context and social aspects of the time period. Media, especially Hollywood, is a big delivery mechanism of stereotypes. Film works with stereotypes because people already have the conception. The stereotypical representations of masculinities have never been gone from popular ‘American’ culture. Stereotypical images become reaffirmed after the crisis of masculinity. Therefore masculinity stereotypes are perpetuated by Hollywood film. The representation of masculinities in Harold and Kumar is subjected to a colonial ordering. Harold and Kumar, in the film ‘Harold and Kumar go to White Castle’, are portrait as asexual or hypersexual, emasculate or effeminate and outside a position to renegotiate their identity. Harold like other Asian masculinities is desexualised and emasculated by being displayed as overly emotional and second to other masculinities that have access to the negotiation of hegemony. Kumar is homosexualised and portrayed as immature falling in the orientalist colonial tradition of ‘the manly Englishman and the effeminate Bengali’. The movie gives potential to the renegotiation of Asian masculinity stereotypes, however it falls short in the possibility of renegotiation. ‘Harold and Kumar go to white castle’ therefore use the masculinities in the same context as colonialism to ensure the patriarchy of hegemonic masculinity, where marginalised Asian masculinities have no space and access. Therefore they will continue to be stereotyped and marginalised in movies until a re-evaluation of hegemonic masculinity in the future.

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