Masculinity and Violence: School Shootings and Mass Shootings

In June of 2012, a man opened fire inside a movie theatre in Aurora, Colorado. He killed 12 people and injured 58 more. Only days ago, a man in Oregon opened fire in a mall and then killed himself. On Friday, December 14 it happened again, only this time it was at an elementary school where 27 people were killed, most of them children, in Newtown, Connecticut. Mass shootings like these make us wonder how people can simply take the lives of so many others. We think about motives, the shooters complete disrespect for human life, and most often we cannot think of how to describe such atrocities without using words such as monstrous, horrendous and sick and we wish something like this would never happen again. Mass shootings and school shootings are rare, but leave us mortified every time. Many of us also remember other school shootings, some of the more high profile ones being the Virginia Tech shootings in 2007, and the Columbine High shootings in 1999. There is an overall pattern in terms of both school shootings and mass shootings; the perpetrator is almost always male, and is often emasculated in one way or another.  [Read more...]

Hungry, tired or unhappy? Go after her appearance!

For a while now we have been annoyed by one particular Snickers commercial that is part of a compilation of commercials under the name “You’re not you when you’re hungry”.

The commercial depicts two young women talking to one teenage boy and one older man at a party. One of the girls asks: “You guys grew up together?” and the teenage boy answers “Since the 3rd grade”. Then Joe Pesci, who plays the older man, requests to know what the other girl is looking at. Pesci then goes on to throw a fit, verbally mistreating the young women as he literally yells at them “We’re not good enough for you? You looking for something else?” As one of the girls tries to defend herself Pesci starts to attack her appearance: “What are you, a big supermodel or something? Supermodels, what do you model? Gloves?” The teenage boy then pulls Pesci into the kitchen and Pesci states: “What are you doing? That girl is totally in to me!” his friend says “Brad, eat a Snickers, because you get a little angry when you’re hungry”. As Pesci morphs into the teenage boy Brad, he suddenly feels better and is again ready to party.

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