How Film, Television and Other Media Shape Men's Social Roles 300 Movie

Categories: Film Analysis

Men are simple—minded, tough, protective, misunderstood creatures, As babies our “closet is filled with tiny jeans, polo shirts, and boots, and the theme is usually something like jungle animals or dinosaurs; something tough" (Brewer). Men are rarely ever seen crying (it only happens in movies). And if it ever comes to be where a man cries, or is not acting masculine, they are always told to “man up” or to “grow a pair”. These types of “colloquialisms are ways of relaying the message that as a member of a certain gender, there are rigid expectations" (Colorado State University).

Men‘s social roles have been controlled throughout film, television, magazines, other sources of media, and throughout history; and they have been stereotyped as the protectors and providers that show no fear, weakness, or emotional attachment. In film and television men hold roles that showcase them to be intimidating, respected, muscular, and breadwinners, Movies like “300" and “Taken” are prime examples of these roles that are based on masculinity.

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In the movie “300“, directed by Zack Snyder, King Leonidas of Sparta is in a war against the Persian King Xerxes. Xerxes is trying to overtake Sparta and Athens. This leaves King Leonidas no choice but to fight and protect his home by gathering 300 men of his own and fighting off tens of thousands of Xerxes soldiers. This movie explains how even as small children all the boys were raised to become warriors. If they were weak and could not survive on their ownat a young age, they were killed and left behind.

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This kind of mentality emphasizes on the fact that men cannot be weak because they are the defender of their households and their families. Another prime example of this would be in “Taken”, directed by Pierre Morel.

In this movie, Bryan Mill’s (a retired agent who left the CIA) daughter gets captured by human traffickers, and forces him out of retirement. Here, the movie is portraying men (dads more specifically) as the main protector, and indicates that men should not back down from challenges concerning their family. Since these movies are international blockbusters, it gives men all over the world big shoes to fill A lot of the stereotypes of being a man derive from movies and television. Since the current culture is based around media, seeing men who are always tough and intimidating on the big screen, directly affects how the society view men in reality. In other forms of media such as magazines and news stories, men are seen as highly sexual and materialized “GQ”, “AskMen”, and “FHM” are examples of how magazines depict the type of man you are “supposed” to be(AskMen’s slogan is “Become a better man”).

These magazines mostly talk about how you can get good at sex, how to work out properly, beverages that only men drink, what to wear, and other ways of controlling how a man lives, These magazines are heavily popularized and have become a staple to how to be a man They were meant to he recommendations for men to consider, but since they have so much influence (because of celebrities and figureheads endorsing their products) over people, these “recommendations" became a requirement It is technically not the magazine’s fault that what they put out becomes a social role for men, it is the men that take it upon themselves to apply what the magazine showcases in their lives, This is what makes the magazines more popular and influential to other men. For instance, if you see your favorite basketball player wearing a $500 shirt that is madejust for men, you would most likely become more inclined to buy something similar to what he is wearing.

Since magazines use strong influences like celebrities and images of the “perfect” man, it is easy for them to determine what it takes to be masculine Men have had these stereotypes ever since they were created, and can be seen throughout history, Mary Wollstonecraft, a well renowned feminist in the 18‘“ century, describes men to “be cunning, mean, and selfish“ in her “A Vindication of the Rights of Women”. She goes into depth of how men are the head of the household and hold every right to do what they please at any given time that they want. On the other hand, women are “weak in mind and body, [and] they cannot exert themselves, unless to pursue some frothy pleasure, or to invent some frivolous fashion”.

This idea that women were of a lower class than men, pushed the mentality of masculinity. Back then, women were not given any rights and were not educated. Because of this, men were put to the task of being the protectors and the main providers for women and their families. Moving forward in history, even with new laws that make things more fair for women, traditional ways of thinking still have men at the top of the food chain, And because men were considered the breadwinners and defenders, attributes like toughness and never showing weakness followed suite. Men are more than simple-minded, tough, protective, misunderstood creatures.

But stereotypes from movies, television, magazines, and throughout the course of history, have given males social roles that project masculinity. These mediums use influential people to determine what is masculine; give men social roles derived from movies as the protectors and warriors of society; showcase how women have been put down so that men could take the leading role; and have given men attributes such as being tough, sexual, intimidating, and hard, These stereotypes have been around for along time, and the only way to get rid of them is if society stops letting media control their views and perspectives of reality.

Updated: May 07, 2023
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How Film, Television and Other Media Shape Men's Social Roles 300 Movie. (2023, May 07). Retrieved from

How Film, Television and Other Media Shape Men's Social Roles 300 Movie essay
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