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This is where you talk about Fight Club.


#221

However, they don’t call it “male alcohol abuse” to say that men are significantly different in their alcoholism because individuals are all significantly different in addictions. Calling alcohol addiction “alcoholism” is somewhat off the mark these days as it has connotations that imply a special case that do not necessarily exist in comparison to other forms of addiction.

My point is related to Will’s post that “toxic masculinity” doesn’t exist. The term is detrimental because it clearly connects the problem to a gender in a vague way that doesn’t help clarify anything. On the face of it, it simply says that masculinity is toxic.

However, it is the aggressive and competitive behavior from dominant and subordinate social positions where the problems arise. In competitive situations in politics and business, men dominate, but that is not necessarily true in every social situation as the term toxic masculinity would apply. In a dominant position, aggressive and even offensive behavior is necessary and even rewarded irrespective of gender. However, it can also be inappropriate again, irrespective of gender, in different situations.

Focusing on the gender seems to me to be more a political statement against the fact that in the more competitive sectors of our society, men tend to dominate compared to women, but that emerged from and is sustained by the entire society - not just men.


#222

Maybe you guys should actually look up what toxic masculinity means before talking about it?


#223

Toxic masculinity is just a modern term for an issue that I imagine is quite global. Unfulfilled frustrated men and women, who aren’t happy with their life and feel that the problem is with everyone but themselves. So just punch someone else and feel better. The very core messge of Fight Club, blame the world, which is the problem.

“They all promised us we’d be rock stars or movie gods but we’re not and we’re very pissed off.”

  1. Delivered by Brad fucking Pitt who’s done his best to set an impossible standard for how men should look & live, all the while rarely doing movies that matter or make the world better and instead existing to just cash pay checks.

&

  1. No one ever made a promise we’d be rock star and movie gods. How entitled can you be? You ever wonder why nice guys think they’re entitled to sex for just being nice?

But that message resonated with Fight Club viewers. Even if you think watchers should figure out we should end repulsed by Tyler, most weren’t and instead took his message to heart. Not only did Fight Club predict the growing wave of unhappy men, I’ll bet it had a hand in creating them. And I disagree with Christian - Tyler doesn’t die, he’s no longer needed as Jack embraces his true self. Project Mayhem wins, leaving that world in chaos and ruins in the hands of single, angry, childless, sexless nameless fanatics.


#224

I keep wondering if we have even seen the same movie. In the movie I saw, and loved, a crazy man used his imaginary friend to trick people into beating each other up and commiting acts of terrorism by saying stupid pseudo-philosphic bullshit. The movie did not have a message – Tyler had a message, and that message was not very convincing. At least not to me. But I enjoyed watching a bunch of crazy persons mess up their lives.


#225

I don’t think that “toxic masculinity” is about general assholery, but rather a specific sense of entitlement that can frequently express itself as violence. It is something that has always been around, and exists in most cultures, but it now has a convenient and eye-catching buzzword attached to it.


#226

It’s funny… “masculinity” is something that doesn’t really exist; it’s just a thing people made up that we let define us.

It’s like religion, or patriotism, or faith, or race, or money.

(Yes, I say money. There’s a bit in George Romero’s Day of the Dead where there’s a pile of money spilled out onto the street that nobody has claimed. Money only has meaning and power when we collectively accept that it does. It’s just scraps of paper blowing around the feet of zombies.)


#227

According to this, it sums up some attitudes and behaviors some men have or are expected to have. The problem I have with it is these behaviors are not necessarily masculine - some are just pathological - and not all are toxic. I don’t know if many people actually believe men should conform to these stereotypes, I don’t think I have ever encountered people with these kind of expectations in real life.

If you look at how people generally use it on the web though, it seems like a kind of slur word used to refer to a type of man they don’t like.

Taking it back to Fight Club, I think the Tyler Durden character shows a kind of archetypal lust for fighting, for destruction. I think the movie makes the point that it is certainly “toxic” when driven to an extreme, but it is also a natural urge humans can have. The narrator had to kill Tyler Durden, but he also had to integrate the urges that Tyler represented into his personality to cure his depression and find meaning in his life. It’s a yin-yang thing. Rather than wipe out that side of his personality, he had to find the balance.


#228

Tyler Durden is, ultimately, a narcissist.

Like Walter White, Patrick Bateman, Hannibal Lecter, Eric Cartman, Steve Jobs, or Donald Trump, we’re transfixed by narcissists. They, by turns, fascinate us and revolt us, but we also want to be their friends, we want to follow them, and we want to be them.


#229

If you’re not a confident person then someone full of confidence can be a narcotic. This has always been the case with how we’re wired. If we don’t have the answers we find someone who does (until we’re old enough and experienced enough to realize they’re no more special than you are). Cornerstone of human civilization that one,


#230

More like…

or (ironically)

The cult of personality is strongly driven by commerce and fashion where what you consume… consumes you. :wink:


#231

Casting Brad Pitt for Tyler Durden was a stroke of meta genius.

Of course the Narrator’s idealized version of himself would have been a hipster Brad Pitt. On the surface, of course the movie makers are going to cast an a-lister for the part, but it’s also a comment on the themes of the film.

You literally have the lead’s alter ego Brad Pitt avatar saying “We’ve all been raised on television to believe that one day we’d all be millionaires, and movie gods, and rock stars, but we won’t.” It’s damned brilliant.


#232

Sure there is. It probably gets used as a label for a lot of things that don’t really qualify, but when boys are made to feel that they can’t play with dolls, or help mum in the kitchen, or should take up boxing instead of ballet, that’s toxic masculinity.

Stoicism is probably seen as a masculine trait, and it can be a good thing when dealing with an emergency situation or some kind of crisis, but it can be bad thing when someone’s not able to comfort a friend in need.


#233

Even confident people tend to be drawn to those more confident. If someone has a stronger sense of reality people fall behind that. It’s why we have Donald Trump. Humans are so scared they are getting it wrong they have a natural paranoia other people know how it works better than they do.

I think I may have posted it in the relationship thread before but they key to immediate attraction not based on the physical is simply having a stronger sense of reality than the other person. It’s something that can backfire though, if people test it (because I look 12 and I’m Tom Cruise height women tend to test me a lot on my sense of reality) or with men, if a woman has a stronger sense of reality some men struggle with that a lot.

But yeah, Fight Club really plays on the idea of strength of reality within the characters.


#234

Nope, that’s just misguided at best, stupid at worst.


#235

Yeah that’s a definition of toxic masculinity that is a bit of a bastardization of what the term stands for. It’s hard to say the norm (which that generally was for our generation, growing up) is what leads to horrible masculine behaviour when there are plenty of men who do not behave in that way despite having been brought up being told to not play with dolls or play girl games or be more of a man. Myself included.


#236

Yes they do:

QED.

On the face of it, it simply says that masculinity is toxic.

As I have tried to carify before, no it doesn’t, it says that there are healthy and toxic forms of masculinity. At least, that’s what the wiki article on this says, and it’s how I’ve always understood the term.

That is not the point. As Andrew pointed out below, there are aspects to traditional expectations of manhood that are not healthy for the men who have internalised them, nor for their relationships (e.g. the idea that men shouldn’t talk about their feelings).


#237

There are a lot of social groups in which this kind of masculinity is absolutely celebrated. As an example, I give you German gangster rap:
(Don’t worry about the lyrics, just look at the way manhood is staged in this clip.)


#238

I don’t know if that’s toxic. What are they doing that is so bad? Yeah they’re douchebags but that’s pretty much every rapper.


#239

With Fight Club I also have a suspicion some people take it very seriously but it is also pure entertainment. It is an action movie with attractive people and pretty colours and a twist at the end, and a well made one at that. Tyler Durden fighting the business guy in the basement is like Indiana Jones shooting the guy that comes at him with the sword. They’re archetypes, over the top movie characters and not realistic at all.


#240

I wouldn’t call Fight Club that.