How Masculinity is Potrayed in the Movie, Brokeback Mountain

1952 WordsJan 28, 20188 Pages
The dominant masculinity in western culture is associated with heterosexuality, a unit of a man and woman from opposite axis of masculinity and femininity. For Annie Proulx, “Brokeback Mountain” complicates the gendered duality, portraying two men acting on their homoerotic desires, but also depicts them as hetero-social. Proulx blurs the boundaries of gender and sexuality by representing her main protagonists, Ennis del Mar and Jack Twist, as bisexuals. The characters are able to slip in and out of a heterosexual life with their wives, which are portrayed as socially acceptable, but also struggle with their sexual desires for each other, which are always hidden from the public. As her characters demonstrate, gender and sexuality is not stable, nor is it “black and white,” “heterosexual and homosexual.” Bisexuality represents a middle ground and destabilizes the dichotomy. As the discussion of main characters, landscape, and minor male characters demonstrates, “Brokeback Mountain” focuses on the dangers of hyper-masculinity in dominant culture and how homosexuality and bisexuality is portrayed as inferior to heterosexual norms. Leo Bersani suggests that “the gay man always runs the risk of identifying with culturally dominant images of misogynous maleness” (117). In his article, he discusses how the gay man is able to take on the privileges given to the heterosexual men in society because they represent the dominant gender. In his essay, Thomas Piontek discusses

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