Stranger Things and the Danger of Nostalgia

The hit Netflix series Stranger Things is a love letter to iconic pop culture media of decades past. But there are dangers in leaning too heavily on nostalgia because media makers can sometimes end up reproducing harmful patterns along with their retro aesthetics, especially when it comes to action hero masculinity and belligerent romance conventions from 1980s entertainment.

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FAIR USE
All multimedia clips included in this video constitute a ‘fair use’ of any copyrighted material as provided for in Section 107 of U.S. Copyright law, which allows for criticism, comment and scholarship. Learn more about fair use via New Media Rights!

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How The Shawshank Redemption Humanizes Prisoners

On a narrative level The Shawshank Redemption is a movie about the power of hope in the face of extraordinary hardship. But underpinning Andy Dufresne’s story we also find a blistering critique of the prison system and criminal justice policy in the United States.

VIDEO LINK FOR EDUCATORS
• Internet Archived video link + download

RESOURCES
• Just Detention International
Statistics and facts about sexual violence
How to support male survivors
Criminal Justice and Prison Facts

REFERENCES
Ava DuVernay’s documentary The 13th
Watch The 13th on Netflix
The Race Gap in US Prisons
Biden’s Crime Bill Speech Is Worse Than You Think
Rope Needs More Gay by Rantasmo

CITED ARTICLES
LA Times movie review, September 23, 1994:
Washington Post movie review, September 23, 1994:

SUPPORT THIS PROJECT
If you’d like to see more long-form video essays focusing on the intersections of entertainment and masculinity, please help fund this series on Patreon. If you’d rather make a one-time donation you can do that via PayPal.

FAIR USE
All multimedia clips included in this video constitute a ‘fair use’ of any copyrighted material as provided for in Section 107 of U.S. Copyright law, which allows for criticism, comment and scholarship. Learn more about fair use via New Media Rights!

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Sexual Assault of Men Played for Comedy

Sexual assault of men as comedy is so ubiquitous and so normalized that you may not have even noticed it shows up everywhere. Most popular comedic actors engage in this type of humor. The jokes are typically designed to demean, humiliate, control, or emasculate a male character for being the victim, or potential victim, of sexual violence.

VIDEO LINK FOR EDUCATORS
• Internet Archived video link + download

RESOURCES
• Black & Pink
• Just Detention International
Statistics and facts about sexual violence
How to support male survivors

REFERENCES
• Cameron Esposito’s “Rape Jokes” standup special
• Terry Crews speaking to the US Congress
List of movies including jokes about men being abused
List of TV shows including jokes about men being abused

SUPPORT THIS PROJECT
If you’d like to see more long-form video essays focusing on the intersections of entertainment and masculinity, please help fund this series on Patreon. If you’d rather make a one-time donation you can do that via PayPal.

FAIR USE
All multimedia clips included in this video constitute a ‘fair use’ of any copyrighted material as provided for in Section 107 of U.S. Copyright law, which allows for criticism, comment and scholarship. Learn more about fair use via New Media Rights!

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Full text transcript below

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How The Last Jedi Defies Expectations

The Last Jedi is a movie that’s designed to defy fan expectations. Nowhere is this subversion more evident than in the way the film handles its three male heroes. The surprising character arcs for Poe, Finn, and Luke (especially as they relate to women) are part of the reason for the intense fan anger directed at the movie. In this video essay I argue the extreme fan backlash speaks to an underlying anxiety rooted in deep-seated insecurities about masculinity.

VIDEO LINK FOR EDUCATORS
• Internet Archived video link + download

SUPPORT THIS PROJECT
If you’d like to see more long-form video essays focusing on the intersections of entertainment and masculinity, please help fund this series on Patreon. If you’d rather make a one-time donation you can do that via PayPal.

FAIR USE
All multimedia clips included in this video constitute a ‘fair use’ of any copyrighted material as provided for in Section 107 of U.S. Copyright law, which allows for criticism, comment and scholarship. Learn more about fair use via New Media Rights!

Become a Patron!

Text transcript coming soon

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Abduction as Romance

Abduction as Romance is a media trope where a man kidnaps or imprisons a woman and she eventually falls in love with him. Abduction as Romance is one of a series of popular media tropes where violence against women and abusive male behavior is presented as necessary, exciting, or romantic.

VIDEO LINK FOR EDUCATORS
• Internet Archived video link + download

SUPPORT THIS PROJECT
If you’d like to see more long-form video essays focusing on the intersections of entertainment and masculinity, please help fund this series on Patreon. If you’d rather make a one-time donation you can do that via PayPal.

FAIR USE
All multimedia clips included in this video constitute a ‘fair use’ of any copyrighted material as provided for in Section 107 of U.S. Copyright law, which allows for criticism, comment and scholarship. Learn more about fair use via New Media Rights!

Become a Patron!

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