Romeo And…

1.05: The Perks of Being a Wallflower

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In this episode, I discuss the Bechdel Test for superhero movies and analyze The Perks of Being a Wallflower, both the book and the movie. 

The Daily Dot featured an article about the recent superhero movies and how most have failed the Bechdel Test. And though this does highlight a problem with our current tendency toward male dominated and male focused movies, the fact that these films failed the Bechdel Test, I argue, is not as problematic as the author suggests. The problem is that films too often have male protagonists, not that movie writers are too lazy or sexist to write strong female characters. 

In discussing the Perks of Being a Wallflower, I look at both the film and the book it was based on. Both the book and the movie were written by Stephen Chbosky, so the movie is a good representation of the events that happen in the book. 

I discuss how the book and film portray masculinity and how they characterize masculinity. I also discuss shyness, introversion, and anxiety and how being any (or all of them) can be damning for a man. I look at a few of the key relationships in the film and discuss the messages they send about how we think about maleness. 

Ultimately, it seems as though manliness depends on a man not being shy or introverted. Men are supposed to be strong, bold, and assertive, which tend to be extroverted traits. Being more cerebral, passive, and quiet is viewed as unmanly. What is your opinion on this? Does being an introvert or shy make you any less of a man? Have you ever felt ostracized for being shy as a man? Leave your opinions in the comments section below or contact me via email

REFERENCES 

The Bechdel Test for Women in Movies by Feminist Frequency - http://bit.ly/1BIBvHX 

An illustrated guide to superhero movies that pass the Bechdel Test on The Daily Dot - http://bit.ly/171aSWm 

The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky - http://amzn.to/1EmON2M 

The Perks of Being a Wallflower movie dialogue and sound clips courtesy of Mr. Mudd Productions 

1.04: Laura - Elementary School Romance (pt. 2)

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In this episode I feature the second and final story in my Elementary School Romance saga. I also discuss the new 50 Shades of Grey movie as well as Emma Watson's Q&A on International Women's Day. 

Also, I was featured on the Vagina Chronicles Podcast! Hostesses Angela and Toni invited me to have a conversation with them about men and why most guys seem to be afraid of feminism. Find a link to the interview in the references below.

The book 50 Shades of Grey has sparked a lot of controversy lately especially with the recent release of the movie adaptation. Though I have not yet seen the movie or read the book, I address some of the controversy surrounding the book. Namely, how the film paints a negative picture of the BDSM and kink communities. Though 50 Shades can be taken the wrong way, I ultimately feel it probably does more good than harm for the BDSM community. 

Last weekend, on International Women's Day (March 8th), Emma Watson did a Q&A conversation on gender equality and the He for She campaign. If you are a guy, be sure to sign yourself up on their website HeforShe.org if you haven't already to pledge your commitment to the fight for equal rights for the sexes. I have decided that Romeo And... will now be an (un)official affiliate of He for She since the organization is doing such great work. (Call me, Emma!) 

This week's story is about a crush I had on one of my best friends in elementary school. Unlike with Naomi, I was actually comfortable around my friend Laura, so I thought dating her would be much easier. I thought wrong! 

The full story can be found at http://bit.ly/RALaura (You must be registered on the site to view the story) 

Following the story, I discuss what I did well in attempting to start a relationship, as well as what I did poorly and what more I could have done. Even though we were just kids, we had already developed clear ideas about the importance of being in a relationship and how the different sexes are supposed to behave in relationships. 

REFERENCES 

- My interview with the Vagina Chronicles Podcast - http://bit.ly/18sGJQ8 

- Emma Watson's He for She Q&A on International Women's Day - http://bit.ly/1E5TA5L 

50 Shades of Grey by E.L. James - http://bit.ly/1NXLJwJ 


1.03: The Men’s Rights Movement

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In this episode, we take a look at Rek'Sai, a champion in the online game League of Legends. As one of the most popular video games in the world, League of Legends is leading the gaming industry in more ways than one. Rek'Sai is a demonstration of how Riot Games is working to diversify the way gender is depicted in games. Though Rek'Sai is a visually genderless creature, Riot Games decided to make her female, forcing gamers who would have otherwise assumed she was male first to rethink their assumptions of gender.

The main subject of the episode concerns the Men's Rights Movement. The movement has seen a lot of popularity in recent years and it has caused a fair bit of controversy. Generally seen as a feminist-bashing task-force, the Men's Rights Movement has gained a lot of enemies. However, there are a number of positive aspects about the movement, and its members raise a lot of important questions about men and how they are viewed in our culture.

I identify the various Men's Rights Movements, what their basic goals are, and how they differ from each other.  I discuss why feminist and other groups dislike the movement, as well as the upsides to the movement and why it should be taken seriously.

Romeo And... generally focuses on male narratives (both fictional and non-fictional), though this episode is more of a lecture on the Men's Movement. As the Romeo And... podcast covers the depiction of men in the media as well as gender discrimination regarding men, I felt it was important to discuss the Men's Movement because closely pertains to the subjects I cover in the podcast.

REFERENCES  


- 27 million people watched the League of Legends World Championships - The Daily Dot - http://www.dailydot.com/esports/league-of-legends-world-championships-viewership-numbers/  


- Men's Movement Wikipedia - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Men%27s_movement  

- The Red Pill Reddit - http://www.reddit.com/r/TheRedPill/  

- The More You Know jingle - Courtesy of NBC Universal