On Assignment

I haven’t posted in a while, for the same old “I’m doing an essay” reason. Writing essays is so much harder than I remembered; I guess a year and a half off has stunted my brain.

My Bachelor of Arts fits in here at PhoebeC even though Literature and Gender Studies majors may not seem particularly creative. But I chose my course and I choose my subjects according to what excites me (so no vocational justification for my education, just academic pleasure).

I just wrote an essay on films that address ‘masculinity in crisis’. The idea is that white, middle class masculinity is no longer enjoying hegemonic power so it’s in ‘crisis’ – ie lots of angry white, middle class men. A more generous – and to me more generally accurate – construction is that society demands certain a certain kind of masculinity (unemotional, successful, uncomplaining…) which constrains men. I think it’s a really interesting issue; how do you start to address the difficulties of a group that has enjoyed a position of power for hundreds of years against the ongoing difficulties of gender, racial and sexual minorities?

If you really want a gender studies rant, ask me about the functioning of a patriarchal consumerist society some time.

The essay I’m writing now (once I’ve finished procrastinating) is on James Bond. I’m comparing the novel and film versions of Dr No, looking at the ideological shifts that change how Bond is depicted in each. The Bond of the novels is so much more British than in the films… Stiff upper lip, me old boy and all that.

Anyway, an excuse to watch an old Connery Bond – now that’s a reason to study Arts!