Essay on Boyhood, Selma And American Sniper : Race Meets Masculinity On

Essay on Boyhood, Selma And American Sniper : Race Meets Masculinity On

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In the article Boyhood, Selma and American Sniper: Race Meets Masculinity on
Film Thrasher compares and contrasts the difficulty of two men, and one young boy. Boyhood
and American Sniper focus on the development of two males, one boy and one man, both
white. The films show that as white men there is an increased emphasis placed on developing
their self-esteem while ignoring any mistakes they may cause or diminishing those mistakes as
simply a slip-up or being mischievous, where a young black or brown male would be punished
harshly for the same act. Our society influences the patriarchal lines in which our sons are
raised, and the film’s bring the awareness to the forefront while also considering the underlying
dynamics. Selma considers the effect violence has on a man and how it influences their
existence. The films touch on the different ways in which men deal with violence.
Thrasher’s effective analysis of Boyhood demonstrates how profound these actions are
and how they carry well into the latter stages of a young white man’s life. The opposite is true
for young men of color, they are forced through society’s beliefs and actions to grow up so early
on in life. Thrasher narrates the variances through the films characters to depict the
disparity. The example Thrasher uses to support his belief is the American culture and the
compulsive nature in which families indulge and encourage the comfort of young white men is
spot-on. Thrasher details this innocence in Boyhood and shows us through comparing the films
and the way young boys are raised along and detailing the great latitude we afford
them. The details and significance of those actions only serve to promote arrogance in white
An additional...

... middle of paper ...

...unds us and our own journey through childhood and into adulthood,
whereas American Sniper prompts us to take a step back and challenge the position of
masculinity and how it’s imparted to our children during their formative years. Selma details the
violence and change so desperately needed, how courageous Martin Luther King was to work
tirelessly to promote change that altered history. The three movies illustrate how we’re all
connected, not through a consistent set of expectations from society but rather by the color of
our skin. Racial and masculine bias is all around us, each and every day.
The author Steven Thrasher is an award winning journalist, radio reporter and producer.
Steven is a writer at large for the guardian publication. His works include articles on race, class,
sexual identity, religion and politics. He attended NYU School of the Arts.

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