Hunter, Gatherer

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Like many of my classmates, The Birdcage is one of my favorite movies. I obviously prefer "La cage aux folles" to the 1990s Robin William's representation, but they both fail to fully challenge the audience. Because I love the movie to the degree I do, I'd like to defend the butch/ femme roles of Armand and Albert. If you try and go back to a time long before the 1960s male/female power dynamic, there is the original "hunter/gatherer" idea. Relationships tend to work better when one member of the relationship identifies with their emotions and strives to make their shelter a more home-like environment, and when one uses critical thinking and common sense to deal with things such as finances or other common sense responsibilities. In my current relationship, one of us has clearly adopted the role of the responsible one. I may be the female, but I organize the payment of bills and rent, plan vacations, and make sure we're both clean, fed individuals. My boyfriend grew up in a family where his mother was the primary breadwinner, and his father left his career of law behind to be a stay-at-home-dad. In most relationships, one partner is more responsible and business minded than the other. I'd like to believe that this is no longer tied to gender and the structure of heterosexuality, but unfortunately many people still feel this way. Another dynamic of successful relationships is the idea that "opposites attract." From what I've learned from gay friends in relationships, as well as straight friends in relationships, this dynamic is common and perhaps essential. When two people come together to form one secure relationship, it is natural to split the tasks and each take on a specific role. This may not have to mean that one member of the relationship takes on the role of the "female" and one takes on the role as the "male." I'm hopeful that Hollywood will continue to make movies surrounded around LGBT individuals and they will not deem it necessary to assign butch/femme roles.

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I don't agree that responsibility go hand and hand with roles given. In the movie Birdcage, Arman ( Robin Williams) ran and operated the club and had the most power. He was depicted as the more masculine gay. I do agree that opposites attract, but think this movie was made in this form, because it is easier for people to view it, because of the femme/butch role being so close to normal heterosexual roles.

"If you try and go back to a time long before the 1960s male/female power dynamic, there is the original "hunter/gatherer" idea. Relationships tend to work better when one member of the relationship identifies with their emotions and strives to make their shelter a more home-like environment, and when one uses critical thinking and common sense to deal with things such as finances or other common sense responsibilities."

I vehemently disagree with this claim. Talking about the evolutionary biology of male/female roles (regardless of whether you and your boyfriend, or his parents, subverted them) in ancient societies has oft been a way to put women down or talk about the "science" behind male domination, etc., much in the same way that skull size measurement was used to "prove" the difference in intelligence between the races. Further, I think there is more than one way to have functional relationships (including the idea that it could be good for both partners to identify with their emotions, and both using critical thinking and common sense). I would hesitate--nay, refuse--to bring any such arguments into a discussion of queer cinema.

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This page contains a single entry by passe037 published on February 13, 2012 9:46 AM.

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