How many different kinds of masculinity are represented in this film? What is the movie saying about men and masculinity in 1960s America?
I think that there are many different types of masculinity in "Easy Rider" in the sense that there are many types of cultures within the film. First there are the two main characters Captain America and Billy,who are from L.A. and who embody a more open form of masculinity that is not so worried about what other people might think of them. They are less restricted and more free. They are the type of masculinity that even though they have long hair and wear tight pants they are still rugged and tough looking. This is because of their bikes and their rock star like demeanor. There is also the hippie that they pick up on the side of the road, who in most cases would be considered more feminine. He also embodies almost complete freedom, because he is from no where and does not conform to any rules or standards. In the film there is also the traditional thought of masculinity, which is shown through Jack Nicholson's character (to a point) and also the men in the south. With their short hair, T-shirt and jeans/ slacks and their use of violence and "smack talk." There is also a commonality with all of these men which shows that with masculinity come privilege and dominance. I think that this shows that in the 1960's America that there was a change occurring with what was thought to be masculine. "Easy Rider" shows that masculinity was changing into something that could be considered more endogenous and not so hyper masculine. This is shown by the more progressive main characters and the southern men who seemed to be stuck in the past. I think it also shows that men (especially white men) were looking and taking advantage of a certain privilege that they felt they had to, which was to experience this freedom that they believed America was all about. They were perhaps starting to question the rules and were starting to look at the world in a different light.