How many different kinds of masculinity are represented in this film? What is the movie saying about men and masculinity in 1960s America?
There are a few different representations of masculinity in Easy Rider. What the male characters all had in common was freedom; whether it was a desire to be free or actually being free, I feel like it was the theme of the film. Though there was not a strong point or purposeful plot, the men seemed exhuberantly manly. There could also be an argument for masculinity represented in vessels that were not the male characters. For example, the type of vehicle that was chosen for the road trip. While females are certainly capable of riding motorcycles, in the 1960's this was not so much the case. This is masculinity coming from inanimate aspects of the movie. Another example of inanimate masculinity is within the music. From Steppenwolf playing during the credits to Jimi Hendrix, the soundtrack is filled with male themes and male artists. There was no female representation whatsoever in the music for this film. Even the persistant drug theme in the movie gave off a masculine feel, though at least women were participating in the drugs. They were, however, shown as uneducated in a sense when it came to this. The men were able to lord themselves over the women before doing drugs together. While they were allowed to participate, they were not being treated or displayed as equals.