Paulie Bleeker defying traditional masculinity

According to Michael Kimmel, stereotypical masculine men is the men who are aggressive, violent, doesn’t show their feelings, always show sexual interest in women and always try to be in control. We can see many examples of stereotypes all over media like Arnold Schwarzenegger as Terminator, Sylvester Stallone as Rambo, Hugh Jackman as the Wolverine etc…who are all angry and violent characters but there are examples which defy this traditional definition of masculinity like the character Paulie Bleeker from the 2007 film Juno. In the film, Paulie is an example that shows non aggressive masculinity. Unlike stereotypical men, he is not violent, very slim, non muscular, hairless, has respect to women, express his feelings and wears clothes that men normally wouldn’t wear.

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For example, when Paulie finds out that Juno is pregnant, he responds “What should we do?” which shows his responsibility in this situation and willingness to help in the pregnancy. Also unlike a stereotypical man in power he offers to carry Juno’s bag and shows his feeling by telling directly that he is in love with her. Because he is not like the men that we are used to his manliness is questioned. In the scene where Juno’s father asks who is the baby’s father and when he hears it is Paulie he responds “I didn’t know he had it in him.” and Juno’s friend in addition saying “I know, right?!?” is a simple example that how his masculinity is policed by people by how he looks and behaves. Well in opposition of stereotypical men in media, I think the character Paulie challenges the traditional notions of masculinity and creates a new type of masculinity as its own, which shows that men do not need to be violent, non emotional to be a men.


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