Women’s Perception of Masculinity

In this part of Grown Ups which is a Hollywood movie, we see four women who are sunbathing and watching a guy coming out of the pool. The guy at first sight, fits in to the “ideal” male stereotype: he has a perfectly muscled and wet body, and the way he walks is really masculine. From the way these four women look at him, we can understand that he is the ‘dream guy’ of the majority of women because his appearance conforms to what women expect from men to be/look like. However, when he starts to talk, everything changes. His voice, which sounds funny and childish makes these women laugh at him out loud. They seem like they’re wondering how this sightly man could have such an “unnatural” voice. This is obviously something unusual and also undesirable which does not conform to the notions of masculinity according to most of the women’s point of view.

In “Masculintiy as Homophobia” Michael S. Kimmel states that homophobia is the “fear of being perceived as not a real man” and that it “keeps men exaggerating all the traditional rules of masculinity”. So maybe the guy at this scene of Grown Ups is aware of his voice and maybe that’s why he tries to make himself fit in to the “ideal” male stereotype. As Kimmel says, ” In one survey… men responded that they were most afraid being laughed at.” ,this scene of the movie is a really good example of what men think about being masculine ,what they are afraid of and what women expect from them.


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