REAL MAN OR “LIGHT”

As this week’s topic is “Masculinity as Homophobia” and we talked about terms such as “hegemonic” and “hyper masculine”, I decided to have a look at how these concepts are implied in media in Turkish culture. Old TV serial “Çocuklar Duymasın” portrays two examples of different masculine characters; Haluk, who is in the role of a man as it “should be”, and Selami, in a role of unacceptable “light man” character. Haluk is a middle-aged man, a husband and a father, working in a construction company which is an appropriate job for a “man”. Even though he is in love with his wife, he refuses showing or saying it to her. He is hiding his feeling towards his children, he acts like an authoritarian father because according to the norms of society, real “man” does not show his feelings. He does not like challenges or changes in their life, he is satisfied with the monotonous life where he can enjoy the TV and fall asleep on the sofa every evening after an intensive working day. He is aggressive, often arguing with his wife when making decisions about anything (he believes that he must be dominant and he is right because he is a “man”), he is violent and always ready for fight-believing that every problem could be solved by a plug. He does not care about his health, likes eating and never does sports, enjoys football and believes that all man should also do. He believes that he is carrying all the characteristics that a “real man” should carry. On the other hand, his best friend Selami, a “light man” as Haluk calls him, is sensitive, careful, insightful man who loves his wife and never refuses showing it. He respects her and always behaves in the way she wants him to do so. Selami’s wife’s dominance is the most unacceptable thing for Haluk. Because the husband, or man, is the one who must be dominant. Selami likes going out with his wife, music, arts, theatre; eats fancy and healthy food and does not like footbal-he is doing all things that a “man” should not do.
These two characters are so contradictory to each other and I believe that they are good examples for Kimmel’s arguments. While Haluk is carrying characteristics as aggression, violence, dominance over the women and power and portrays the image of hyper masculanity, Selami is a sensitive, careful man who obeys his wife’s rules and shows characteristics which are unaccepted according to norms in Turkish photo1culture.

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