“Like Any Story Worth Telling, This Story is About A Girl”–The Role of Gender in the Hero Myth

Art & Literature, Culture, Film, Media, Picturing the Word — By on April 15, 2010 at 2:00 am

Danielle and I both realized over the course of this class that questions about gender range from absurd to non-existent. Questions such as “Are you saying that a woman is worth less than a military conquest!?” prompted Danielle and I both to believe that questions concerning relationships, ideals of beauty, and ideals of love were worth more attention. These questions have crept into our curriculum, but haven’t been addressed in class discussion.

In this podcast, we discuss the ideals of femininity and masculinity, and discuss the American conception beauty. Finally, Danielle and I ask if we’re comfortable with these definitions, stereotypes, and ideals.

With that said, welcome to the gender podcast! Don’t worry: Danielle and I don’t say crazy things. Well, she doesn’t say crazy things. In all seriousness, though, we hope you enjoy the discussion. Let us know your thoughts in the comments or at picturingtheword@gmail.com.

Happy listening! ‘


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  • http://www.evangelicaloutpost.com/ Dustin R. Steeve

    John and Danielle,

    I want to push back on your separation of sex from gender. I understand how the separation can the two gives you room for conceptualizing and wrestling through some tough questions, but gender and gender roles are inescapably tethered to sexual/physical realities. For example, when one associates masculinity with strength, they are not creating the association ex nihilo, rather it is in fact the case that men are physically stronger than women by virtue of natural processes of human development.

    With regard to the hero myths, it should come as no surprise that men often save women from distress. Often, the distress requires some feat of strength or some other physical trait that men, by their physical design, possess. Is it a “problem” in some ideologically oppressive sense that we, then, create hero myths where the hero embodies masculine traits and is often a man? That is the vibe I get from your podcast and I feel it unwarranted given that we are embodied creatures with God ordained physical traits which provide us opportunity to naturally excel in certain areas where heroism is often needed and rightly attributed. I think making the hard separation you make between sex and gender at the beginning prohibits you from appreciating the origins and motivations behind the masculine male as the archetype hero.

    There was not a strong, pro-masculine voice in the podcast and I’d be curious to know what you’d say to one who’d assert the proper place of the male masculine hero as I’ve just done.

    Feedback?

  • http://www.evangelicaloutpost.com Dustin R. Steeve

    John and Danielle,

    I want to push back on your separation of sex from gender. I understand how the separation can the two gives you room for conceptualizing and wrestling through some tough questions, but gender and gender roles are inescapably tethered to sexual/physical realities. For example, when one associates masculinity with strength, they are not creating the association ex nihilo, rather it is in fact the case that men are physically stronger than women by virtue of natural processes of human development.

    With regard to the hero myths, it should come as no surprise that men often save women from distress. Often, the distress requires some feat of strength or some other physical trait that men, by their physical design, possess. Is it a “problem” in some ideologically oppressive sense that we, then, create hero myths where the hero embodies masculine traits and is often a man? That is the vibe I get from your podcast and I feel it unwarranted given that we are embodied creatures with God ordained physical traits which provide us opportunity to naturally excel in certain areas where heroism is often needed and rightly attributed. I think making the hard separation you make between sex and gender at the beginning prohibits you from appreciating the origins and motivations behind the masculine male as the archetype hero.

    There was not a strong, pro-masculine voice in the podcast and I’d be curious to know what you’d say to one who’d assert the proper place of the male masculine hero as I’ve just done.

    Feedback?