Notes on masculinity and failure #2

In my search to define my detective character, I have begun to think about the notion of masculinity of which I aspire. The more I dwell upon it. The more I see that it is almost like a caricature of manhood. A childish demonstration. He is a strange mixture of sexualised rogue and asexual Oxford don. The serious, stalwart gentleman who’s authority never falters, and never succumbs to failure (my childhood fantasies of Sherlock Holmes, Inspector Morse & Hercule Piorot), and the serial womaniser (an exaggeration of my father) who’s every swagger exudes sexual prowess, like a lion in his cage stalking the meat on the floor. “I can have any woman I want” he utters. As a woman I am disgusted by this type of man, and yet I want to be that man, to possess that kind of arrogance and power. Tom Cruise’s character in the film Magnolia exemplifies this ridiculous parody of manhood, which I find simultaneously revolting and horribly seductive. I am seduced by the way he moves, cock first. I love the opening sequence of the ‘seduce and destroy’ clip (see below), he is illuminated, grandiose and inflated with sex. It’s like an exaggeration of masculinity, and I want to gulp it up.

Image credit (cover image): Frank Mackey character, Magnolia, 1999, (film still)
Film credit: Excerpt, Magnolia, 1999

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