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About Men

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About Men

Amanda K
Summary and book questions

Gretel Ehrlich writes a witty and innovative essay about her personal view and encounters with cowboys. She begins by stating most of the myths everyone hears about cowboys, such as they "ride away in the sunset", they're "rugged individualists", and how they're "tough" on the ranch and have a very macho and manly persona about them. However, Ehrlich gives supporting detail to show that not all of these myths are quite true, but have deeper meanings to them. Such as that cowboys have a overly physical job, but there's more to it than just riding horses and participating in stand-offs. She says that "Cowboys are rarely complainers;", something that I personally would have never known. The last paragraph of the selection summarize the piece up very well. She concludes with a sentence that gives the emotion and vulnerability of being a cowboy, such as "because they are confined to a place," and "because calves die in the arms that pulled others into life,".

Book Questions

1. The effect Ehrlich achieves in the first 3 sentences of her essay is that the reader can make a very good guess about what her essay will be about and how the Marlboro man will be put down when she gives her analysis on cowboys.

2. She puts several things in quotation marks in the 1st paragraph to point out the myths or sterotypes most people have about cowboys. She treats it as a counterarguement by after each quotated statement, she adds something about a cowboy that would contradict the sterotype.

7. The form of her last sentence emphasizes the content by how she places all of the real feelings and vulnerabilities that these so called "rugged individuals" have, which can also be tied back to just an average joe.  
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Re: About Men

Sarah H.
Discussion Leader:

This piece gives a whole new perspective to our stereotypes of "cowboys", and how the media has so inacurately portrayed them as lone, tough, and manly guys who ride off into the sunset, when in acutality they are just the opposite. It leads me to wonder, how many other professions has the media given false portrayal of men to?

1) Consider a man who is either a police officer, doctor, or lawyer. Now think of the stereotypes that might be associated with that job and speculate on whether or not the stereotypes could be accurate or not.

2) Why do you think the media has portrayed cowboys the way they have?

3) How has our culture influenced the way we view men?
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Re: About Men

Lauren-D
In response to question 3, i feel that men are potrayed in a number of ways. Society builds up an image of men as being the tough guys, or the "leaders" of the family. They are either veiwed as the complete ruler or a bone head that likes to sit around and watch the big game on tv. Overall our society can build up many types of images that get tacked on to men whether it is correct or not.
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Re: About Men

Carissa Outen
In reply to this post by Sarah H.
via Max Bertholf:

in respose to question 3:

The way that culture shows men is that they be the tough guy that has to provide for his family. He is usually the leader of the house and takes oswt of the control. But that isn't always the case.
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Re: About Men

Meghan Jacobson
In reply to this post by Sarah H.
1. A lawyer is considered to be a boring brunette man who dresses in a black suit. He always carries a briefcase and has a pretty blah personality and is single. thats my sterotype of a lawyer. I think this is extremely wrong because i know many people that are lawyers and they lead happy lives with a wife and kids. I think the media sometimes contorts the veiws of careers to make them seem harder or easier than they really are.
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Re: About Men

Carissa Outen
In reply to this post by Sarah H.
in response to question 1:

Its funny acutally, that people can only judge someone by what Hollywood makes them seem like instead of what they really know. I imagine a doctor as Dr. 90210 but when I came in very close contact with many many doctors this summer, I quickly learned how 'human' these people are. They want to help others, like many of us do. They face daily challenges and struggles; and I've seen many of them cry. They aren't heartless people that Hollywood makes them out to be. I think that every stereotype is inaccuarte and very flase. I think its humorous how false and very far from the truth stereotypes usually turn out being.
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Re: About Men

Harper  Havko
In reply to this post by Sarah H.
Q3:in our society today, men are forced to live up to the sterotype that they should be buff, tough, and rough. but in reality, there are few of us like that. because of sports, tv and movies, all we see is perfect athletes and men who know how to take a punch. major icons would be the marlboro man and G.I. joe, being chisled images of pure man-awesomeness
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Re: About Men

brettramsay
Administrator
This post was updated on .
In reply to this post by Amanda K
via Alex Goolie

About Men deals with stereotypes and men. A police officer for example, is to be a respectable, responsible and morally right man. My personal experience with a police officer I know is a man who beats his wife, is controlling and out of control. He was actually a sheriff, someone you should be able to count on in your community, This just shows people don't act like you think they do. Just like "cowboys" aren't all rebels.
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Re: About Men

brettramsay
Administrator
In reply to this post by Sarah H.
via Natasha Murfin

Stereotypes are constantly made but are not always accurate. For example, many people may think a police officer is out get everyone in trouble but they care about getting the bad people off the street. So police offers are stereotyped as bad when it's the other way arround, so stereotypes aren't always accurate.
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Re: About Men

brettramsay
Administrator
via Joanna Cisneros (researcher)

Gretel Ehrlich was born on a horse ranch near Santa Barabara, California. Ehrlich attended Bennington College and UCLA film school. She enjoyed working on ranches by day and continued writing at night. Like every human being we all get injured. In 1991 Ehrlich was hit by lightning while taking a walk on her ranch. She was hospitalized for several years. After recovering in 1993, she started her life on track again.
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Re: About Men

Sarah H.
Via Amelia Yach

In response to question 3:

Men in our culture these days are looked as being tough and strong. I don’t believe that we as a culture support sensitivity in guys, and if it is shown, they are looked at as being "less manly". Guys our age don’t like to show their true emotions, I believe that it makes them feel weak. I was having a conversation with one of my friends the other day, and I was telling him how I thought it was cute when guys cried, well he completely disregarded what I was saying, and explained that he just didn’t "like" to cry. I never knew you could have a preference on liking crying or not. But that was just an example of how our culture ignores the sensitive side of guys, and only praises the rough, tough strong side of them.
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Re: About Men

DalinT
In reply to this post by Sarah H.
Q:3
How has our culture influenced the way we view men?
Oh boy. For centuries society developed the way men dictated because they considered themselves the "superior" sex. Now we are living in a time (in retrospect) just after women have been able to assert themselves into the picture. As a stereotype men are the ruff and tumble idiots. Today we see men as the more primitive sex in mind. We are so sick of men screwing things up we all secretly want women to take over we're just reluctant because we're so traditionalistic.  We still see them as we've seen them in the past. The protectors and providers with no room for weakness or they might be "gay" or "metro"; both stereotypes for weakness. Half the problem why they can't get civil rights. (Slight tangent) Main point stereotypes are just the remnants of older ways of thinking that the majority of the populous are too insensitive to notice. Hence why education and higher thinking are essential to obtaining a more balanced and peaceful society. (another tangent) Conclusion, men are buff. But not anymore. But we want them to be. But not really. Make sense? Absolutely not. Oh well. Give it three generations and hopefully it'll change.  
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Re: About Men

brettramsay
Administrator
via Cristina Potapenko

Men are viewed as this big, strong cowboy that has no weakness or emotion. It's very true to mdoern life because men are the strong ones in the relationship, but real men do have a sweet side. Only to people who they feel comfortable and know 100% they won't be made fun of. The About Men piece is about modern men today.
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Re: About Men

brettramsay
Administrator
via Kimberly Perich

To answer question #3, our culture is based on entertainment. That includes sports and looks. To play in sports, a man is usually fitter, more muscularly built and athletic. This is also what biologically women are attracted to. So the men that are muscular, taller, and good looking (more masculine) are culturally favored over those men of lesser qualities. From that comes the drive to be more masculine and where stereotypes also come from.
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Re: About Men

Elysem306
In reply to this post by Amanda K
I love how this passage states that there is a stereo-type to "being a man." The "riding into the sunset" of cowboys is so cliche but known throughout our society. This passage puts an interesting spin on how we see men. and i found it enjoyable.
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