MANSPLAINING 002: Top Gun

This week we are talking about misogyny, grief and homosociality within 1986’s Top Gun.

Articles and concepts referenced:
· “After the death of a friend: Young Men’s grief and masculine identities”
· Sydney Morning Herald article, “Millions of men have no close friends”
· Homosociality

A picture of Tom Cruise’s weird teeth:
cruise15

We implore you to “take part in the conversation.” Did you agree/disagree with some of our discussion or arguments? In regards to the character Charlie, what is your view on the boundary between lover and instructor? Please comment and discuss.

Theme music is “Add 60 Seconds (to the Bechdel Test)” by Kenny Kenny Oh Oh.

Other audio clips are from Top Gun, copyright 1986 Paramount Pictures, utilized under fair use.

One thought on “MANSPLAINING 002: Top Gun”

  1. It has been a really long time since I’ve watched this movie.

    The one area where I think you are missing the mark a little bit is in your opinions about the portrayal of grief. I think that is more a reflection of military culture than masculinity in general. Losing friends is unfortunately something that anybody who goes into combat will most likely have to deal with.

    While the attitude of Maverick’s superiors seems callous, I think you have to see it from their perspective. Maverick is an individual with a highly specialized skill set, and the Navy has invested hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of dollars in training him. And, as is shown towards the end of the movie, he can be called upon to use those skills in combat at short notice at any time. And if he fails to perform, other people are going to lose their lives. By the time he even begins flight training, he has already been subjected to an extensive battery of physical and psychological tests to make sure that he can handle the stresses of combat, both physical and emotional (I would recommend watching the movie ‘An Officer and a Gentleman’ with Richard Gere, Debra Winger, and Louis Gossett, Jr. for a depiction of part of this process, it’s also a pretty good movie).

    Other than that, I think most of your impressions are pretty spot on, and I really enjoyed listening to the podcast.

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