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Troubling MasculinitiesTerror, Gender, and Monstrous Others in American Film Post-9/11$
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Glen Donnar

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9781496828576

Published to University Press of Mississippi: January 2021

DOI: 10.14325/mississippi/9781496828576.001.0001

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Remasculinizing American Cinema Post-9/11

(p.3) Introduction
Troubling Masculinities

Glen Donnar

University Press of Mississippi

This chapter recounts the immediate and pervasive association of the 9/11 attacks with American film, genre spectacle, and gender. American national identity, notions of manhood, and expressions of hegemonic masculinity are often linked, especially in periods of crisis or turmoil. Hollywood cinema, key genres, and iconic “male action” masculinities were prominently mobilized in understanding the attacks and proposing the national response. The chapter discusses how America fell back on reassuring Hollywood narratives to displace the overwhelming impact of 9/11 and cope with its attendant traumas. The attacks were insistently figured in gendered terms to diagnose perceived national deficiencies, and valorize “heroic” and professional masculinities. The chapter finally identifies how political, military, and cultural responses were equally gendered. Additionally, the terror threat was rhetorically domesticated and terrorists were discursively constructed as monstrous Others to promote the return of “traditional” masculinity and “strong father” figures in advancing the succeeding “war on terror.”

Keywords:   Hollywood, Masculinities, Crisis, Security, Monster

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