Toxic masculinity in Michael Rohrbaugh’s American Male

Ida Rosida, Fakultas Adab dan Humaniora UIN Syarif Hidayatullah Jakarta, Indonesia
Pita Merdeka, Universitas Islam Negeri Syarif Hidayatullah Jakarta, Indonesia
Annisa Nur Chaliza, Universitas Islam Negeri Syarif Hidayatullah Jakarta, Indonesia, Indonesia
Aulia Aprilia Nisa, Universitas Islam Negeri Syarif Hidayatullah Jakarta, Indonesia, Indonesia
Muhamad Sodikin, Universitas Islam Negeri Syarif Hidayatullah Jakarta, Indonesia, Indonesia


Masculinity is recognized as a social value that regulates how a man should or should not behave. Those who do not meet the ideal characteristics such as strong, powerful, dominant, aggressive, and others, in some circumstances, will be considered as toxic masculinity. This article aims to explore how masculinity traits and toxic masculinity are presented in a short film directed by Michael Rohrbaugh entitled American Male (2016). This film looks at the gender norms which are emerged in a society by showing a muscle-up man who portrays masculine standard traits. The main character in the film is portrayed as a man who is strong, competitive, and violent. The method used is a qualitative content analysis based on the concept of masculinity by Janet Saltzman Chafetz. The results show that American Male is a medium used to convey how masculine norms has ruined the society. As it is socially and culturally constructed, men must be engaged with it. Men must be masculine. Even more, men who do not fulfill the traits are considered either losers or gays. Toxic masculinity subsequently forces men to fulfill masculinity. The traits are socially regressive and lead to violence, patriarchy, domination, and homophobia. In conclusion, the main character becomes depressed, violent, and stereotyped as a result of toxic masculinity.

Keywords: male domination, masculine traits, men suppression, toxic masculinity

Maskulinitas Toksik dalam American Male Karya Michael Rohrbaugh

Maskulinitas diakui sebagai nilai sosial yang digunakan untuk mengatur bagaimana seorang laki-laki harus berperilaku. Bagi mereka yang tidak memenuhi ciri ideal dari seorang lelaki seperti kuat, mendominasi, agresif, dan lain sebagainya, akan dianggap sebagai laki-laki sejati yang mana standar tersebut akan dianggap menjadi maskulinitas toksik. Artikel ini membahas bagaimana karakteristik maskulinitas dan maskulinitas toksik ditampilkan dalam film pendek American Male (2016) yang disutradarai oleh Michael Rohrbaugh. Film ini mengkaji bagaimana norma gender yang muncul di masyarakat dengan memperlihatkan seorang laki-laki berotot yang mengikuti berbagai karakteristik maskulinitas. Karakter utama dalam film tersebut digambarkan sebagai pria kuat, kompetitif, dan kasar. Metode yang digunakan adalah analisis konten kualitatif dan konsep maskulinitas dari teori Janet Saltzman Chafetz. Hasil penelitian menunjukkan bahwa American Male (2016) merupakan media yang digunakan untuk menyampaikan bagaimana norma maskulin telah merusak masyarakat. Karena norma tersebut dibangun secara sosial dan budaya, laki-laki harus terlibat di dalamnya. Laki-laki harus maskulin. Lebih dari itu, laki-laki yang tidak memenuhi sifat-sifat tersebut dianggap pecundang atau homo. Maskulinitas toksik selanjutnya memaksa laki-laki untuk memenuhi maskulinitas. Ciri-ciri tersebut regresif secara sosial dan mengarah pada kekerasan, patriarki, dominasi, dan homofobia. Kesimpulannya, karakter utama menjadi tertekan, kasar, dan distereotipkan sebagai akibat dari maskulinitas toksik.

Kata kunci: maskulinitas toksik, karakteristik maskulinitas, dominasi laki-laki, penindasan pria


Toxic Masculinity; Masculine Traits; Male Domination; Men Suppression

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