Stripping men : a comparison of the New Zealand play Ladies Night and the British film The Full Monty as they (re)define maleness in the post-feminist world (2000)
In what appears to be a reversal of conventional gender roles the male characters of the New Zealand play Ladies Night (1987) and the British film The Full Monty (1997) strip for a female audience. The phenomenal success of this 'reversal' has spawned a plagiarism lawsuit in which the writers of the play maintain that the film is merely their original text 'opened out'. This thesis explores Ladies Night and The Full Monty as symptoms and representations of a so-called male crisis, comparing them to see how the men that make them (re)define maleness in the 'Post-feminist' era. It examines the notion that popular (male) culture has taken over -- in essence, plagiarised -- the position of the feminine 'other' as a means of reasserting status quo (ante) of male dominance. The idea of plagiarism serves as a paradigm for a wider exploration of the appropriations and exploitations of these recent developments in popular culture, especially in relation to gender and male identity as it intersects with ideas of sexuality, race and class. By looking at plagiarism in terms of 'theft by imitation', this thesis analyses the ways in which cultural entertainments that represent men use, appropriate, imitate, invert, reject, and comment upon the traditional position of women as 'other' as a means to represent the plight of the contemporary male and his culture. What do men achieve, or might they be seen to achieve,· by appropriating the discourse and role of the female 'other' in this way? In stripping back the generic layers that are used to stage/frame the male bodies and their relationship with the audience, what is revealed is a successful attempt by men to reclaim their centrality in culture by seducing the audience's pity and sympathy and by the representation of 'equality' between men and women.
KeywordsMcCarten, Anthony,--1961---Ladies night; Full monty (Motion picture); Male striptease; Masculinity in popular culture
RightsAll Rights Reserved
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