Bruno Modern Masculinities


Eng 011
13 May 2013
Bruno Modern Masculinities
In the article “Modern Masculinities,” the author Cooper Thompson explains that men in society are expected to be physically strong, tough, and independent, and have self-control over their emotions. He also believes that boys must learn to accept their vulnerability of asking for help and support in appropriate situations. “Modern Masculinities” relates to the movie The Dress Code because it deals with masculinity in relation to self-control. In the movie Bruno has different ways of showing his masculinity. The Dress Code challenges the stereotypes of masculinity in American culture by showing young viewers that they should not be defined by masculinity but instead define it.
One way Bruno shows his masculinity is through bravery and working through fear. For example, in one scene, Bruno wears a dress in a Catholic school, while in a spelling bee contest. The nun whoops Bruno because he wears a dress. The kids bully Bruno in the school, beat him, and call him a “faggot.” With all of the chaos that’s going around him of being bully and beaten, he still comes to school every day wearing a dress and repeating the same cycle. Bruno is not afraid of anybody; he is brave by running away from his bullies and facing up towards them even thou he gets his butt whooped. This shows viewers that no matter how people bully them and call them names, they can be strong to ignore it and live on with their lives.
Another way Bruno shows his masculinity is that he is tough. He continues wearing the dress and make-up to the spelling bee contest knowing that the nuns are going to whoop him. When Bruno knows that the nuns are going to whoop him for wearing the dress, Bruno stands up for himself by saying the pope and ancient Greeks wear a dress, so why can’t he wear one. Bruno accepts his vulnerability because he knows that people are going to make fun of him and beat him up. Even though Bruno is in a weak position, he is still tough when people are against him. He defends his right of wear a dress. In the same way, Cooper Thompson challenges traditional masculinity stereotypes because he believes that boys must learn to accept their vulnerability when it comes to a situation.
The other way of Bruno finds his masculinity is that he is true to himself. He doesn’t care what people say or do to him. He is still going to do what he wants to do and that’s to wear dresses. For example, at the end of the movie, he wears a white dress at the national spelling bee finals, ends up winning the spelling bee, and gets to meet the pope because of what he wears at the spell bee final. The message the movie sends to young men is that no matter how they look or dress, there’s always a good side to being who they are and not everybody else.