Friday, March 9, 2012


I found this article on American Copper to be very interesting. In the time of a decrease in blue collar "traditional" masculine job it has led to a a hit to the America male psyche. Because of men's inability to prove typical norms of masculinity that comes along with physical labor, such as dominance, control and working a "man's job," resulted in the creation of alternative modes of expression. Carroll offers the symbol of the motorcycle in American Chopper as such an alternative. In addition it has come to represent a symbol of rebellion and masculinity, part of the Wild Wild West, and in times such as post-World War II.
In other forms of media the motorcycle has come to represent this as well, even if just subtly. Like in last week's episode of Pretty Little Liars, one of the main characters', Spencer, ex-boyfriends, Toby, comes riding out in the middle of the street with the helmet during the night. Although the audience cannot see his face, Spencer makes it's clear when shading her eyes, she asks to know one in particular, "Toby?" He stops and then turns his motorcycle around without saying anything. Even though this is such a seemingly small detail in this overarching show, this moment shows that Toby has the power. Another such example is seen in the more recent Batman movies. When Batman's not riding in the Batmobile, he'll hop onto his super-emasculated motorcycle, further asserting his dominance and rebellion by wearing his mask and darting in between cars to save the world. As seen by both these media examples, the motorcycle can also represent a sense of mystery, which can be used in many aspects, such as to increase the allure of a male figure. 

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