Boy Fantsy

July 6, 2009

posted by Caroline Picard

transformers-revenge-of-the-fallen

I just saw the new Transformers last week. It’s a summer blockbuster, for sure and there is nothing wrong with that. I’d be hard-pressed to go see a tear-jerk drama in the summertime, at least when its hot outside and I’m looking for some air-conditioned respite. Transformer’s: Revenge of the Fallen is what you would expect. Directed by Michael Bay, (there is a hilarious shout-out to himself when the main character LaBoeuf is writing on the walls of his college dorm room which has a poster for “Bad Boys II” on the wall) the movie is in every respect boy fantasy:

Uneducated girlfriend Meghan Fox fixes motorcyles

Femme Bot hot girl has a tongue and a tail that will strangle you (is also determined to seduce you)

You can read an entire book of physics in less than sixty seconds

You can save the world (this one obvious, I know)

You are cooler than your roomate

And, most awesome:

In a near-death experience you are transported to the heights of the comic-book-frame-clouds, where abstract and giant machines hover above, silhouetted against the giant cloudscape, they speak to you through glory beams, “We’ve been watching you,” they say, in acknowledgment of your greatness. They tell you it isn’t your time yet, but clearly, the Robots, engineers of the universe, love you.

My observation is kind of obvious, yes. (Transformers, after all, have been special to many boys) But. I think what’s interesting is that by adopting the eyes of a pre-pubescent (or early pubescent) boy, one can assume  a degree of ignorance, or, innocence that permits the realization of those desires society says are Bad. Adopting such a world view may circumvent the otherwise incumbent complications of objectifying women, demonizing (eroticly) sex and temptation, assuming the modernist-white-male-bravado of “I am the only one who can save the world,” or it’s still ok to blow shit up (especially in the Middle East), and  derrogatory stereotypes are hilarious. It’s a way of justifying the traditional white male fantasy, which from the adult frame of mind is inappropriate (or at the very least, complicated), through an ignorant youth-view, who’s sexual potential has not yet been experienced whatever. In other words, if the older man could only go back to his inexperienced, virgin self, he could, perhaps, indulge adult fantasies which he feels are not appropriate in the adult context.

What I find particularly interesting is the position that, to me feels particularly American, namely a two-faced position. In which we say on the one hand, This Is Unacceptable, while on the other indulging its subliminal presentation. For instance, Knocked Up presents another host of problematic stereotypes which we, as a society, like to think we are beyond. (There is an interesting interview between Judd Apataw and Seth Rogan where Rogan talks about growing up with an ultra-progressive feminist mom who scared him to death about being a dude; which in some sense, seems to be what he is reacting to). Or even the popularized Sex In The City which is ostensibly (bullshit if you ask me) about a new-wave of feminisim. A new wave which, like this Transformer-boy-world-view allows participants to embrace shoe-fetishes and cinderella-fantasies.

It’s a theory, anyway.

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2 Responses to “Boy Fantsy”

  1. paul Says:

    Wait, are you implying that Michelle Fox strangling you with her tail while making out with you with a super-long reptile tongue is not also a girl-fantasy?

  2. hot girls Says:

    Yeah, I have seen new Transformers. It’s really great, I like it.


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