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The Australian Male Identity Is Often Described As Anti For Example Against Authority, Against Women, Against Bosses, Against Change: "The Club" By David Williamson

1005 words - 4 pages

The Club, by David Williamson, offers various portrayals of Australian men of different generations. In this play, the majority of the characters, except Ted, are either currently or previously were football players, reinforcing the dominant view in society of men as physical rather than intellectual. Within The Club there are many examples of how we typically view Australian men. These include anti-authoritarian, against women and against change, however it is the latter two characteristics which are explored in most depth within The Club. Of these facets of Australian male identity, we are positioned to accept the characters' dismissive and degrading attitudes towards women as these behaviours have been naturalised due the dominant ideas regarding gender in Australian culture, in that men are economically and politically superior. While we are positioned to accept that Australian males can be misogynistic, we resist the stereotype that Australian men are against change, as many of the men in The Club are willing to forfeit tradition in order to win. From this, we can see how the exploration of these two characteristics within The Club, are not meant to be purely accepted or rejected, but reflected on with regards to our own cultural upbringing.The Club depicts an all male society which has little need for women, except as sex objects. The fact that we have no female characters, and therefore no female perspective on the issues contained within the play, automatically positions us to accept the behaviours of the men towards women. Although the typical identity of an Australian male may be against women, as displayed in Ted and Jock, this is a little outdated as Geoff, who is younger than the rest of them, with a university education, shows a little more respect to women but still has a long way to go in treating women as equals. The character who most represents the "typical" male identity, being anti-women, is Jock, who is exceptionally crude showing total disregard for women; such as his comment regarding Danny's wife-"Raylene's a hell of a nice girl, but word id she's not a great one for hiding the sausage"Jock is also violent towards his wife, further displaying misogynistic attitudes.Williamson has used Ted to present a second misogynistic character in his dealings with the stripper, which results in him hitting her. Ted shows blatant disregard for the young stripper-"Nobody treats me like that Laurie, least of all a little trollop like that …. I won't have some little slut laugh in my face"which further adds to the Australian male being viewed as misogynistic. In modern society, men still hold advantages over women, and the majority of positions of power are held by men. This has been reflected within The Club, and we are positioned to accept the marginalisation of women in the play as it often happens in our own society, leading some men to feel they are superior to women, and therefore believing their...

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