Monday, May 29, 2006

Fight Club

Real fight clubs inspired by the movie. I'm totally speechless. Feeling emasculated should not mean you should go out and seek bodily harm. Notice the strong genderization of this activity. I don't know whether to demand that women be allowed to participate in this new form of a gentleman's club or suggest that, for once, we let the men keep their self-segregation.


Blogger Hui Jeong said...

jenn, this is something that i don't mind letting the men have for themselves... i can't believe the guy missed his first wedding anniversary?!

5/30/2006 12:29:00 AM  
Anonymous sheldiz said...

i remember these 'fight clubs' at Villanova... didn't really understand the appeal then and still don't now.

5/30/2006 02:20:00 PM  
Anonymous Hattie said...

Being a man in the world of men is more important to most men than their relationships with women. Understand this, women, and be happy. Set yourself free from their obsessions.

5/30/2006 03:18:00 PM  
Blogger James said...

I find this news story bizarre. Fighting people as a method of personal discovery? WTF? Violence cast as peer-bonding just seems dangerous.

However, some random computer programmers beating each other up does not comment on all men everywhere. I don't judge all womanhood from the Paris Hilton tape, so even though this activity centers around guys, I think it's just as relevant that the guys they speak of are "Silicon Valley techies". Fight clubs are not gangster.

But, just because I didn't get it, what does "Set yourself free from their obsessions." mean?

5/30/2006 03:53:00 PM  
Blogger Ragnell said...

But... but... I want the chance to hit people too...

5/31/2006 01:51:00 AM  
Blogger Lee Herrick said...

yes, very bizarre. but palahniuk's novel is fascinating, in my opinion...yes, it is very "male," for lack of a better term, but there's not actually a lot of time spent on/in the actual fight club(s) in the book. tyler durden, the protagonist, is a split personality (of sorts), and once you get past the fragment-driven writing style and often grotesque/crude language, i think the book is a fascinating exploration of masculinity and femininity (see the character "Bob" for more on this), agression and depression, what men lack (tyler's father is noticably absent in the book) and the base/basic depths (literally and figuratively) to which men can go. i would imagine psychologists would have a field day with it.

i have taught the novel to my students (usually as one of five novel options), and those who select it love it. having said that (a sort of defense of the novel on its many merits), i think the guys who start real fight clubs are insane.

5/31/2006 02:00:00 AM  
Anonymous gatamala said...

hmmmm I never knew. May check it out.

5/31/2006 09:27:00 AM  
Blogger Jenn said...

Lee, you certainly make me want to read the book now... thanks for the exposition!

James, while I think it's true that we can't generalize to all men, I think it's telling that THESE men chose to make their club gender exclusive. They chose to draw the lines along gender, rather than along race, class, or professional activity (as with the techie part). I think that the article argues that this is because it is a chance to prove your "masculinity"... what is so masculine about beating one another to a bloody pulp?

5/31/2006 11:45:00 AM  
Blogger Gar said...

Some men and women (whether driven by competition, feelings of powerlessness in their lives, social frustration, or a desire to 'test' themselves) need an outlet for their darker impulses - many men take up boxing, football, martial arts, etc. as socially-acceptable, healthy outlets for those impulses.

As a troubled youth (heh), I myself used to find a lot of personal satisfaction doing martial arts (wing chun and kendo), and while learning values such as respect and discipline were the main benefits, my adolescent mind also appreciated the value in something as simple as being able physically express my pent-up rage and disillusionment with life (oh, the angst of teenage youth).

While a "fight club" may be a more extreme version of any of activities I just listed, I believe it meets a similar need.

Of course, maybe it's my imagination, and all those guys have way too much testosterone... Haha.

5/31/2006 12:19:00 PM  
Anonymous Lemon said...

Doesn't look very gender exclusive to me.

6/19/2006 05:17:00 PM  

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