Masculinity in “The Sky is Grey” and “Nothing but a Man”

In the film and short story The Sky is Grey, a preacher and a young man have an argument in the dentist’s office. The young man explains to the preacher that, to believe blindly in religion is to be corrupted and controlled by the white man. After the two argue for awhile, the  preacher becomes violent and hits the young man. This action shows that the preacher felt that his religion was insulted, however it is more than that. He felt personally attacked, and it can be argued that his masculinity was threatened. After this interaction, the preacher leaves out of embarrassment.

This relates to masculinity as it is presented in Nothing but a Man. In this film, the main character finds masculinity in creating change in his world, and that is similar to what the young man in The Sky is Grey is doing. As he argues with the preacher, he explains that the world will not be changed by believing the same things white people have told them, it will be changed by questioning everything. I believe these films/short stories are a good starting place to examine what masculinity really is; when one man has one perception of it and another has an entirely different one, who is correct? Personally, I believe masculinity is a construct that is performed to match stereotypes portrayed in the media and demonstrated by some men, however it is interesting to analyze from different points of view.

This is one Christian’s view of masculinity. It may help you think about how masculinity is perceived to different people.

3 thoughts on “Masculinity in “The Sky is Grey” and “Nothing but a Man”

  1. I agree with your perspective on what masculinity is, but it is interesting to see how masculinity is executed in different situations. The toxic patriarchy has taught the world that masculinity is domination and control. You can definitely see that in the way the preacher behaves in “The Sky is Gray” and in the way Duff transforms during Nothing but a Man.

  2. I find the connection you make between masculinity and media interesting. I also believe that the media plays a major role in how men are portrayed in both domestic and work settings. I feel it places a burden on men to match that stereotype so they can be successful in all environments.

  3. Masculinity and religion are always intertwined very interestingly and most of that comes from the media. Preachers are always seen as strong men who lead whereas any other kind of man who is deeply religious is seen as feminine. It would be interesting to see how this plays out today compared to through both of these movies.

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