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Birdman is a black comedy; it tells a story to expose us to dominant parts of the male culture.  As we may know, the masculine male culture includes stories of superheroes- gladiators, hulks and terminators- inventions and achievements; it is a culture that re-tells stories of power and domination; it is a culture that portrays images of competitive, insensitive and disconnected men.

The male culture doesn’t just influence men in our society; its narrative has shaped, shape and will continue shaping all of us regardless of our gender.   This movie is about a man and his relational struggles/ challenges with himself and with the world around him; i.e. his daughter, ex-wife, job, coworkers and etc.

Birdman is nostalgic! It shares men experienced when he lost his status in public eye. The movie also suggests ideas on what men should do to gain confidence and regain the public trust.

Due to many social changes in the past few decades, the male culture was affected significantly and consequently its powerful status and entitlement in society tremendously trembled. In the past few decades, the behaviours/ actions taken by men- under the influence of male culture- have been scrutinized, criticized and monitored significantly; very precise attention given to the masculine male culture and its application in people’s lives. Many eyes continue monitoring and criticizing actions of disconnection, insensitivity and irresponsibility that speak to male supremacy and patriarchy.  Men, themselves, have also begun to watch and examine their own actions towards others; they have taken critics’ comments seriously and joined them to enhance their roles in others’ lives.

I enjoyed the movie very much. It is about redemption; it is about a new realization; it is about regaining power and respect in a more sensitive, humble and connecting way!  The movie is an invitation to all of us (men and women) to become part of something larger than self; it is an invitation to participate but not dominate; it is an invitation to be present and treat others as equals and with care and consideration.

I do believe that all of us, men and women, need to catch up with the recent changes and adjust ourselves with the new thinking about relationships.  I believe that we need to continue re-examining our actions and participate in co-constructing new relational realities for a better world.  I believe that we have resources, strengths, and knowledge to respond differently and effectively to the today’s expectations of us as human beings. I believe that we have to take deliberate positions to not repeat the past but to make new realities that are more equitable, sensible and responsible.

Let’s reconnect and build a better future for self and others.

Happy possibilities,

Tahereh Barati

 

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