Brokeback Mountain‘s been out long enough for the media to get this one right. Heck, I haven’t seen the movie and I know that Heath Ledger and Jake Gyllenhaal’s characters are not cowboys, but shepherds. Reporters and writers don’t screw this up occasionally, but as many as 1150 times in the last 30 days. And that’s only among the news web sites that Google includes in its news search.
I’m sure this case has been made elsewhere, but I doubt this slip is unintentional. As James Bowman writes in our March issue, the movie makes a point of showing the viewer “unforgettable images of toxic masculinity.” (subscribe here!) See also Yale Kramer’s thorough analysis of the film — he argues that “It’s a story that hates men.” If so, then those propping it up in the media are well served by exaggerating the characters’ manhood.
Gay shepherds? Well that’s just quirky. Gay cowboys? Now that’s downright sexy and subversive! Get along, little ewe!
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