In What Can Julie Andrews, Glenn Close, and Kyra Knightley teach your children about gay culture?, we learned that certain movies are rich with potential lessons about our gay culture. But what if your children don’t want to watch those particular movies? What if they are only interested in action films—the more violent the better?
About fifty percent of you are raising a boy, and as you well know, boys love to watch a good fight—whether it involves guns, grenades, swords, knives, bows and arrows, sling shots, light sabers, lasers, or simple hand-to-hand combat. And once your son discovers the action genre, he’ll never be quite satisfied sitting through High School Musical again. You have to make a difficult choice.
You can stand your ground, repeat “This family doesn’t believe in violence” like a mantra, and use daily viewings of favorite family classics as reparative therapy—in which case your child will eventually stop requesting these movies and resort to secret ways to satisfy his impulses the same way you did.
OR . . . You can stretch your brain to find a few redeeming gay-culture lessons in the black-and-white, good-and-evil, kill-or-be-killed world of action heroes and villains—it’s difficult, but not impossible—and then sit back, relax, and enjoy the show with your own little action hero. Below are 5 “classic” action movies with sample teaching points.
|Die Hard|| Explain: “You may find yourself wondering what it would be like to have a super macho dad like John McClain who can walk barefoot over broken glass, use the “F” word in a multitude of creative ways, and save whole cities and countries from terrorists. Just remember that he can’t save his marriage and he isn’t home watching action flicks with his children. You’re much better off with your nonviolent gay parents.”|
|Lethal Weapon|| Keep the remote in your hand at all times. Pause at least once every fifteen minutes and remind your child there is a huge different between a screen character and the actor who plays the character. Say, “Mel Gibson is a homophobe, an anti-Semite, and a racist.” Make sure to reinforce this during Lethal Weapon 2, 3, and 4 as well.|
|Pirates of the Caribbean|| Point out that if your child’s budding “gaydar” goes off during the film, he shouldn’t be surprise. Captain Jack Sparrow is definitely a pirate with gay tendencies. Discuss Jack’s biting wit, stylish pirate accessories, and exaggerated swagger.|
|Superman, Spiderman, and/or Batman|| Through the decades, many straight actors have made their mark by slipping into superhero tights. Tell your son, “If you become an actor, never turn down the opportunity to wear a pair of tights. It doesn’t mean you’re gay—but you’ll probably attract a gay following, which can only benefit your career.”|
|300|| Here is the ultimate fighting movie, with abundant computer-enhanced battle-scene blood and decapitations. Make your lesson equally dramatic: “Thank God we’re not Spartans. In Ancient Sparta, you would be three years into your military training, and I would probably have been eviscerated long ago–just like the Persians and Spartans at Thermopolis–because I’m gay.”|
© 2008 by Carrie Smith. All rights reserved.