|Institution:||University of Iceland|
|Full text PDF:||http://hdl.handle.net/1946/21248|
This essay explores how the film Don Jon (2013) is an astute criticism on modern society, showing how gender inequality is embedded in media narratives and ultimately institutionalized in pornography. Reading the film through literary theories of the postmodern, such as Frederic Jameson, Jean Baudrillard, Laura Mulvey and Judith Butler, the essay demonstrates how the setting and gender relations represented in the film exemplify the culture of late capitalism, with its fragmented sense of history and loss of meaning. The protagonist of the film, Jon, is a porn addict who is only concerned with the appearance of himself and the women in his life. Presenting a male protagonist who is unable to relate to anyone on an intimate level yet constantly tries to connect with women, the film plays with stereotypical representations of women and sex. The film further explores female roles and stereotypes with the juxtaposition of the two main female characters in the movie, Barbara and Esther. The themes are explored through the narrow point of view of the male protagonist, offering a satirical vehicle for the examination of the male attempt at navigating the fragmented postmodern surface. The constraints of traditional male social roles are also explored and the impact of homosocial bonding as a means for maintaining the status quo. The political implication of the pornography industry as a misogynic narrative, as it is demonstrated in the film, is explored, as is the porn addiction which the protagonist experiences, partly as a consequence of postmodern capitalism in Frederic Jameson’s terms. The misogyny found in pornography is shown to be a continuation of an essentialist narrative, institutionalizing inequality based on biology which then again will explain any material inequality between men and women. The development of the protagonist throughout the film is a political cry for a change by demonstrating how all agents, male or female, are suffering in the culture of late capitalism.