Don Jon’s Obsession with Masculinity

Originally I wanted to write about why feminism isn’t just for women, but then I realized that there are so many articles and blogs and video posts on this one topic that one more would be redundant. Instead, I want to talk about an upcoming film that explores why patriarchy sucks for men.

Actor Joseph Gordon-Levitt has recently directed his first film that is expected to premiere this October called Don Jon. This films looks like it’s going to satire about the dichotomy between fantasy-reality in our patriarchal society. It critiques the social construction of societal norms like masculinity, femininity, and sexuality while simultaneously exploring the perpetuation of these norms in media, religious groups, material items and other people.

Don Jon is a fictional character that is obsessed with exerting and maintaining his masculinity. In this first trailer, Don Jon states that he only cares [obsesses] about a few things:

His body.

His pad.

His ride.

His family.

His church.

His boys.

His girls.

His porn.


Already this film is picking at the cult of hegemonic masculinity and the feminist inside of me TOTALLY is wigging out about it.


The plot of this film seems to circle around Don Jon falling in love with a woman named Barbara (played by super sexy Scarlett Johansson) , who is obsessed with romance films that are knowingly fantastical and unrealistic, but serves as a standard for what she expects in real life. Don Jon internally criticizes her for ridiculous obsession and stupid expectations, but hey! She’s hot and he’s in love so it doesn’t matter.

In contrast, he is a man that is obsessed with outlandishly fake porn that serves as a social comparison for what he expects from women in real life. Naturally the plot is about how their expectations are essentially a double-bind that is destined to clash.

With that being said, I’m excited for this movie because I think it will be one of the most thought-provoking and comedic independent films of the year. I pretty much expect this film to break down why patriarchy just sucks for everybody in general, but especially for men.


Seriously, what more could you possibly want out of life?

Side note: It’s a known fact that I dislike romantic comedies because of their crappy, formulaic and cheesy story lines, but what makes this one different is that the character Don Jon acknowledges how crappy they are thereby making this film an exception to the rom-com genre. 

I think it’ll make for a nice date night movie, but DO NOT make it a date night movie if your relationship is not at that level where you ready to openly talk, hear, and possibly see porn/sex because that can get really awkward really fast.

The movie Don Jon is due to premiere in October and you can bet your ass that I’ll be writing about it after I’ve seen it three times. Because let’s face it, the first time I’ll be enjoying the movie. The second time I’ll simply be drooling over Joseph Gordon-Levitt (who I have reason to believe is a feminist thereby making him even sexier in my book). The third time I’ll be a little more critical about the film itself and do a review, analysis, and all of that nerdy shit that you probably won’t even care about.

On top of all of that, Joesph Gordon-Levitt has created a Don Martello Twitter account where poses as the character Don Jon. He responds to fan questions about the film, his character, and why “that pussy ass kid actor from 30 rock made a movie” about him. It’s quite comical and an excellent PR strategy if you ask me. To articulate the anticipation of this film I want to point out that Don Jon was trending worldwide on Twitter after the first few hours that only one movie trailer debuted. I encourage you take a few minutes to check it out here. You can also follow Don Martello on Twitter @DonJon.

In the meantime, here are some must read/ must-see articles and videos about why patriarchy can suck for the dudes and why feminism isn’t just for women:

On Doing the Emotional Work of Being a Male Feminist

Feminism Needs Men, Too

Men & Femininity


10 thoughts on “Don Jon’s Obsession with Masculinity

  1. Pingback: Why are there so few female CEOs? | thegreatantagonizer

  2. Pingback: The Feminist Patriarchy | ajrogersphilosophy

    • Actually, there are a lot of other comments on our site that we don’t agree with but publish because we think it is productive. Especially since people usually think along the same lines when they disagree. We just have low tolerance for nonintellectual conversation because it is a waste of our time. If you don’t like it, no one is forcing you to read it or agree with us.

      Thanks for reading and commenting!


  3. Any ‘ism that puts one gender blindly above another for any reason other than practicality is wrong. Please allow me to elaborate. Women are designed to bare children. This is a scientific fact (yes, this is why women have breasts, a vagina, felopes, etc.). Men are designed to create children, too, but not rear them. In fact by man’s very design, he is encouraged to try and impregnate as many women as possible; men can impregnate multiple women in a short amount of time (yes, even mere minutes!) while a woman can only bare the child of one man at any given time. The woman is, therefore, in a stationary position for 9/10 months, and more by design if you think of breast feeding. I’m all for women and men doing what feels right to them and I believe different individuals, men and women, find their respective strengths performing many different tasks.

    So lets all join together and say yes, women can do what men can in modern society, given different individuals have different strengths regardless of gender, but also concede that there will be no impregnated men baring children. And also know nature has designed woman and man to be different sides of the same coin; we are complimentary beings and both beautiful and useful creatures in our own respective right. So let us embrace what makes us different and what makes us the same and act accordingly!

  4. I respect women without being told to, thus feminism is a daily attack on me every time I even attempt to watch cable TV and see forced acceptance left and right. I hate any form of forced acceptance because as a white male I am the target of the majority of it, and feel it is the primary cause for my hate of feminism, my nonacceptance of gay marriage(I don’t care if they have sex to be honest but it is ignorant they would want “marriage” and not a new form of their own union), and my dislike for ethnic groups that fulfill their stereotypes. What you women need to do is take a dose of the empathy you say we need, and rationalize for a second that NO MAN is BORN sexist, racist, or hateful, but badgering me for years has made me take clear stances on these things. I am the man who will not hire a woman for a mans position if she is cocky about it and trying to act “empowered”, I am the man who will not be changed. I am born every generation to plenty of households.

    I train german shepherds and one thing I know is all the groups I have mentioned behave like an untrained, anxiety filled, scared dog. Groups that seek to change others are offensive, and children just need to be raised with more positivity and calmness and then understanding to others problems would come naturally.

    Try to force a german shepherd to do what you want just by arguing and demanding it, try seeing what happens….

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