including the gender depictions and stereotypes drawn from the movie ‘8 mile.’ It shall provide an analysis of the characters in the movie and the gender-related elements observed in the story and the motivations of the characters.
The movie ‘8 mile’ begins with the lead character Jimmy Rabbit, played by Eminem, staring at a bathroom mirror in a local pub. He is seen trying to memorize lyrics for what appears to the audience as a local rap contest. From the very start, attention to his body is made with the camera shifting to his face and then to his chest, his arms, and to his feet. The physicality seen in this scene is very clear, and can somewhat be likened to the film Rocky, where Balboa is also trying to prepare for a big fight. The focus on the physicality of the character already implies the focus on masculinity and the emphasis on the male space.
The need to secure a masculine space calls on the lead actor’s own life as a rap singer, his struggles with his mother, his struggle to gain legitimacy in the black-dominated rap world, and his desire to secure an escape against his own history of deprivation and poverty. Just as rap music seemed to inspire Rabbit, Eminem has also found inspiration in his rap music to secure meaning and purpose in his life. Performing in his first rap contest, he ‘chokes’ and is unable to speak. He also failed to connect with the male African-American audience. According to Vincent Stephens (2005, p. 22), in some ways, a reverse discrimination against whites who are rapping is very much apparent. Rabbit is labelled a fake by other black rappers, most likely because he did not have much experience rapping in front of their black-dominated audience, and also because they simply did not give much credence to him because he is white (Stephens, 2005, p. 23). In this scene, Rabbit is emasculated, and throughout the rest of the film, proving his masculinity within the context of the rapping world became his ...Show more