In addition to sending you my response privately, I am posting it to
Screen-l in hopes that others will do the same. I am interested in others'
responses to your query, so I hope they will share them by posting to the
I have just taught a course called Women, Men, and the Media, and found a
number of resources that worked well. Specifically addressing your issue
about gender boundaries are a few things that I used in the course.
_Men and Masculinity in the Media_, Steve Craig, ed., is a very
interesting anthology. Craig's opening essay on feminism and men's studies
is very good, and several essays specifically look at questions of sexual
definition. Denski and Sholle's piece on glam and heavy metal rock stars
is one, Robert Hanke's essay on Hegemonic masculinity on thirtysomething is
another, and Clay Steinman's essay called "Gaze out of bounds: Men
watching men on television" is another.
Film resources that worked well included _Some like it Hot_ (two men
disguise themselves as women to escape Al Capone's gang--this is a real
gender bender in some ways, although them men in drag are very obviously
men, especially in contrast to the ultra-lush and zaftig Monroe. _The
Crying Game_ probably needs no introduction to anyone, except to emphasize
that in contrast to most drag, the intention is really to fool the viewer
rather than to reinforce the male spectator's sense of his own masculinity
by showing him clues that make the deception obvious. I even know one man
who admitted to being ATTRACTED to the character Dil. The same day I
showed SLIHot, I showed some scenes from _Pumping Iron II--the Women_ which
is about female bodybuilding, specifically documenting the highly developed
bodybuilder Bev Francis. A real contrast to Monroe, leading to an
interesting discussion of feminine beauty and achievement.
I am always on the lookout for resources on this topic myself, and would
be interested in others' responses.