Study Guide

Grease Men and Masculinity

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Men and Masculinity


After not seeing Sonny all summer, Danny greets him by grabbing his crotch. Is this what James Dean would do?

KENICKIE: Hey, you seen any of the new broads over there?

DANNY: Nah, just the same old chicks everybody's made it with.

Immediately we see how the T-Birds strut around the school like peacocks with their feathers out. They talk big, and part of talking big involves putting down other girls. It's a typical double standard. The girls are insulting for "ma[king] it" with guys, but the guys are celebrated for the same thing.

DANNY: I did meet this one chick. She was sort of cool, you know.

SONNY: You mean she puts out?

DANNY: Oh come on, Sonny, is that all you ever think about?

Considering Danny is the one who just put down a group of girls for being "the same old chicks everybody's made it with" he should step off his high horse before he falls off and gets hurt.

FRENCHY: Listen, Sandy, men are rats. Listen to me. They're fleas on rats. Worse than that, they're amoebas on fleas on rats. I mean they're too low for even the dogs to bite. The only man a girl can depend on is her daddy.

The reason Frenchy stereotypes all men this way is because all the guys at Rydell act the way we just saw the T-Birds act in the last two quotes. They think it makes them look hot, but the women thing they're scumbags.

DANNY: We made out under the dock.

There is a disconnect between the lyrics and the hand motions during Danny's part of "Summer Nights." His hand motion here, which looks like the, err, "hand jive," suggests they did more than make out. But Sandy doesn't mention this part. Is he playing it up for the guys, or is Sandy not telling the whole truth to maintain her wholesome image?

DANNY: Sloppy seconds ain't my style.

RIZZO: Where are you going? To flog your log?

Rizzo often acts more stereotypically masculine. She goes all the way, she smokes, she drinks, and as we see here, she has no problem talking crass.

SONNY: When a guy picks a chick over his buddies, something gotta be wrong.

All the guys do is talk about chicks, but the other guys get jealous when one of them gets a girl and the others don't. It's almost like they're all high school students and have no idea what they actually want… Hmm…

KENICKIE: Well, I thought that you could maybe be my second at Thunder Road?

This is a nice moment in the friendship of Danny and Kenickie. The two recognize this and hug, but only for a second, because the masculine norms of the time forbid two men touching—unless one of them is grabbing the other one's scrotum in greeting. To maintain their image, the two men break away and comb their hair as if nothing happened.

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