Study Guide

Grease Men and Masculinity

Men and Masculinity

In The New Statesman, India Ross credited James Dean with creating modern masculinity. In 1955, Dean slicked backed his hair, smoked cigarettes, and raced cars. Sound familiar? (Source)

The T-Birds are basically all James Dean wannabes. Danny Zuko has the slicked back hair, the cigarettes, the racing skills, and the attitude. So Danny Zuko might have out-Deaned Dean…but Dean was a rebel without a cause.

When Danny gets a cause—named Sandy—it shakes up his masculine worldview.

Questions About Men and Masculinity

  1. What are the traditionally masculine attitudes depicted in Grease?
  2. Is Rizzo more masculine or more feminine?
  3. Do the T-Birds display any stereotypically feminine traits, or are they 100% masculine?
  4. Why do the T-Birds want to look masculine?

Chew on This

The T-Birds make themselves look macho by talking about sex non-stop, but they're all talk, no action.

The Pink Ladies are arguably more "masculine" because they are more sexual than the T-Birds are. They don't talk; they do.

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