Sexuality in Bruce Lee

79935303 Daisuke Tohyama

Sexuality in Bruce Lee

            In chapter 1, we see a different sexuality or masculinity from being physically aggressive against women such as kissing, flirtation, or hugging through Bruce Lee’s films.

In the Big Boss, Cheng, whom Bruce plays, defenses his extended family from violence and saves Chow Mei from a bad man. After he saves her, they realize their sexual desire for each other. However, he leaves there without anything to her. From this scene, we notice that he has a sexually desire for her.  In another scene, when Chow cries, Cheng tries to touch her and withdraw his hand. Then he said to her that don’t  cry without touching her. From this scene, we also notice that although he has a desire, he sacrifices his emotion to comfort her. These two scenes imply he tries to get intimacy by being kind. Shimizu mentions that “Bruce has sexuality as larger and more expansive than the criteria privileged by hegemonic masculinity” (Shimizu 34). As we see in Bruce Lee’s film, here is the authenticity of sexuality and masculinity. What makes males? What is sexually desirable? In the film, the son of the factory’s boss tries to having sex with Chow. This aggressiveness is the appropriate sexuality in Western way.

Not only Bruce Lee’s films also does Joe express the different sexuality or masculinity in the Crimson Kimono. While Charlie, his colleague, kisses Chris and grabs hands to have intimacy with her, Joe tries to have intimacy by their conversation. He focuses on a relationship with her through their conversation rather than physical aggressiveness.

Shimizu also states that “Films can shut down our ideas about others. I consider the production of Asian American manhood in terms of a sexuality that limits identification.” (Shimizu 203) This statement means many actors are still suffering from the Western sexuality. This suffer reminds me of racial expectation, too. As Lucy Liu in Charie’s Angels, Asian American women are expected to play exotic, hyper sexual, or dragon lady because she looks Asian. Sexuality is totally related to racial expectation.

Although many films treat Asian American male as less desirable or sexual, these sexuality can release them from straightjacket sexuality. Since I did not expected that there are different sexuality in Hollywood films, I was surprised that Bruce Lee and other actors express that sexuality. In Japanese film or drama, there are a few sex scenes because that scenes are considered as taboo for kids in Japan. Instead, as Bruce does, many actors secretly imply sexuality. Even though many Japanese actors kiss girls, they focus on relationship such as what they do with her.

Work Cited 34, 203


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