Author Topic: Your age and your favourite cowboy  (Read 13457 times)

Offline Shuggy

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Your age and your favourite cowboy
« on: April 23, 2006, 12:25:30 am »
Jeff Wrangler wrote
Quote
Ya know, this poll is kind of giving me the courage to mention something I've been privately wondering, that kind of relates to this poll.

I've been wondering what role, if any, age, gender, and orientation play in who we find "more attractive," Ennis or Jack. (I suppose a straight male wouldn't find either "attractive.")

I'll only use myself as an example of what I'm wondering about. I'm a middle-aged gay male--and Jack is my ideal fantasy young cowboy lover, no doubt about it. But, I honestly ask myself, if were 20--okay 25--years younger, would I be more attracted to strong, silent "daddy" Ennis? Quite possibly, I might be.
So let's see if we can devise a poll that asks this.

Offline serious crayons

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Re: Your age and your favourite cowboy
« Reply #1 on: April 23, 2006, 11:29:04 am »
Good idea, Shuggy and Jeff! I've wondered about this, too. Obviously people are constantly making their preferences known in their posts, but I've had a hard time discerning a pattern. I hope more people respond to this poll; it's a little too soon at this point for the results to be very scientific.

BTW, I'm a woman and an Ennisophile. But, as I am several years older than Ennis is even at the end of the movie, I hardly think of him as the "daddy" type. Far from it!

Offline Jeff Wrangler

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Re: Your age and your favourite cowboy
« Reply #2 on: April 23, 2006, 12:22:20 pm »
Thanks for devising this poll, Shuggy!  :)

And, latjoreme, I'm glad to know I haven't been the only one wondering about this!

Maybe there really isn't a pattern, but it would be interesting to know that, too.
"It is required of every man that the spirit within him should walk abroad among his fellow-men, and travel far and wide."--Charles Dickens.

Offline serious crayons

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Re: Your age and your favourite cowboy
« Reply #3 on: April 23, 2006, 01:22:52 pm »
Regardless of what we learn about demographic patterns, I definitely think there's a correlation between which cowboy one favors and how one interprets the movie.

To put it in broadest terms, Ennisophiles tend to view Ennis more sympathetically, to see him as much as a victim of tragedy as a perpetrator, and to see Ennis as the story's protagonist. Jackophiles are more likely to see Jack as the tragic victim of Ennis' shilly-shallying, and to see the POVs as evenly divided.

These basic differences encompass lots of smaller disagreements. Jeff, you and I have debated the whole "did Ennis realize he was in love only after Jack's death" issue. This might be another question that distinguishes Jackophiles and Ennisophiles.

If only we could put all that into a poll! But I'm sure that people of either orientation (Ennis or Jack, I mean) will feel free to voice their opinions of my theory.

Offline Jeff Wrangler

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Re: Your age and your favourite cowboy
« Reply #4 on: April 23, 2006, 03:01:29 pm »
Regardless of what we learn about demographic patterns, I definitely think there's a correlation between which cowboy one favors and how one interprets the movie.

To put it in broadest terms, Ennisophiles tend to view Ennis more sympathetically, to see him as much as a victim of tragedy as a perpetrator, and to see Ennis as the story's protagonist. Jackophiles are more likely to see Jack as the tragic victim of Ennis' shilly-shallying, and to see the POVs as evenly divided.

These basic differences encompass lots of smaller disagreements. Jeff, you and I have debated the whole "did Ennis realize he was in love only after Jack's death" issue. This might be another question that distinguishes Jackophiles and Ennisophiles.

If only we could put all that into a poll! But I'm sure that people of either orientation (Ennis or Jack, I mean) will feel free to voice their opinions of my theory.


You could be on to something very interesting here, too.

I can only speak for myself in this, of course, and I'm not sure I fit the paradigm of your hypothesis (how's them for fifty-cent words!). For my own demographic and other reasons, I might be "in love" with Jack, but for other, life-experience reasons, I actually identify with Ennis! I don't see Jack as a victim, nor can I condemn Ennis--because as much as I may regret his refusing to try to build a life with Jack, I think I understand where he's coming from. In a nutshell I really have both sympathy and empathy for both of them--but perhaps that, in itself, is related to my age--it's not for me to call it "maturity."  ;)
"It is required of every man that the spirit within him should walk abroad among his fellow-men, and travel far and wide."--Charles Dickens.

Offline ednbarby

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Re: Your age and your favourite cowboy
« Reply #5 on: April 23, 2006, 06:24:11 pm »
I have no preference between Jack and Ennis.  I adore them both equally and want to comfort them both endlessly.  And I'm a 41 year old woman.

Now, if the question were whether I prefer Jake or Heath, that'd be a whole 'nother answer entirely.

As to Jeff's question, though - I understand.  And yes, when I was in my 20s, I preferred more Ennis-like men.  Father figures.  Hell, I married one.  Now that I'm in my 40s, it's the Jack-like men around me to whom I find myself attracted.  I like to hope it isn't just a mid-life crisis and that my tastes have evolved to encompass optimists with a zest for life.  But I'm not sure...
« Last Edit: April 23, 2006, 06:27:21 pm by ednbarby »
No more beans!

Offline Jeff Wrangler

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Re: Your age and your favourite cowboy
« Reply #6 on: April 23, 2006, 06:36:13 pm »
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I like to hope it isn't just a mid-life crisis.

Ya know, I could ask that question of myself, too. If I had a young cowboy lover like young Jack, there would be a not particularly pleasant term for him: trophy boy.
"It is required of every man that the spirit within him should walk abroad among his fellow-men, and travel far and wide."--Charles Dickens.

Offline serious crayons

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Re: Your age and your favourite cowboy
« Reply #7 on: April 23, 2006, 06:56:24 pm »
Well, I'm not sure where either of you is coming from, distinguishing two men who are in fact THE SAME AGE, both as characters and real-life people. Ennis, a father figure? Au contraire! Incidentally, Jeff, if I had a cowboy lover of Ennis' age, I'm sure there would be some unpleasant term for it, too. (Bring it on, though! I can handle a nasty word or two!)

But I have another idea for an interesting way to analyze this data. Those of us who prefer one cowboy over the other may consider it a combination of physical attraction and sympathy for the character. People who like Jack adore both his sweet, hopeful spirit AND his big blue eyes and sexy physique. People who like Ennis are attracted to his complexity and vulnerability, as well as to his drop-dead gorgeousness.

So what if we imagine a parallel universe in which Heath and Jake switched roles? I don't think many of us would want it that way. But for the sake of argument, let's imagine that they are both just as good in the opposite roles, and that the movie is just as good. So the question is, which cowboy would you prefer then? If you stick with the same one, you're probably drawn more to character. If you'd switch, it may be more physical.

For me, it would be very, very, very close. But I think ultimately I would switch preferences -- going for Heath as Jack rather than Jake as Ennis. Does that make me shallow?

Offline Jeff Wrangler

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Re: Your age and your favourite cowboy
« Reply #8 on: April 23, 2006, 08:31:07 pm »
In my little (leather/levi) subcultural corner of the gay world, a "daddy" is not necessarily a "father figure."

Trust me on this one, Ennis is a "daddy," and Jack is a "boy." It has to do with personality, deportment, and sex role, a combination of elements. Chronological age doesn't necessarily play a role in it, though it can. In this case, the fact that Heath and Jake are almost the same age, and Ennis and Jack are the same age, is irrelevant.
« Last Edit: April 23, 2006, 08:34:59 pm by Jeff Wrangler »
"It is required of every man that the spirit within him should walk abroad among his fellow-men, and travel far and wide."--Charles Dickens.

Offline serious crayons

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Re: Your age and your favourite cowboy
« Reply #9 on: April 23, 2006, 10:13:14 pm »
OK. I'll take your word for it. Though that still doesn't explain quite ednbarby characterizing them the same way.