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The Butch Factor (2009)

David Kopay , Christopher Hines  |  NR |  DVD
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: David Kopay
  • Directors: Christopher Hines
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, Dolby, NTSC, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.66:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: WOLFE VIDEO
  • DVD Release Date: January 19, 2010
  • Run Time: 76 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #267,683 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "The Butch Factor" on IMDb

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

From the Castro culture of the 1970s to today s Bears and gym rats, this fascinating investigation of gay men and sexuality blows the lid off old stereotypes and showcases a battalion of interviewees including muscle men, rodeo riders, rugby players and cops. The men speak candidly on topics from homophobia to metrosexuality to embracing effeminacy as they reveal what it means to be a gay man in America today.


Extremely entertaining and informative. Kevin Thomas,

The strength here is the breadth of likable men interviewed and the moments when old but persisting stereotypes are confronted. EDGE San Francisco

Definitely a must-see...blows the lid off some strongly entrenched stereotypes in the gay community!
Reel Affirmations, Washington DC Film Fest

A comprehensive look at an important subject...exhaustively researched...Hines is a pro.

Clever and fast-paced! Frameline. SF Film Festival --Wolfe

Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Interesting exploration of an enduring debate March 9, 2010
Gay and bisexual men long have used "butch" and "straight-acting" to judge the perceived masculinity, or lack thereof, of other men and their own masculinity. Such terms have provoked debate within the LGBT community; however, not everyone uses those least, not to mean the same things.
The Butch Factor delves into this ongoing struggle to identify what makes one more or less of "a man." Filmmaker Christopher Hines scoured the United States for examples of men who represent the masculine end of the gay spectrum. He found police officers, rodeo cowboys, actors and athletes who define themselves as more straight-acting and less effeminate than other gay men. They aren't all anti-femme, and their masculinity seems natural rather than an act.
Hines also interviewed a handful of less-masculine gay men for perspective and balance. For them, their effeminate characteristics are innate and not something they consciously adopted. They are some of the strongest characters in the film because they overcame the abuse they suffered as children for being gay while their more straight-acting counterparts could hide it. The Butch Factor ultimately reveals that long-standing social mores and gender stereotypes are more to blame for the prevailing desire for more masculine traits in a partner, even among gay men. While the movie doesn't settle many arguments, it is an interesting exploration of this enduring debate.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Exploring Masculinity Through a Queer Lens July 20, 2010
What does it mean to be a man and queer? What is masculinity? For many males in the queer community, these are questions that often left unanswered or at best, left undefined, abstract. They persist because they are important. They create identity.

'The Butch Factor' attempts to explore these questions through interviews of gay men of various persuasions including athletes, drag queens, bears, and others as well as well as psychologists, historians, and authors. They share with us their struggles and insights into the what it masculinity means as a gay man. Some may say these are mere surveys of gay male stereotypes, but truly, it allows for a wide spectrum of identity. All are welcomed into the table of exploration.

Films like this are important because the chronicles the changing images of gender. Our culture's concepts of masculinity are in constant flux, and this is especially important to note within the queer community where, despite being outside of cultural norms, can settle into an unhealthy complacency in regards to acceptable forms of masculinity. Furthermore, it is an important reminder that there are myriad ways to hold the identities of queer and man simultaneously.

'The Butch Factor' is a beautiful film and highly relevant in this time of deep change. The minor flaw this film has is fails to show any sort of community for effeminate gay men while showing bear and gay athlete communities. Still, the film is important as it puts to rest many of the assumptions society has about the gay male identity and illuminates both their hardships and their triumphs in their struggle for identity and acceptance. Highly recommended.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Internalized oppression can be dangerous! May 19, 2010
By David
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
I enjoyed seeing a film that addressed a cross section of our community. We neither look the same nor play the same...the media by and large, doesn't cover this side of the gay male life.
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30 of 44 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Depressing parade of stereotypes January 20, 2010
What a depressing movie! In the gay world it depicts, you're either an indistinguishable half-naked, posturing body in a horde of others who look and act just like you, or you're completely alone with at most one other freak who can stand to look at you, but--in EVERY case--all that matters is what you look like. The great revelation in this movie apparently is that it's finally OKAY to be a jock and gay, or middle-aged and hairy with a beer belly and gay, or grossly musclebound and gay, as long as you can find hundreds of others just like you who like to hang out with their shirts off and either dance or play contact sports. OR you can be a drag queen, or a real-live gay rodeo cowboy, as long as you keep with your own kind. The skinny girly boys still have to be lonely, and evidently the only sane gay man on earth stays that way by avoiding gay society altogether. It's a disgusting confirmation of all the sick old gay stereotypes. The only breath of fresh air is the lone guy who refuses to play the game, and he gets shown repeatedly ALONE, staring off forlornly into space, just like the nelly boys. As a reasonably sane gay man who fits into none of the "butch" groups--or ANY group I am aware of--I absolutely hated this movie.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Disturbing. July 29, 2012
Format:Amazon Instant Video|Verified Purchase
Gays who depend on their looks to get them by when they are 35 and over are in for a surprise. We all age. Our sexual audience diminishes. Look inside yourself and start figuring out what you have to offer the world besides your big penis and pecs. Sadly, most gays end up with depression and suicidal thoughts once they realize they are lacking a strong sense of self.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Meh March 10, 2014
Format:Amazon Instant Video|Verified Purchase
Meh, I'm not upset that I rented this, but it wasn't as good as I'd hoped.

If you've started your path in understanding what masculinity means to you, it might not be worth the time. If you're just starting the process of questioning, though, it's probably worth it.
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