Upholding Patriarchal Male Domination through Male Homosociality, Triangulated Eroticism, and Castration Threats in Your Friends and Neighbors

Robert A. Humphrey


The film Your Friends and Neighbors portrays a complex, interweaving web of relational interactions among a group of six characters.  Using Sedgwick as a foundational starting point, I discuss how varying erotic triangles between the characters create gender inversions.  But the bonds of male homosociality within the film also work to create gender inversions, as these interactions have a tendency to straddle the line between homosocial and homosexual.  Both of these situations set up the threat of emasculation and ultimately the threat of symbolic castration.  Actions are taken to “regain” masculinity, but I argue that it is the character who intentionally emasculates himself that is eventually seen as the most masculine and does not face either of the aforementioned threats.  As a result, the film contributes to the perpetuation of patriarchal male domination.


Patriarchy, Masculinity, Homosociality, Castration Threat, Eroticism.

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