ISSN: 2241-6692

In Crisis: Greek Cultural Heritage, Masculinity and a Female Pig

Tonia Kazakopoulou


Masculinity in crisis has been a re-emerging theme in cultural production and criticism, especially when established norms and realities are deemed to be under threat (from the feminist movement, financial pressures or stock market crashes, war, immigration, LGBTQ+ legislation, to name but a few). While dominant stereotypes of toxic masculinity are seen to be under pressure in such moments, new, more fluid, masculinities become more apparent in cultural discourse. However, these alternative masculinities are perceived to be the result of such threats and pressures, rather than the result of patriarchy’s inherent structural contradictions. Moments of crisis, then, in turn can be understood and interpreted through their impact on established, dominant forms and expressions of masculinity, and the restoration of order is seen as an opportunity to reinstate stereotypical masculinity itself. Many recent art-house Greek films have dealt with the theme of an all-encompassing crisis – social, political, cultural, ensuing from the financial calamity of the last decade or so, and which these films often trace back to a menacing patriarchy. In this article, I argue that this preoccupation is not a new theme, nor indeed is crisis a new reality, but in fact these have perennially resided in the Greek national cultural heritage. Returning to Olga Malea’s Honey and the Pig (2005), a film that is historically, politically and socially removed from this most recent pressure point, allows for this argument to be put forward most effectively.

Keywords: comedy, crisis, Greek cultural heritage, Malea, masculinity, patriarchy