I'd like to address the opening paragraph that attempts to set the scene for this article.
"A lot has been stirred up recently about gender roles and their place in modern society. Clearly this article has been deemed THE most important soap box to speak about such matters...why else would the Escapist give me a weekly spot? Firmly establishing that "Guy" movies, "Manly" movies, and "Penis" movies (the non-porn variety) can be enjoyed by both sexes yet are marketed towards the Y chromosome persuasion, I want this article to not only titillate your collective funny-bone, but also fondle your heart. It is my submission that in finding and dissecting the emotional cores of these macho films, we can lay to rest the more harmful notions that men are only "true men" if they bury their feelings."
If gender roles in society are under a lot of scrutiny currently, it would presumably make sense for someone writing about it (and, in this case, its intersection with geekdom) to have a nuanced understanding and amount of respect for the topic. I didn't see that in this article, however. In terms of dissecting gender roles, this is a pretty important topic to a lot of people: the 'glass ceiling' that restricts women's abilities to move upwards in society; it's the 'second shift', where women are the major contributors to social care/housework/etc; it's jobs associated with 'women's work' is underpaid compared to 'male' counterparts. It's that women are sorely underrepresented in media - films, TV, computer games, and that those representations are usually stereotypical and harmful.
Taking a jokey attitude towards the topic makes the entire topic one that doesn't need to be taken seriously: it really /does/. With the ridiculous attitude that one can reframe 'macho' movies as having an emotional core means that you're refusing to challenge the status quo: that people who enjoy macho movies might now be let off from their responsibilities of having to address their subconscious attitudes that lead to so many problems for so many people. In fact, by presenting the movie as having an emotional core as one long joke full of asides, you're actually doing the exact same thing as you're setting out to avoid: burying one's feelings.
And then on top of that, there is the somewhat tiresome confusion between gender, sex and biology. For someone to identify as 'male' only requires that they have the belief that they're male. By stating that these movies are aimed at the Y chromosome, you're dismissing both intersexed individuals who don't have either XX or XY, and trans-men.
I am not disappointed that the Escapist has commissioned a series of articles on this topic, not by any means: discussing gender roles in geekdom is really important, as it's often a 'one last bastion' of harmful misogynistic attitudes. Unfortunately, the way it's been presented here suggests that there is still an incredible amount more work to do.
I want to address your post because I feel it deserves further conversation, and to that end I'll start with agreeing with a portion of what you wrote. Yes, having a Y chromosome does not necessarily equate to the gender you identify as. There is a difference between biological male and gender male, and to that end I agree with you (Though in my defense, in context I think most readers know what I meant).
That out of the way, allow me to systematically explain why I'm trying to fix the problem that you, knowingly or not, are part of.
You say I am displaying "A ridiculous attitude that one can reframe 'macho' movies as having an emotional core". Are you aware that females don't have a monopoly on negative gender stereotypes? I'm pretty damn sure they don't want one either. But while women are on the verge of being expected to stand up for their gender rights, males are in a difficult situation of designing their own prison cell. The negative male gender role is one of repression and separation from weakness, so if a male is in a moment of weakness or persecution, there's really no acceptable way to voice that. If one male wants to insult another male, he calls him: Sissy girl, throws like a girl, Nancy boy, any word that means the female anatomy, ect. To show feelings or weakness is met with ridicule, which is the root word of ridiculous - the term you called my attitude when I tried to find sensitivity in movies.
If we are to make a positive change to gender equality, the solution cannot be exclusively on the female side of the equation. If male gender roles can be improved to where sensitivity, compassion and emotional growth are no longer seen as something to repress, then there will be less possibility of emotional outbursts, many of which result in abuse.
I am writing about movies agreed upon to fit the current definition of "Manly", then point out that part of what makes them great is the inclusion of sensitivity, the presence of emotional maturity. To sum it up, I'm trying to improve the male gender stereotype, and you are complaining that I'm not talking about female gender stereotypes. If the latter is what you want, there's this lady named Anita you can look into.
As for taking a joking attitude towards real world topics, this is a method as to which difficult topics can be broached without everyone involved instantly shutting down. It's the idea that if a situation is too uncomfortable, you can add some humor to diffuse the situation. Jon Stewart, Steven Colbert and now John Oliver use it to discuss real world new events with youth that otherwise wouldn't want to dwell on such depressing topics. I'm not saying I'm up to their caliber, but simply stating that I'm not respecting the serious topics because I use humor to get my points across is a non-argument. A spoon full of sugar makes the medicine go down and all that.
The article is, on the surface, a humorous essay aimed at pointing out the emotional moments of action movies. Under the surface, however, there is an attempt to improve the male gender stereotype by expanding on the emotions of the film. In doing so we can still call them "Manly movies" but no longer exclude the sensitivity intrinsic to that definition. I'm sorry that you feel any discussion on this topic is useless at best and detrimental at worst if humor is present. I'm sorry that endeavoring to mature the male psyche is worthless while there are so many negative female issues to deal with. If you want a pundit to dissect gender roles devoid of all entertainment value or acknowledgment that females aren't the only ones that need gender role adjustments, Anita is always looking for more hits.