There’s a pile of psycho-babble called Italian Cinema : Gender and Genre by Maggie Gunsberg (Professor of Italian, University of Manchester) published by palgrave macmillan - that you may wanna check out chapter 5 of - called The Man With No Name: Masculinity as Style in the Spaghetti Western.
“The spaghetti western is notorious for its memorable iconography of masculinity involved in sadomasochistic violence taken to surreal excess and displayed in close-up detail.” Sounds good so far ;D.
Then it goes on …
“It’s homosocial and predominantly homoerotic base allows little room, as a rule, for femininity and heterosexuality.” :o
It concludes its 40-odd pages with …
“The spaghetti western is especially concerned with the borderline between different genders, sexualities and races. It both investigates and polices the boundaries of masculinity against the the incursions of femininity and non-whiteness, invoking then denying male homoeroticism, and, on occasion, homosexuality. Ultimately, from a sociopolitical, as well as psychical, gender standpoint, the genre reinforces homosociality against the threat of gynosociality, a fundamental dynamic … blah blah blah … blagh!”
The section on masochism is a joy to read - it having the effect of producing homosexual (and denial of) erotic tension resulting from sadistic mutilation and legitimating the male body as the object of the (male) gaze.
I’m sure amongst all this stuff, that’d have all us red-blooded macho chap-types, down as closet gays, there may be summat of interest - maybe - and there is stuff on the absence and inclusion of a “fetishism of femininity”.
Personally, I found it to be a pile of wank.