Recently Whitney Houston dies (RIP). And suddenly on every frigging station I am hearing her voice and her songs.
Nothing bad with that but something stood up and caught my attention quite strongly.
When ladies sing, they sing… a lot, there is all this… meaningless sounds in which they just show off their voices. However, that’s not the case when men sing. The few exceptions actually make the contrast even more brutal.
It incredibly stands out in male/female duets.
So… any thoughts? I believe there is something gender connected and how music is gendered (for instance, especially in rap “feature-ts” of any sort) the ladies sing about some things like love and relationships (but only positive) and more love… and the men either sing how sexy that bitch is or they are singing other unrelated things… or they are singing the heart and issue the songs is discussing.
Well, this I know why happens, gender and other reasons like that (feminine interests=love, romance, relationships, angerless, masculine = sex, active, aggressive, anger issues, abuse, booze, more sex, reffering to women as “bitches” or “hoes”).
Don’t get me wrong, I don’t want more Niki Minaj (whose lyrics make no sense at all and I am sure the author of her songs is a word generator of sorts) but I find it weird and interesting and it definitely needs more analyses and thinking about it.
I am discussing this, because this is POP. It is every where. it is not the music I choose to listen but which is in the clubs, on the readio, on the telly… So… obviously it matters how it looks and what it is selling.
I think it matters because it again shows that issues are separated, not only the ways the singers look (Eminem/Rihanna in the now inharmonious “I love the way you lie” or… you know almost all pop songs), on which ladies have little to no clothing (empowerment bitches!) and the men have completely normal clothes or some sort of relatively “fashionable” men’s wear….
And the actual lyrics what kind of message is presented via either of the singers.
I’d love to dwell a bit more in gendered music, but maybe a bit more later. :)
I have seen my share of arguments in which people try to defend the status quo by using the fact that it exists as a status quo as a valid argument. I find this circular as an argument, not very constructive and terribly unintelligent as well, because thus people are saying ‘well, it’s what the majority thinks, so I am going to show zero attempts in thinking for myself, and roll over, because it is also not affecting me personally.” I call bollocks.
What irritates me more though is when I write nice and simple why this kind of arguments suck and why sexism and not the sexy is hurting comics and then I get this piece of “wisdom” waiting for me.
I can’t believe how they do it? Do they purposefully ignore what I have already
read wrote and just stick to what they know “people can’t ever change, so why bother, also, if something is popular, that makes it right, unquestionable and if anyone has issues with them, well, they need to shut the fuck up.”
So… I am sure for not the last time, please, please, please stop presenting me with these “arguments”… because you are not proving anything but saying utter bollocks. And I will explain line by line why.
To clarify, the italic is the comment I am tearing apart, the writing underneath is me. :)
Superhero comics like these ones you mentioned are aimed at boys and men.
– the fact that something is MARKETED at a specific auditory does not mean that only the intended auditory is reading it. For example, most movies we see nowadays (Transformers and the like huge blockbusters) are in theory aimed at men. However, 51 percent of movie goers are actually women. In making sexist and bad cinema and erasing or devaluing characters in the goal of attracting only less than half of the population, the industry is actually going to lose money and not gain any. The same thing goes for comics. There are many, many, many women out there who read comics and the fact that the industry is confusing “sexy” with “batshit sexist” it is only alienating readers, instead of increasing them. Because men are still only half of the population.
– Men and boys do not share a hive mind. There are many men and boys who are critical and negative to this kind of comics because it is actually hurting the stories they like. There are many men who do not find triangular women whit perfect spheres in front of the supposedly female bodies, who look as if they will snap in half at any given moment or whose characters are interesting as drying paint attractive. Also, there are many men who do NOT see women only as props… but actually as human, so they have no troubles reading about women characters. Shocking!!! There are many, many gay men and boys out there as well, who love comics as well.
Boys who read these comics like imagining themselves as strong and assertive and heroic, because they aren’t in real life.
– that is not true. This is a sweeping generalisation which is not true, because different PEOPLE read comics for different reasons. Of course there are people who read comics because of these reasons. But we watch movies, read books and enjoy comics for so many different reasons as well. To imply that only boys and men with social issues of some sorts read comics, as some sort of therapeutic reasons is naive and missing the point. And is actually also devaluing men and boys. Liking art, dynamic stories, interesting stories, fantasy and science fictions has little to nothing to do with their personal issues. Yes, COMICS use two completely different fantasy portraits of men and women, you are correct here – the power fantasy and the sexually available and attractive fantasy. However, that is not limiting the comics but when abused or handled incorrect turns into the parody I was talking about, alienating both men and women readers, because the stories are badly written.
The female characters in these comics don’t really matter, but are there partly to stop the comics seeming — sensitive, non-assertive young guys are often thought to be homosexual by other people.
– I don’t know how to respond to this. Female characters existing only to prove the heterosexuality of the characters? Mmm, I say bullshit on this. There are many, many female characters with complex stories, personalities and story lines who do not hook with their comrades. Yes, there are eye candies out there but I think that you have a very big issue with comics. You do not get them and why people read them, nor you can imagine people being invested in a fantasy universe and its characters. Because… porn already exists and comics, though some very, very bad examples out there, are not porn or soft core porn. It is created and marketed as science or science fiction or fantasy action adventures and again not as PORN.
(There are other reasons, including ‘to be seen’.) Portraying Superman or whoever as some kind of sexual icon is not going to interest these kinds of male readers and they wouldn’t buy them, and I am sure female readers would get sick of them pretty quickly, too.
– actually many characters are actually portrayed like that. I have no idea on what you are basing you arguments here, especially in regards to female readership.
It’s not personal, publishers are simply in the entertainment business and they have got to entertain, or they go broke. Forget that ‘the comics industry believes that mainly boys and men read comics’; the comics industry are making these comics to appeal to a mainly or fully male readership, period.
– This part is simply stupid. Men are only HALF the population. By alienating the other half you are going to only lose money, not gain them. If the industry is alienating female readers – they are not going to stop reading comics, they are going to stop buying comics from THIS publisher. I am less and less inclined to give money to Marvel but i have given more than enough money for comics from other publishers (Vertigo, which is DC for instance). And I am not minority /
Straight male sexuality might seem a bit weird or even threatening to you, but that is the way that boys are. Therefore there is a demand, and therefore comics like this will continue to be made.
– I don’t find male sexuality threatening. I find rape culture threatening and I find sexism, dehumanisation and misogyny repulsing. Using these to sell your products is not “natural” or excused in any other way. It is calculating and on purpose, which I do not condone. Again… comics are not porn (OK, I am against porn which is misogynistic and dehumanising as well) and selling the idea that women are less than human or can be objectified or that it is not problematic is an issue for me, because I live in the same culture and I am directly connected with this kind of negative attitude.
However, one of the reasons comics still has a social stigma is that we (society) don’t want boys to stay that way through their lives, but rather to move on, grow up, and relate to the world normally, as it is. The stigma of comics is a way to discourage boys from lingering in that fantasy world of comics too long, or at all.
– I want to laugh but it is actually sad. Which society again? And I haven’t heard about “social stigma” in regards to comics. They are considered corny, geeky and dorky… but there is no social stigma in regards to comics. I fail to see the society actively encouraging men to grow up, because of the huge wave of men-children that are populating the pop culture. Can you elaborate your reasons for this idea, because the period in which people are treated as “young” and “growing” is expanding more and more.
Girls and women reading these kinds of comics is a bonus, from the publishers’ point of view. If a publisher wanted to go after female readers only, because they thought it would be profitable, they’d make them.
– Bollocks on this. You do not HAVE to make specific genre for women in order to appeal to them. As a whole, the idea that women need a SUPER SPECIFIC kind of art is only alienating and deepening the supposed difference between men and women. It is more about “men and women are inherently different, so they can’t like the same things and thus we are going to create super specific things, marketed ONLY to men and women, thus PINK HAMMERS!!” than the actual “actually women do not like to be treated as shit, so they avoid works of art that does that”. Unfortunately I think I know where you are going with this idea, and I forsee some utter crap as talking about romance.
Think of this analogy. Romance movies are made for female viewers. There are no doubt plenty of male viewers but they are not the main market. If a romance movie maker thought there were enough demand for a male-oriented romance, or different kinds of male characters, they’d probably make it. Why not? In fact, the film ‘I Love You, Man’ might fit into this category.
– And I was right. Seriously… romance as inherently female interest. Dude… open your ears. Women do not share a hive mind as well… not all women are interested in romantic stories… some of us love computers, science, action, adventure, are also outdoorsy. By dividing the supposed interests by stereotypical interests you are not doing your argument any favours.
Also you are deliberately ignoring the culture we live in. In our culture romance and love are female branded, while sex and sexuality – male branded. There is a huge stigma in mixing the two. But that is social and not physiological and this can and should be changed.
If there is a blank space in in the market, e.g. for comics about superpowered men with female side characters who are not simplistic/sexualised/etc., or for comics about superpowered female characters who do not dress skimpily, aimed at female readers, I would suggest getting a petition together and sending it to a publisher, (because one letter would be ignored – 5-10,000 signatures would do the trick, I think) or making your own comic. Both may seem like a lot of effort, but if you love the task and the goal is worthwhile to you, it won’t be difficult.
– I think that if you actually read comics, you’d know that there are many, many comics already existing who are filling the bill perfectly fine and have been published by Marvel and DC (and the like) in which we have characters and stories and not just boring story lines. And they are the reason comic readers are buying comics, because, let’s face it. Many comics are utter crap and if you check some forums, you will find that only a small minority actually likes the worst, most sexist stories and drawings. Most people buy comics because they like the stories, the universe inbuilt and the characters and not just because they can see the belly button of Starfire. Plus or minus the bellybutton, the actual quality of the story is leading.
I understand your frustration about this, and I wish I could say something more positive to you. Best wishes.
– I think you can. You can by stop denying an issue or trying to sell the crap about “well, boys will be boys and anyway, social gender is exactly like physiological gender and can’t be changed, nor there are any issues who hurt people because of that kind of thinking”.
Next time think for a moment. Do YOU like the kind of stories I am criticising? If no… why are you defending them? If yes… isn’t there enough porn for you?
Because there are enough pornographic comics out there (if you insist in looking at unrealistically drawn characters), stop trying to turn science fiction and fantasy into one as well.
In my last text I said that Irene Adler has received The Searl Pero treatment.
And for my surprise, I received several queries what exactly am I talking about.
Well, my most sincere apologies to everyone who has been puzzled. Here is what I was talking about.
Searl Pero is famous for “The little red Riding Hood”. The story goes about a little girl that is eaten by a big, bad wolf and her grandmother too, because she disobeyed her mother, wandered trough the woods and talked to a stranger (a wolf to be precise). In some stories, she and her grandmother are saved by the friendly neighborhood woodcutter and the wold is killed. In other, however, she is simply eaten. A cautionary tale about what will happen to little girls that talk to strangers and don’t do what their elders tell them to.
Well… so far, so good. There are so many cautionary tales out there that one more… not that big of a difference, right?
Until… until you actually read the stories that have been popular in France at the time of which Searl Pero has lived and most possibly, inspired him. And then it gets tricky.
See, in the other version(s), the girl is not that young. She is a young woman. She is with the same red hood and she is again visiting her grandmother with some goods. She is as well being stopped by the wolf and though she slips away from him, he knows where she is going and manages to arrive before her at the house.
In this story he eats her grandmother too and hides in the bed and tries to lure her into the bed.
However, the young woman realises something is off and tricks the wolf by explaining she needs to check the lavatory before she goes into the bed and he agrees to let her visit it, tying a red rope around her ankle. However, while in the garden, she unties the rope, ties it around a bush which is dancing to the wind (to imitate a persons moving) and runs for her life, saving herself and going at home in one piece.
Note the absence of woodcutters and/or eaten Red Riding Hoods in this story? Peculiar, right?
What is even more peculiar is the intended idea behind the two versions.
The one in which the girl is eaten is cautionary tale that girls should be controlled, especially around men or they will die (get pregnant, etc.), because they are not able to guard themselves and someone else has to do it for them, preferrably – men. This reading is very much the type of thinking that is domineering in that time period as well.
Which is the complete opposite of the other version. The read hood is a symbol of her being sexually mature in both stories, but though the first is portraying a sexually mature woman as a little lost girl, in the second, she is not passive but also is taking decisions about her sexual life with her head, like a responsible adult (that’s the initial meaning of the red hood). Her visiting her grandmother is about exchanging wisdom and experience from an older woman. She meets the wolf (and because we know talking animals are a bit scarce in rural France it is obvious allusion to sexually active man). She slips away from him but he manages to arrive at the house before her and either rapes and kills her grandmother (a real threat for any woman in any culture and time, unfortunately) or just kills her and waits for Red.
Being cornered, she manages to slip away from him and manages to save herself and ultimately, she is not raped/pregnant/killed and lives to see another day via her wit.
In short: it is coming of age story about keeping yourself safe and keeping your agency yours. The idea that you can control your sexuality and can take control of your life and that it is not a thing somebody has to do for you.
I know… the two stories are very, very different. Because they have completely different reasoning and purposes behind them.
And thus, “The Searl Pero treatment” means changing a character, usually female, disempowering her or robbing her of her agency or succumbing in other ways to stereotypes and myths about women, their roles in the society and sexuality.
Hmm, I’d ask, can you tell me 5 characters you can think of which have received that treatment?
Disclaimer – I know that in many cases in modern interpretations of fairy tales, the female characters are a lot more bad ass. However, that is not always the case and anyway, I am simply explaining the meaning of the term. I know there are many, many examples of cool and complicated and kick ass female characters out there. :)
Being a fan of Doyle and Holmes, it was natural that I watched “Sherlock” and I have already written what my beef and opinions about it are.
I was really interested when Guardian published an interview with Moffat and “Sherlock” was discussed in detail.
I got less and less pleased with him the more I was reading.
To all of the topics he has been asked about and confronted, Moffat mainly says a big “fuck you”, to anyone who disagrees with him and doesn’t even try to listen or think on what he is criticized about.
One can argue that he is working on the show, and not me, you and the next chap but what rubs me the wrong way is that he doesn’t even pay attention to what is said to him.
However, I see a pattern in how he treats his female characters, especially those, he argues that are “strong female characters”.
He ruined River Song and the whole thing was changed from “the big love story between the Doctor and River Song” to “and then he is rude to her, only she is in love with him and ready to give everything away for him, the doctor orders her around and actually marries her because of the circumstances, not because he is in love with her“. Which was… genuinly unpleasant thing to watch.
And now, to check Sherlock.
One of my biggest criticism is that he completely changed (and I dare say, ruined to some extent) Irene Adler, from a smart person, to the classical “empowered” naked, somewhat smart lady.
How he ruined her one will ask?
Well: 1. From a person with an agency, working for herself and by herself, she was turned into a cat’s paw in the clash between Holmes and Moriarty. Which was a very dick move, because she was awsome, because she was working FOR herself and not any 3rd parties. In the recent Sherlock Holmes movies they do the same exact thing PLUS they killed her off to be emotional tension for Holmes. One can wonder why two different productions from two different countries acted so identical.
2. She was changed into a dominatrix, into the la femme fatale, which is very tired and boring stereotype which we have already seen too many times.
3. She was put to work into the sex industry. Which is another tired cliche of a powerful woman being powerful via her sex.
4. In the books she outsmarts Holmes and saves herself. In the movie… he friggin saves her from a friggin beheading! Because… sure, why not. She is changed from a character, to the ususal supporting character, showing off how smart Sherlock is (thus never turning into The Woman from the books, the only woman who outsmarted him) and somewhat love-interest-ish and then damsel in distress. Ugh.
5. Holmes is not really in love with Irene, she is in him, he is rude with her and then, saves her from being killed in such a way, that he is showing off to the viewer.
6. Also, Adler is gay, who… has the hots for Holmes and completely surrenders herself and endangers herself because of it. It is specifically pointed that she is GAY, not bisexual. Which is just sad and insulting. Because it comes only to show us that Holmes is not gay and how awesome and masculine he is. I see no other reason why she’d be handled the “Sarl Pero” treatment, because the story wouldn’t be changed at all if she WASN’T treated like that. It was purposeful choice. And I think, a bad one.
And when Steven Moffat is called for his crap he pulls the “well, the original she runs away with her husband and that is not feminist as well”.
Compared to Moffat’s version, Doyle could be called a radical feminist.
I have never ever seen anyone complaining about the original Adler not being feminist enough. My trouble with the present Irene is not that she is not feminist enough (or… you know, at all).
The issue we have is how he handled the MODERN version, in which the lady does NOT live in the same patriarchal, Victorian society in which her options are limited. He handles it thus: “wow, we have a lady in the story, who is smart, so let’s show how fucking empowered she is, by putting her in the sex industry, also strip her, because EMPOWERMENT! Tired and boring. There was NO twist. Naked, empowered, smart(ish) ladies come in a pack of dozen in modern tv and movies.
I can completely understand original-Adler decisions and actions and the resolution of the story. I don’t get at all why present-Adler acts the way she acts and reasons her behaviour. Because for a person who is supposedly on the same page as Sherlock, she is quite… dumb, to say the least. And the way she HAD to be naked in order to distract him, it makes me wonder… is this what a GENIUS lady would do or a genius LADY? Because I think he wanted to do the latter, which for me, is a good way to make bad writing, bad decisions and bad characters.
What makes it worse is his reasoning, that both of them are psychopats (which is weird, since Sherlock is somewhat of aa sociopath, not a psychopath in the series) which is even weirder since both the character WERE NOT psychopaths nor sociopaths in the books and they were still calculating, awesome, smart and interesting. Imagine that…
Focusing on the gender of your character, instead of the personality is a big no-no for any writer and a good way to ruin the character itself. Objectification and showing that women having power and women being cool/successful/victorious always happening only in specific and highly limited way is just unpleasant and the fact that he is doing it with different characters, from different stories, in exactly the same way means only that Moffat sucks at writing women.
Coraline is a lovely book written by Neil Gaiman in 2002. In 2009 it was turned into a stop-motion animation. It was a huge success. I heard many comments how good it is, to see a movie with a girl main protagonist.
The animation is gorgeous and the movie is a feast for the eyes and is also one of the few non-Disney animations in which we have a female main character and protagonist.
For those who haven’t read the book or the superb comic book, here goes the story:
Coraline moves with her parents to a new house. Her neighbors in the house are Miss Spink and Miss Forcible (two ladies who have retired from the stage) and Mr. Bobo, a gentleman who trains mice for his circus.
In the book, there are no other kids around but in the movie there is also a boy, another character called Wyborn. Wyborn has specifically been created for the movie on the grounds that little boys wouldn’t want to watch a movie in which the main protagonist is a girl or a movie in who there are no boys, because they wouldn’t be able to identify with a girl main character (??). However this somehow doesn’t show as an issue when the main protagonist is a boy and there are no extra female characters added in other animations for children, in order to attract girls in the audience.
Hm, it sounds as if they are creating there rules as they are going.
Back to the story.
Coraline’s parents don’t have much time for her, so she spends her free time roaming in the surroundings, or when the weather is bad, the house itself. In her walks she encounters a black, possibly stray cat who looks like he is smirking. One time, when the weather is bad and she explores the house, she finds a small door in the wall which is locked, but when finally a key is produced, it turns out that the door actually leads to the wall. The interesting bit is the both of her neighbors warn her about the little door and not to go trough it. This puzzles Coraline, since there is nowhere to “go” anyway but she keeps thinking about the small, weird, leading to the wall door.
One time her parents are away, the door opens again and this time, it leads to somewhere else. Coraline travels trough the door to another world… which is exactly like hers… only sightly different.
She meets another woman, who says that she is her Other mother. And also, there is her Other father. Everything is different there in small and subtle ways. Her Other parents always have time for her, to play, or cook, or enjoy games. Also… they have buttons for eyes. Her neighbors are also there… the sisters young and performing on the stage and Mr. Bobo having his circus of rats.
Coraline greatly enjoys the place and her Other mother asks her if Coraline wants to stay permanently. Though Coraline likes the place, she wants to be with her family. In the meantime she finds out some stuff that are not… right.
She meets again the cat, and on this side, he can talk. He warns her that the Other mother is not what she appears to be and urges Coraline to look around and see for herself. Coraline does that and realizes that the world on the other side does not exist further of the house. Also, she finds out that her Other mother is actually a bad person, a witch, who traps the souls of the children who stayed on her side and Coraline, advised by the ghosts of the kids, flees. When she gets back on her side however, her parents are missing and she has to go back because it becomes evident that the Other mother has kidnapped them in order to lure Coraline back.
Coraline goes back and confronts the Other mother and the witch agrees to a game. If Coraline can find her parents, she can leave, else, she stays forever.
With wits and courage Coraline manages to find her parents, hidden as crystal balls, as well the souls of the other children and escapes from the Other mother. She tries to grab Coraline, but the girl manages to get free and in the scuffle, one of the Hands of the witch separates from her body.
Everything looks as if it is back to normal, her parents are back and not remembering a thing, the ghosts pass on and everything seems fine, but Coraline is sure the Hand of the witch is lurking, trying to find the key and free the rest of the witch from the Other side.
And here is the biggest difference between the movie and book.
In the books, Coraline lures the hand by pretending to go on a picnic and putting a tablecloth over an old well, she has encountered in her previous walks. Sensing the Hand is near, she leaves the key in the middle of the tablecloth and when the Hand tries to grab it, both the Hand and the key fall into the well for all eternity.
Thus, Coraline manages to get rid of the Hand and ensure that nobody else would fall a victim to the with from the Other side.
However in the movie when the Hand attacks, it is actually Wyborn who destroys it by accident, driving trough the Hand with his bike and thus defeating the witch.
Same story… two completely different finales.
When I saw the movie, I was quite disappointed because the story is written in a completely gender-neutral way. Coraline could have been a boy or a girl and the story wouldn’t have changed in any way. It is a story about courage and wits. It is about being alone and dealing with troubles. It is coming-of-age story as well. About a person who fights for her family and herself and is victorious because she is quick, smart and cunning. However in the movie it’s all a lucky chance and is actually the extra who saves the day and Coraline as well. Thus yes, Coraline has saved herself, her parents and the ghosts but at the end of the day, the defeat of the evil witch goes to Wylborn, because sure… why not, we haven’t seen that one yet.
The movie itself is… incredible. It’s beautiful and colorful, done with a lot of love and joy… but the stark difference between the book and the movie ruin it for me to a big extent.
My one and only tweet to Neil Gaiman was to ask him why did he change it. His answer… that’s how the script was written. Not too unclear message that it was a requested change in order to create the movie.
I can’t believe than studios still find boys as the default protagonist to which everyone can identify and girls as the character who needs to be saved and only identifiable for other girls.
Commenting on the unbelievably white, thin and attractive main female characters of the animated Disney movies is like kicking a very, very dead horse, I know. :)
However, this particular video I stumbled across kind of blew my mind.
Check it out.
It’s called Sexy, Naughty, Bitchy me, a song of Tata Young, a pop-singer from Thailand. It is a wonderful montage of some of Disney’s main female protagonists being… incredibly and awkwardly sexy, actually… sexy!!
Seriously, when watching the video, it looks more like the snippets have been cut from an adult-ahem-orientated film, than something that is supposedly for children age 6-14 and to be precise, for girls in that age group. Hell, Disney knows how much all of its movies are gendered and even tried to attract male viewers by changing the name of their last film – Rapunzel to Tangled. (successfully?)
What is actually going on?
Almost all of these ladies are… incredibly beautiful, incredibly white (minus Esmeralda, the lone darker skinned character, even Pocahontas is whiter than her), incredibly thin (none of them could carry a baby to term, except, possibly, Snow White?) and in deep love for posing.
The ladies pose sexy, sexy, so many times, which begs the question… for whom are those characters drawn? For the children in the audience or for the artists, drawing a writhing Ariel in the sand? To whom are supposed these characters to appeal?
What are they supposed to represent and tell?
Yes, one can argue that all of these moments have been from flirt-like moments… except that is not true or in some occasions, actually the ladиes have been observed by a man, unknown to them (Pocahontas, Ariel, Aurora) which is a separate can of worms.
I have watched all of the movies and something caught my attention, they are in the span of almost 75 years and 10 plus different movies, we see little to no change. Sorry, I mean positive change. The gals get thinner and the posing increases and until you see it all of it on one place, you haven’t really seen it, not clearly, not directly, that it is titillating and objectifying presumably young girls or very young women and particularly, trough a male gaze, for a male viewer. Because no way in hell I can believe that in order to attract and make the girls in the audience to identify with the female character, pole dancing is required. If it was only one time, i could have passed it as either misfortune or me reading things that are not there. But it is not a one time.
To analyse Disney and it’s complicated representation women is a tired discussion but this video is a perfect history check of how Disney sees, shows and draws its women. And how young girls, whose age is still in single digits think they need to look and act like in order to
get the guy be happy.
Disney movies are a lot more complicated and I am not saying that it is all bad. I like Disney but I think it is far from perfect in the way it treats it heroines and this is something that caught my attention.
Is it sexist? You bet. Why? Because all of these gals are uber sexy, all the time, whatever they are doing and it is sending a pretty clear message to the young, female viewer. Yes, you can live a fairytale, yes, you can be a princess, yes, you will matter… but only if you look like this. And this is not a good advice in a world that treats women like commodity and tries to do everything to convince them that their looks is more important than their personalities and their looks is the key to everything else.
Is it bad… well, I can’t say it is good. And though the animation is stunning it also made me feel bad, because for yet another time I was shown that my taste does not matter and even movies specifically targeted at my gender, will draw it for the male viewer and not me. And for 75 years nothing much has changed.
Because “La Femme Nikita” has five seasons and I have a ton of other stuff to do, the review is still not finished.
However in the meantime I managed to re-read “Hunger Games” (which will promptly receive a review here) and watched “The Beauty and the Beast”.
This is only the second time I watch the movie and I was ten years old the first time around, so I didn’t remember much.
I liked Bell (bookish girl, who wants adventures) but I really didn’t remember much of the rest.
Now I have seen the movie again and… I see it differently.
There were quite a lot of nice songs and beautifully drawn animation and it was entertaining.
Unfortunately the sad part is that the story could be summirised thus:
“Beauty doesn’t matter, as long as the female protagonist is smoking hot”
I am constantly amased by the sheer number of movies, tv series, animations, books and so on who dwell on the topic of the shallowness and how unimportant looks are. Just check any teenage-orientated rom com in which we have an unattractive guy for the lead but he scores the most attractive girl. And we see this every, friggin time!
Because obviously our culture has such a serious issue with men being constantly under pressure to look, act and be perfect, to be thin and well dressed, also beautiful and that men are judged sometimes entirely on their appearance. And as if like there is a huge industry which is dedicated on selling the idea how horrible men naturally look and that they feel the need to teach and show these shallow women that looks is not everything.
What is even more angering in this case is that the first poster, of the Disney movie is from 1991 but the second one, Beastly is from this year. And yet those stories are the same.
I know… it’s like living in bizarro world.
It’s not only that women are constantly under scrutiny how they look/act/smell/sleep/eat/wear… but they also have shoved in their throats that they shouldn’t be picky in regards to men, because they could be acting and looking horrible, but hey, they could have golden hearts, we simply have to be calm and treat them right and one day they will stop to be abusive assholes.
The only positive moment about this is the article in Wiki which had several suggestions about different webpages we could want to read next. For instance about Stockholmssyndrome or Noble Savage and the like. Wiki, you win. :)