Monday, May 26, 2014

Misogyny in Cinema

So this trailer for a movie called The Equalizer popped up today.  It looks like it may be an interesting movie.

It may even get a decent box office draw.
Now while this movie does look fun.  Here's the thing.  It's a male lead.  It won't get any flack for being an action movie because of that.  Films like Haywire, Hanna, Columbiana and more did.  Fantastic movies that were torn apart by misogyny because they dared show a female lead doing the exact same stuff this film above does.  Fantastic movies that received nowhere near the same marketing push because they featured solo women stars that the film centered on.

Does that seem fair to you?  Haywire itself starred a woman that could do nearly all the things shown in her film, yet it was called unbelievable.  All because it dared to feature a woman as the protagonist who could defend herself and outwit men from her training.  A woman who wouldn't back down from doing what she thought was right and used her spec-ops military training to right the wrongs committed.

Misogyny has ruined what great cinema could be by the myths it keeps perpetuating.  It's damaging lives.  It even kills.  Yet all men and those brainwashed by it do is make excuses for it instead of correcting it.  Warner Brothers has yet to do a Wonder Woman movie because apparently they think a deeply rooted in mythology powerful character with flowing hair is too complicated and detrimental to a box office draw.  You know, the only difference between her and Thor overall?  She's a woman.  Does that sound fair to you?

Songs like Blurred Lines and other misogynist anthems of treating women like crap get ranked high on the billboards.  Singers like Justin Bieber who call women bitches, harass and mock women in their songs, persist to abuse ex's long after they've left because they dared to leave and respect themselves over the money, these singers who let their fans make excuses for mistreatment of women and others reign in popularity.  Women who try to speak up for themselves and make a difference get told to be quiet and mocked.  They get told they need a man to make it better.  They get eye candy thrown at them like they need a hot guy to validate their womanhood.  Rape jokes persist in video games.  Authors get harassment for making valid points all because of their gender.  Yet all that happens is we're told it's expected.  That they should have thicker skin.

"Oh those poor boys are mocked incessantly, they're called gay, and worse."  How is that an excuse?  Why is being called gay an insult?  Why is what they've gone through as a male celebrity for barely any time at all come anywhere close to what women go through daily for their entire life since hitting puberty?  How does that compare at all?  Why do men get impunity for such blatant actions, sometimes even praised for it, yet women get mocked for it and turned into a joke?  "Oh that's such a Taylor Swift approach to songs" when a song dares to speak up about any kind of disrespect a woman has gone through from a man.

Miley Cyrus does outlandish things and gets demonized for it?(She should be demonized for promoting drugging people's drinks though!)  Boys will be boys.  Which isn't an excuse.  Far from it, it's further perpetuating a patriarchal standard of saying all men are rapists and monsters.  That it should be expected that they can't control their urges.  As a man, I take offense to that especially.  Feminism not only fights for women, but also tries to show that men aren't supposed to be like that.  That it's not right.  Women deal with this daily and have their self-worth questioned or the double standards thrown at them.  Not all men are monsters, but yes all women deal with those monsters daily from all sides.

This is barely even scratching the surface of the reasons why I want to see a solo X-23 film with sequels.  This isn't even the beginning of why it's needed.  The #YesAllWomen hashtag (Which sadly stopped trending today.  Don't let it stop! Get it back up there!) isn't even a fraction of the reasons of why such a film needs to dominate the box office right alongside Wonder Woman.

Women get compared to each other and told to compete with each other.  They should be lifting each other up and helping each other.  They should be praised for their own merits.  They should never be compared to another because they aren't that other person.  They are themselves.  They should be praised for all they've accomplished, all they can still do, and all the talent they have.  Not for their appearance in what they wear or who they remind you of.  Women in Hollywood especially are forced to compete over limited roles because male roles are more dominant.  They are told they have to look a certain way or change aspects of themselves to fit in.  Yet audiences want to see more women take the action leads.  Audiences want to admire these actresses for not changing who they are to suit these misogynistic whims of what they claim audiences want.  Audiences want strong women who bow to no one.  Audiences want to look up to and celebrate these women.  There needs to be more iconic characters that stand out and shine for how they refuse to let this go unchallenged.  Look at the awe that surrounds the ones that do exist.  Michelle Rodriguez's character in Fast & The Furious made a triumphant return.  Alice in Resident Evil is still praised even while many men moan about not having one of the male leads from the games as the star.  Kate Beckinsale in Underworld is praised and her films get viewers.  Angelina Jolie's character in Wanted stole the show and made that film memorable.  So yes, women leads and roles are wanted.  Yes, films that star powerful woman are box office draws.  Look at Hunger Games itself which has proven this repeatedly with each film outing.  More need to be made.  More need to be out there so any person looking for a film to watch can find that film they want to see and not a film selection that majorly consists of men as protagonists fighting to save or get retribution for a damsel in distress across whatever genre.  When you can count on less than you have toes and fingers compared to the hundreds if not thousands of male dominated protagonist films, yes there is a disparity that needs to be rectified.

Misogynist singers should be blacklisted and ignored.  They should crawl off back under the rock they came from.  The same to any actor that dares to lay a hand on a woman or refuse to accept no or refuse to leave a woman alone that dared to walk away.

It's a false equivalency.  Nothing a man has been through could ever come anywhere near what women have to put up with or endure.  To say otherwise is ego and wounded male pride.  There simply are bad people out there, and it's time to stop making excuses for it.  It's time to hold humanity itself to a higher standard.

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