miss_s_b: (Self: boobies)
[personal profile] miss_s_b
Last night, as part of the FFW, there was a screening of a film called The Scar Crow, and a Q&A session with cast and crew afterwards. The film had great effects and was beautifully and creatively shot, especially given the tiny budget and shooting timescale, but it just REEKED of misogyny. I can't give specifics without spoilers, but I had many, many problems with the film. Now, you can say this about a lot of films, including many that I really love. But the classic Hammer/Amicus/etc. films get something of a pass due to being made 30, 40, 50 years ago. This film was made last year. The ONLY named female characters were "evil", apart from the "sympathetic character" - i.e. the one who deserves a Well Done For Not Being A Rapist Cookie - 's girlfriend, who was merely peripheral AND stupid. There's an incestuous "lesbian" kiss, which the director stated in the Q&A he had put in because his 12 year old son had asked for some hot lesbo action.

And you know what?

Even as I type this I can feel the internet's reaction to me criticising the film for these reasons. It's just one film - it's not systemic. Not all films are like that! - just like not all men are like that. Well, YOU might have been offended, but I wasn't, and therefore it's not a problem. So you're saying we ought to ban films with hot lesbo action/films with female bad guys/etc. I thought you were a liberal?

etc. etc. et fucking cetera.

It's not just systemic in horror (and yes, I DID have an audible intake of breath when the director claimed to have been subverting expectations by shooting a gore flick with evil women and hot lesbo action in it). It's not just systemic in films. It's not just endemic in entertainment. It's endemic in life.

Are we all ready for the chorus of Oh, you're exaggerating! I don't know anyone who finds this a problem, girls? Boys, I hate to break this to you, but perhaps nobody has told you they find this sort of shit a problem because they know what your reaction will be. Do you ever find yourself thinking well harrassment/sexual assault/rape can't be that much of a problem because I don't know anyone who has been harrassed/assaulted/raped? I bet you a tenner that you do. For starters, if you know me, you do.

And do you know what? Even with all that said, I wouldn't want to ban films like this. I'd just like to live in a world where I can make this sort of criticism without having to pre-emptively defend myself against accusations of being a strident whinging harpie. I'd settle for that, but it'd be even nicer if I could go and see a gore flick where it's the men who are relentlessly objectified, and the women who are held forth as praiseworthy for not being rapists... Not because I think reverse discrimination is in any way the way forward, but just because it would be SUCH a fucking novelty.

Using the icon I have is a defensive action too. It's saying I know that women are objectified on the basis of their bodies, and I know it happens to me, and I can cope with it. It's saying I realise that I am part of the problem here. It's saying look, even though I have been raped, I have a sense of humour about stuff like this.

Yeah, I'm in a really good mood today.

Thanks to [personal profile] puddingcat for pointing me at most of the articles I link to.

This blog is proudly sponsored by

Date: Monday, June 15th, 2009 09:06 pm (UTC)
etoile: (Default)
From: [personal profile] etoile
*hugs, hugs and more hugs*

Date: Monday, June 15th, 2009 09:09 pm (UTC)
innerbrat: (heart + stomach)
From: [personal profile] innerbrat
My problem wasn't with the movie itself, but with the atmosphere in the cinema itself. Maybe I was too aware the actors were sitting behind me, and the writers were in the same room, but I was in a room of people laughing at banter about a jolly rape spree, and I felt alone. I felt that any complaints I could have wouldn't be welcome and would be silenced, and I felt unimportant.

Date: Monday, June 15th, 2009 09:12 pm (UTC)
karohemd: by LJ user gothindulgence (Default)
From: [personal profile] karohemd
I did warn you that it was sexist and when even I think that, there has to be something wrong with it (apart from the plot holes). As I said to Mat, I didn't come along to that screening because I'd just have wanted to punch all of the male cast...

Randomly, a silly photo of Byron

Date: Monday, June 15th, 2009 11:01 pm (UTC)
karohemd: (Photo)
From: [personal profile] karohemd
I can haz pasta?

Next time I'm up I need to bring some decent lighting (or take photos during the day).

Date: Tuesday, June 16th, 2009 07:13 am (UTC)
el_staplador: (Default)
From: [personal profile] el_staplador

Good links.

Date: Tuesday, June 16th, 2009 09:20 am (UTC)
djm4: (Default)
From: [personal profile] djm4
I wouldn't join the chorus.

This is not me saying that the chorus doesn't exist - I come across it too, and try to speak against it when I hear it. This is not me complaining that you're stereotyping and generalising about men. This is not me attempting to derail, ad if this is derailing, I hope you'll tell me.

This is just me putting down a marker that says 'I agree with you'. Because I think it's important for men to say it, too, as datapoints, nothing more.

Date: Tuesday, June 16th, 2009 10:18 am (UTC)
bard: While playing Shylock (Default)
From: [personal profile] bard
On the other hand, some of us entirely agree with you. Not only does this kind of LCD attitude to the film-watcher piss me off because of its perpetuation of misogyny and chauvinism, it pisses me off because it makes the films worse.

I appreciate that "It's bad art" is less of a serious criticism than "it's arrogant, thoughtless and explicitly intended to appeal to the stupidest age of any man, the 12-yr old". It is, however, a significant point if we're going to get 'em to change. I've been reading a variety of things of late which discussed William Goldman's aphorism about Hollywood studios: "no-one really knows anything". They're always shocked when something they didn't think would sell goes well. And ime, half the time that's because it had some real women in it. Make better movies, and you'll do better with them. Arts reflects life, and life has real women in; when will Hollywood figure that out?

Date: Tuesday, June 16th, 2009 10:41 am (UTC)
bagpuss: (Default)
From: [personal profile] bagpuss
This is a very interesting article which goes someway to explaining why many movies while not as overtly sexist as this are very poor

Why film school teaches screen writers not to pass the bechdel test

Date: Tuesday, June 16th, 2009 12:53 pm (UTC)
ginasketch: (Default)
From: [personal profile] ginasketch
One to avoid then.

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Hello! I'm Jennie (known to many as SB, due to my handle, or The Yorksher Gob because of my old blog's name). This blog is my public face; click here for a list of all the other places you can find me on t'interwebs.

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