People only see what they want to see.

28Feb10

Apparently a lot of feminists are upset about how women are portrayed in Hollywood. They think that women in chick flicks are only interested in losing weight and finding a man.  And that this is Hollywood’s fault, not a reflection of society.  Or rather, this is men in Hollywood’s fault.

But according to Melissa Silverstein, founder of Women & Hollywood, a marketing company specialising in films featuring women, the dumbing down of women on screen has a more earthy motivation. “One-dimensional female characters are created because the men making and directing the films are only interested in one thing: that these women titillate male audiences on the least challenging, most obvious of levels,” she said.

Melissa Silverstein, you are an idiot.  The first two examples given in the article were Confessions of a Shopaholic and He’s Just Not That Into You. I dare anyone to say that these movies or the other chick flicks listed were made to “titillate male audiences.”  If Hollywood execs expect the majority of their revenue from chick flicks to come from men who find them “titillating” they are doing it wrong and fail at both their jobs and life.

Also interesting (read: retarded) is the comparison between the most enduring classics of the Hollywood golden era with the junk food empty carbs of today.   Dr. Diane Purkiss, who is living proof that having a PhD does not mean a person possesses critical thinking skills, says that “for every Juno, Little Miss Sunshine or The Devil Wears Prada there is a glut of films that “reduce women to explicitly anti-feminist stereotypes”, such as 27 Dresses, Made [sic] of Honour and What Happens in Vegas.”

I’m going to ignore the fact that these “anti feminist stereotypes” that women are “reduced to” are obviously easy enough to relate to that ‘chick flick’ remains a genre in its own right, and skip onto the real point: bad movies are nothing new.  Purkiss could easily have said “For every Gone with the Wind or Katharine-Hepburn-plays-feminist movie there is a glut of awful films like Duffy’s Tavern and Deep Waters.”

What are Duffy’s Tavern and Deep Waters, you ask?   I have no idea, I haven’t seen them. But I do know that 60 years from now, one of our grandchildren, reminiscing fondly about Hollywood’s “Blockbuster era,” is going to point out how great movies like Juno and Little Miss Sunshine were, and how bad movies of her time are in comparison, and I’ll bet anything that she’ll never have heard of the movie Confessions of a Shopaholic.

Anyway I wonder if this is going to be a new trend, feminists talking about how much better women had it in the 1940’s and using the word “emancipated” to describe a Victorian literary heroine. Because really there is nothing better than a political movement arguing that the world was better off before it came into existence.

Sometimes I don’t know how they can keep a straight face.

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