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Feminism ruins everything.

(72 Posts)
Miffer Thu 22-Dec-16 10:12:02

My alternative title was going to be - Awful stuff you never noticed until you learned more about feminism... this was snappier though.

So I went to uni as a mature student, I studied social science and politics and covered feminism usually as a tacked on bit at the end of each topic. A further tacked on bit would cover "women of colour" and "working class women" and "radical feminists". I was vaguely 3rd wave feminist as a result of this. Very post modern.

As time as gone on I have sought out and read more, become involved in activism and basically grown into a radical feminist with a bit of Marxist stirred in.

As I get older I revisit books, shows and movies I used to love and find more and more of them to be fucking awful and offensive. Has anybody else experienced this? Recent offenders have been-

Scrubs - So wonderful on the outside, such a diverse cast! So many problems though, from storylines about women heroically putting their career on hold for the sake of their relationship to women being bullied by other women for being too "pretty".

*Handle With Care*- A paint by numbers book by Jodi Piccoult which has a graphic depiction of rape which is never named as such. The husband rapes the wife to teach her a lesson. The husband is a good guy, although they split HE leaves and at the end they reconcile. The rape is never called rape or mentioned after it occurs. This was truly awful and I would be interested to know if anybody else has read this?

What Alice Forgot - Another book that is just horrid in how it handles relationships. I don't know why revisiting this surprised me as I have noticed this in later books I read by this author.

Has this happened to anybody else? Or has anybody else read/watched these and disagrees with me?

amispartacus Thu 22-Dec-16 10:14:55

I can't watch James Bond films anymore.

In fact, most 'action' films wind me up. The sexism is incredible.

redexpat Thu 22-Dec-16 10:23:49

Quite a lot of panel shows.

The fact that any film about a woman is about her relationships, never just her. She always calls her father Daddy and has some sort of weird freudian relationship.

Gallavich Thu 22-Dec-16 10:25:12

I know. I'm exhausted, anxious and a bit depressed since becoming more radicalised. I tried unfollowing the Facebook groups so I'm not constantly being drawn into the discussions but then I got bored.

HardcoreLadyType Thu 22-Dec-16 10:34:04

I can't think too much about Georgette Heyer novels, and I used to love them.

There was a thread on MN some years back, where we were going to discuss them, and I realised they really didn't bear scrutiny. All the young women in their late teens marrying older men who would look after them. Or the independent women falling for loveable rogues who were really alcoholics. sad

Backingvocals Thu 22-Dec-16 10:39:52

Yes I love Scrubs until I think about it. Ditto all indie films where ugly men score beautiful women because they are alternative so the men can be ugly but still deserve a beautiful woman.

AreWeSure Thu 22-Dec-16 11:47:53

Well have any of you seen 'The Sapphires'. If you haven't the basic idea is that it is a movie with literally no diversity but no one cares or even brought up this fact in any main stream reviews. It's a movie were the whole cast are aboriginal women. Yet when there is something like a full white male cast it's racist and sexist. Double standards.

Hamsolo Thu 22-Dec-16 11:54:58

Well aboriginal women and middle aged Irishman Chris O'Dowd, AreWeSure, so not sure that really proves your slightly odd point.

HardcoreLadyType Thu 22-Dec-16 12:07:40

AreWeSure, I'm not sure what your point is. Steel Magnolias is a play all about women. Buffy was a television series where the women, in the main, are more kickass than the men. The whole of modern culture is not ruined when held up to a feminist light, just a lot of it.

I've never seen the film you mention, so can't comment on it, specifically. But here's a thing. Just because a film has an all female cast doesn't make it a feminist film.

ChocChocPorridge Thu 22-Dec-16 12:08:21

Of course on average, aboriginal people, women, and aboriginal women are all under-represented still, despite one heavily weighted film - so that's probably why AreWeSure.

If every film in a year almost entirely starred aboriginal women, you might have a point.

M0stlyHet Thu 22-Dec-16 12:10:19

Arewesure - have I got your point correctly? One movie about aboriginal women entirely offsets the whole of the rest of the output of the mainstream film industry? How exactly does that work?

It's a bit like looking at the tidal wave of adverts using women's bodies to sell things, then saying "but look - diet coke advert, so men get objectified too" (when in fact the diet coke ad was almost certainly green-lighted by a male ad executive, and I would guess part of his reasoning was probably to have a handy example to say "look we're equal opportunities objectifiers, sex sells, what can I do", holds hands up and shrugs).

RufusTheSpartacusReindeer Thu 22-Dec-16 12:12:16

But the sapphires was about an aboriginal band and their families ...who were also aborigines

Its bleeding full of white people...

I enjoyed it

Miffer Thu 22-Dec-16 12:14:05

I am fucking sick of seeing a film I fancy then realise once again the film makers have cast only aboriginal women in the lead rolls.

HardcoreLadyType Thu 22-Dec-16 12:15:58

I know right!


VioletRoar Thu 22-Dec-16 12:18:12

😂 miffer me too, it's getting out of hand.

Also, you're totally right, I find it hard to enjoy so many films because of this. Most recently fantastic beasts.

franke Thu 22-Dec-16 12:18:14

Oh yes, James Bond is a no no in our house now, whereas I watched the movies all avidly as a child shock. I have nothing to do with men's football these days, don't get enthused about major competitions or anything. Quite like the women's game though.

franke Thu 22-Dec-16 12:20:11

I remember Dittany saying something once about having to take her feminist hat off just to watch and enjoy a movie sometimes, to avoid getting apoplectic with rage. I can relate to that, it's just all exhausting otherwise.

amispartacus Thu 22-Dec-16 12:23:56

Watch any 'disaster' movie. You've probably got 1 female expert. Loads of male experts - whose appearance varies - as it does in life. But 1 female expert, normally under 30, attractive and who probably falls in love with the male expert.

Rare to see more female experts on the team. And if they are, then the only conversation they will have will be about the male lead. Not about the actual problem.

I am sure real life is not like that.

Prawnofthepatriarchy Thu 22-Dec-16 12:26:10

I don't have a problem with Georgette Heyer, or Jane Austen for that matter. They write about a very different world and one in which the possibilities for women were very limited.

I spotted the vile sexism of the James Bond films as a preteen. Seems amazing, looking back, that small kids were allowed to watch them.

I remember loving the film "Seven Brides for Seven Brothers", which is a musical based on the rape of the Sabine women, ffs. Great songs, and very good humoured, to be fair. smile

I've been a second waver since childhood so I suppose my perceptions haven't changed much. What has changed is my perception of social issues. For example, when I read an Agatha Christie novel to my older DS he said, after a few days of reading a chapter every night, "The servants in this book aren't really people, are they? They're just sorta scenery."

Perceptive of him to notice. I hadn't. I started to read them when I was about 11 and I knew my DM grew up with a resident maid, so it didn't seem odd to me that middle class people in a story set in the 1940s might have servants. Well, it wasn't odd, but of course my DS doesn't know people who live like this now.

From the same author came the most appalling antisemitism. I hadn't even understood it as a young reader, or noticed the dog whistle phrases used to convey to the reader that a character is Jewish.

thatstoast Thu 22-Dec-16 12:37:23

Remember when they ruined Ghostbusters by remaking it with Aboriginal women?

M0stlyHet Thu 22-Dec-16 12:39:00

I agree re. Austen and Heyer, Prawn - they are fascinating studies of how, in a patriarchal society where there is no route, other than marriage, for a respectable woman to earn a living, women can try to carve out a limited sort of freedom for themselves. And of how those attempts can go wrong - it's a mistake to read Heyer as approving of everything her characters do. Her writing is light and frothy (and very skilful) but sometimes the underlying subject matter is quite tragic: A Civil Marriage is about how a dashing wealthy man marries a plain but moneyed girl from a background in "trade" - and how she never gets her romantic dream of a husband who loves her. It's actually a very interesting piece of writing and almost a case of a very successful author deliberately subverting the genre in which she's made her name.

Action movies - I love them, but I get so bloody tired of the women being cardboard cutout love interests. Or even worse, starting out as an interesting character then dwindling into a cardboard cutout love interest (original three Star Wars movies - I'm looking at you!)

amispartacus Thu 22-Dec-16 12:41:26

TBF - Star Wars Rogue One has 1 female lead. She is the only female in the attack squad though. And there are 2 women in the conference area discussing what they should do. Lots of men though.

But - all the scientists were white men.

And don't get me started on Jurassic World. hmm

Prawnofthepatriarchy Thu 22-Dec-16 12:47:49

My DH and I watched Pride and Prejudice on TV many years ago. It was fun to watch it with someone who didn't know the story or anything about the social mores of the period. He very much approved of Darcy rescuing Lydia, felt that it was just the sort of thing a man who loved a woman would do for her: practical and something she couldn't do herself. But his main reaction was horror, and a kind of awe, that people in a world where divorce was impossible had to decide on a potential partner from the few clues offered by brief meetings ruled by convention and in the presence of others. For men this was bad enough. He felt terribly sorry for the women, though he loved the story.

M0stlyHet Thu 22-Dec-16 12:51:28

Prawn - one of the most acute exchanges in P&P and one that I absolutely love is this one between Charlotte and Elizabeth:

``Well,'' said Charlotte, ``I wish Jane success with all my heart; and if she were married to him to-morrow, I should think she had as good a chance of happiness as if she were to be studying his character for a twelvemonth. Happiness in marriage is entirely a matter of chance. If the dispositions of the parties are ever so well known to each other, or ever so similar before-hand, it does not advance their felicity in the least. They always contrive to grow sufficiently unlike afterwards to have their share of vexation; and it is better to know as little as possible of the defects of the person with whom you are to pass your life.''

``You make me laugh, Charlotte; but it is not sound. You know it is not sound, and that you would never act in this way yourself.''

Now obviously this is a point in the novel where (although Elizabeth and the reader don't know it yet) Charlotte is trying to talk herself into marrying Mr. Collins, but I've always wondered if it was also a cynical joke on JA's part, and much closer to her real opinions about marriage than otherwise.

deydododatdodontdeydo Thu 22-Dec-16 14:11:18

Watch any 'disaster' movie. You've probably got 1 female expert. Loads of male experts - whose appearance varies - as it does in life.

The female expert is invariably not attractive at all, oh no, until she takes her glasses off and lets her hair down... smile

(On the other hand, it almost always one of the male experts who makes a massive gaffe that almost kills everyone, or is just a plain baddie...e.g. Jurassic Park).

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