Saturday, November 8, 2008

More Equality Issues

I was reading a scathing review of the movie The Women in The New Yorker. The reviewer's major problem with it had to do with the lack of feminism, a critique heard about Sex and the City, Desperate Housewives, Ally McBeal...need I go on?

And then it hit me that last night another Judd Apatow-like movie was released. My guess is, like all the rest of them, it'll do well. Movies where men can be completely lazy, ignorant, pot-smoking losers that somehow get the girl, and no one is shouting about what's wrong with this.

I've heard men talk about these male stereotypes and how they're totally acceptable as if it's women that are the ones making the men seem like losers. I don't know the exact statistics on this, but I suppose that women are more okay with seeing movies like this because they won't have to listen to the men in their lives complain about seeing a "chick flick."

But the real difference between men and women? Anytime a woman enjoys something like Sex and the City, we're hurting the feminist cause. Anytime we try to laugh at ourselves, we're told we're not being progressive. Meanwhile, let's all go see Knocked Up. Chick lit is scoffed, women are afraid to even admit to each other what book they may curl up with at night.


I read this review on the heels of reading a profile of Spike Lee (I'm behind on my New Yorkers. But guess what? All caught up on Entertainment Weekly!). They discussed whether or not Obama is "black enough" and how ludicrous the idea is that one is only "black enough" if they're struggling in some ghetto, leaving behind their women and children while incarcerated.

So now I ask, how ludicrous is it to assume that because a few women like Cosmos and shoes means they don't give a crap about equality? Or worse, that the viewers don't? If I enjoy an episode of 90210 every now and then, that doesn't mean I miss work because of a bad hair day!

Equality also means being able to laugh at ourselves, being able to recognize that certain stereotypes may apply, but that we are full and complete people. I'm girly about spiders, but I can hook up the DVD player. I can lift heavy boxes, but don't ask me to change my own tire. The original 1939 film The Women is one of my favorites, but I hate shopping and jewelry.

The review of the remake (which I have yet to see) didn't focus on the actors or the scripts, but rather on the fact that the women are all rich and have nannies. Sounds to me like a pretty shallow review.


Ms. H said...

"Chick lit is scoffed, women are afraid to even admit to each other what book they may curl up with at night."

Word to that. I always feel I have to justify my "smut" reading by reminding people I spend my workdays teaching "real" I deserve some down time.

The truth?

I just like it.


Mama Smurf said...

Amen sistah!

Still haven't seen that movie...I don't get out to the movies very often. But it's at the top of my "to see" list. When it comes out on video of course.

Anonymous said...

If men can spend entire weekends watching sports and then the rest of the week talking about sports, I think they should lay off about how women know a thing or two about celebrity gossip and a good quality sweater (one he would love to rub his hands against, during the half-time show). Let's start a campaign to End Male Hypocrisy. My thoughts are that it won't be such a big hit, they are not self-actualized enough to recognize the hypocrisy of their ways.

See what you want. Who cares what anyone says, just as long as the chick flicks and books make money, they'll keep making them.

Shiona said...

I hate the double standards. Laura was right on that's where I was going to go. That happens as mothers too. Last year when I was pregnant so many people were made to feel terrible about things like having breastfeeding and vaccinations. It's crazy. We already have too much to worry about without being judged for every thing. It is a movie after all.

Kori said...

Since I never have heard of it and most likely won't ever watch it, I will admit on YOUR blog that I like Nora Roberts and Sandra Brown both, becasue the girl always gets the guy and they have a lot of hot sex.