The result is that while many viewers are no doubt cishet white men, few will truly identify with what Kilgrave illustrates not just about rapists and abusers, but about negative ideas about masculinity itself.
“You’ve got a lot to learn, Myrtle Mae, and I hope you never learn it.” These words, from 1950’s ‘Harvey,’ apply equally to sex and sanity. Harvey’s young women, Myrtle Mae and Nurse Kelly, are open and assertive about their sexual desires and frustrations. It is the older woman, Veta, who is inhibited. She flinches when a bosom jiggles and squirms when discussing sex. Society’s usual concept of sexual inhibition, as a natural innocence corrupted by experience, is flipped in Harvey: female sexuality is the natural innocence that experience disciplines into inhibition. Myrtle Mae and Nurse Kelly have a lot to learn, and we hope they never learn it.
What happened to the romcom? Apparently, men started to enjoy them. Should we feel flattered by this male appreciation of a genre created in its modern form by women like Jane Austen? Or insulted that male appreciation of the romcom can only occur by refusing to appreciate it as romcom? “You show me your sensitive side, then you turn into a total asshole.” Is that a pretty accurate description of the attraction and sneering rejection of the male audience for romcom?
Check out all of the Women & Gender in Cult Films & B-Movies Theme Week posts here!
I’ve lost track of how many times I’ve watched Fight Club. Every time I view it, I end up noticing something new. How did I miss that before? This time, Marla Singer (played by Helena Bonham Carter) captured my attention. What would the situations in the movie look like from her viewpoint?
Here at Bitch Flicks, we discuss at length the under-representation (and often problematic representation) of women in media. In 2011, 11 percent of protagonists in the top 100 domestic grossing films were female (down from 16 percent in 2002). In contrast, women make up more than 50 percent of the population in the United States. […]