On the surface, a lot of his female characters reflect strong ideals. … But take a deeper look and Linklater’s female characters tell another story: one of a creator deeply obsessed with ignorant male stereotypes and the women that encourage them. … Looking back through his films, they all contain this running theme of underdeveloped man-children who are routinely validated in their anti-woman approach.
My intent is not to claim that ‘Twilight’ is a perfect movie, but rather, I want to argue that it has more virtues than it is given credit for, and to point out that its dismissal is frequently based on pervasive sexist attitudes. I am not speaking for the other films in the series — all directed by men — but rather, the first film, which was written and directed by women (Melissa Rosenberg and Catherine Hardwicke, respectively), based on a novel written by a woman. There are many valid reasons why one may not enjoy ‘Twilight,’ but it is important to recognize that it is unfair and sexist to dismiss the film and its fans based on the fact that it is a romance told from a female perspective.
…I’m left with the feeling that Tom Ford’s second feature film is a love letter to sexist movies instead. … Like a lot of sexist stories, ‘Nocturnal Animals’ is vague about its attitude toward women, because it doesn’t truly regard women as anything but objects – things that derive meaning only through their relationship to the real subjects, men.
I realized something even worse: Agent Mulder is not a dreamboat. In fact, he’s an asshole. An asshole who spends most of the series mansplaining to Agent Scully. … Twenty years after ‘The X-Files’ debuted, it’s still rare to see a female character who’s as complicated and resilient as Scully — especially who works in science.
‘Contact’ remains a singularly astute portrayal of a woman combating the oppressive confines of institutional sexism, as well as a reminder of how deeply mainstream cinema still needs progressive feminist portrayals that contradict gender clichés. … How refreshing that a woman’s personal arc is considered important enough to be entwined alongside the movie’s core theme of discovering meaning in our seemingly meaningless universe.
Yet in rewatching ‘Jurassic Park,’ it struck me that not only is Laura Dern’s Dr. Ellie Sattler a portrayal of a female scientist that is largely unseen in film, but she is, on numerous occasions, keenly aware of her gender and how this leads to her treatment.
But the entire gist is still pretty radical: A big-budget film about a woman leading a monumental mission that, if successful, would be the most important discovery of our time. ‘Contact’s feminism is all the more stunning to watch two decades after its release because of its stingingly accurate portrayal of sexism in science and refusal to appease the hetero-male gaze.
However, it was not until 1986 that her status as a female badass was truly confirmed in the follow-up, ‘Aliens.’ Yet, in-universe, it took Ripley much of the movie to gain any respect. The mix of classism and sexism Ripley faced is something that I think made many women identify with her even more.
From Imperator Furiosa to Letty Ortiz, strong and knowledgeable female characters crop up in car movies. The women who used to be relegated to flag girls and objectified as hood ornaments are now being introduced as main characters with their own plot points and story developments.
Check out all of the posts from our ‘Game of Thrones’ Theme Week here.
You don’t have to look further than the comments section on any website to see that people with more power routinely try to decide what people with less power have the right to complain about. It’s something that happens in every discussion about inequality, but it’s so rare for that to be the topic itself that I was actually shocked when it was in “Ladies and Gentlemen.”
Check out what we’ve been reading this week – and let us know what you’ve been reading/writing in the comments!