Let’s consume women

I wanted to start blogging again, and the only things I’m interested in writing about are the things I’ve been reading, and the questions and debates and conversations I’ve been having with others. So I’ll start this off with something that’s been highlighted a little more in the media than lately.

No More Page 3

If you’ve been following the No More Page 3 (here’s an interview that might help anyone confused) then you’ll have seen some of the backlash towards the horrible way women are portrayed in the Sun. But if you’ve been following No More Page 3 on facebook (which I recommend) you’ll see how more people are exposing the sad way that women are being represented in the news, the media in general, and in the world. If you don’t read anything but this article, you’ll have still gathered a pretty good idea how subtle and rampant it is.

#shoutingback

Search for the #shoutingback hashtag on twitter, and you’ll see firsthand many examples of how women (and some men) have encountered street harassment (and worse). The sad thing is that they feel twitter is the only place they’re able to safely highlight these situations  The real perpetrators aren’t shamed for it.

X-Men – a First Class portrayal of women as things to be consumed

After all this was rolling around in my head, I sat down to watch X-Men First Class. And its treatment of women made me furious. Let’s count up why:

  1. They wrote in a scene just so they could have 10 or so ladies walk around in just their pants and bras. No plot importance.
  2. A character infiltrates a building by joining the ‘pants party’. We get wonderful scenes of her bending over a desk to root around for evidence. Obviously very important to the plot… Not.
  3. One of the characters is a ‘dancing girl’. And where other characters get a 2 second slot in the montage, she gets a whole 3 mins of screen time. Imagine why.
  4. Two characters – Raven and Emma Frost – shown in their ‘natural’ forms are basically nekked… But it’s okay! Their flesh is not pink (or brown, or black). We just get them in lycra which, unsurprisingly, leaves nothing to the imagination.
  5. What gets under my skin (haha…ha.) is how Raven is justified for walking around in her ‘natural’ (naked) state because it’s her being proud of who she really is. What’s not mentioned is that you can be confident in yourself and still wear clothes! Oh, but unfortunately, this message isn’t nearly as attractive to the boys.
  6. There may have been one scene with a bare-chested man. The end. The contrast is incredible, and shows just what a sick and twisted view the film-writers have of women.

So it’s a film that litters its scenes with naked/nearly naked women and then justifies the nearly-nakedness with some half-ass ‘love yourself’ ideology. But in actuality, the view of the film-makers was that there was little use for women but to say a few lines and prance about in no clothes to draw in the salivating men who themselves see women as nothing more than something to look at and consume.

Finally…

I know this is a lengthy post, but bear with me (if you’re still here)… I realise from this point on a lot of films are going to be ruined for me, as I read them through the eyes of someone who went to the pub yesterday and had the joy of being ‘chatted up’ by someone half drunk, blowing cigarette smoke in my face, who had zero interest in anything more than getting to a point where he could ask ‘So, do you want to meet me later?’ And sadly, I’m realising this is how a lot of men (and even women) think – that there is no need for men to have decency, respect or care for women. They’re just there to be looked at and consumed. The world says so, and by our silence we’re saying ‘we agree’.

Maybe we should start a film-metre, and measure each film by how many naked and semi-naked men and women pop up throughout, for how long, and whether their purpose is gratuitous or of plot importance. It’ll be a sad revelation of this world’s attitudes.

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