Born in Flames

From what I’ve seen from the film today, it gave me the impression of a lot of us fighting an invisible war. Many feminists I see on social media tend to label a lot of media content “sexist.” From what I have seen in recent years, they have been quite accurate with the things that they’ve called out. However, nowadays it became clearer that a lot of their actions have portrayed them in a negative light. From time and time again I have seen feminists yelling for equality and for the removal of “sexist” content but, the only problem with that is… they don’t do the work themselves. Identifying the problems is good, fighting to remove degrading content is also good, demanding others to do the work is not. For example, in the movie industry, feminists demand companies to include more women in the production department, hire more actresses, and have a different portrayal of female characters. What they ignore is the fact that the film industry is a business that would hire anyone, regardless of gender, that would grantee them a profit. Money is the biggest concern for any business, and their main priority when it comes to employment is to hire the best/more popular people that they can find. Also, the way that they decide to cast, write, and construct their films is also catered towards their audience. What makes their consumers enjoy their films, and how much money they make from the films is the most important aspect to film companies. Demanding companies to hire women for the sake of just having women is a bad business plan because you would limit yourself to who you can hire because now you’re forced to hire people for their gender instead of their resume. As a content creator myself I would despised being forced to hire people just because of their gender, race or religion. It’s selfish and ignorant because these certain people would rather have companies suffer, if it means to push their social agenda. If we truly want an equal society we can’t have “feminism” (which means equal rights for both men and women) become an insult or a joke just because of a few individuals who tend to give it a bad name. This film we saw reminded me of this because, despite there being a problem, they don’t clearly identify the source of the problem. Calling men, society, and the government sexist does not describe the problem because that’s too vague.

Wimmen’s Comix

When I saw these comics I literally thought it was some sort of parody. Why are the women portrayed and drawn this way? At first I thought the artist was trying to tell us that women are dumb and ugly creatures who are kept indoors performing household chores. Also I noticed early on that the female drawings were a bit exaggerated to show off their breasts. The only message I got from the early drawings is that women appear to be mostly worried about doing their work at home. I find the joke about women needing to conquer their new household items to be degrading, as it is implying that women are only good for domestic chores and nothing else. “A Modern Romance” depicts a relationship where a man seems to be pressuring and touching his date. She comments that his touching was “expected” and the fact that this is called “a modern romance” means that the artist is trying to convey a message about abusive relationships. The author takes it up a notch and draws the woman having sex with another woman, stating that this feels “natural.” Is the author trying to imply that women would be more happier dating other women? I may be reading too much into this but I just don’t understand the point of this comic. Yes there have been abusive relationships but that shouldn’t mean that all men in relationships can’t be trusted. This is no different than saying all women are housewives because of some stereotypes. The media tends to get very creative with the way they portray people and many don’t do a very good job. Lots of media portray women as objects to cater towards sex driven men. As long as we keep this trend going we would never see any changes in the way people are viewed. If we take the objectification of women away, and not have content focused on men’s sexual interests, then perhaps we can focus more on the content itself and not the sexual fan service. Maybe this can help us move towards equality among men and women in media.

The idea of the “male gaze”

From what we spoke about during last class regarding the male gaze, I think I might have a good idea as to why this is a recurring idea to this day. From what I’ve seen so far from the movie we’ve looked at in class, I’ve noticed how much attention has been focused on the main female lead’s attractiveness. This focus on attractive characters is seen through many other medias such as television, cartoons, music videos, concerts and even video games. The reason for this is quite simple. In medias such as anime and video games the main audience that creators tend to cater to are males. So the use of this “male gaze” tactic is simply because sales and ratings have shown that sex sells their products and developers simply want to take advantage of that. We see more of this fan service with shows that have poor ratings which is why they try to implement more of this. In a lot of entertainment products, developers will try to cater towards a certain audience in order to maximize their income. I would rather my favorite shows not feature any fan service because it shows me immediately that the writers themselves don’t have much faith in their characters and or story and thus they try to give us some other unrelated reason to like their content. Does someone have another idea for why the “male gaze” exists to this day in terms of why it’s used by content creators?

“Visual Pleasure and Narrative Cinema” paradox

One thing that stood out to me the most was the numb feeling i got in my head after reading “Afterthoughts” and the reason for this is that the author argued that making a female heroine contain some characteristics that are different than her stereotypical persona is an example of losing her “sexuality.” If the heroine were to choose the “right” decision then she is choosing to learn a “passive sexuality” and learn to “be a lady.” But if she chooses personal strength, power and a more dangerous life style then that shows off her “boy/girl mixture of rivalry and play.” So is the fact that a heroine becoming hardcore supposed to be a bad thing? That since she does actions that are seen by other male characters supposed to mean that she is losing her “sexuality?” Character traits are not limited to one gender because no behaviors/emotions are only experienced by one gender alone. Both men and women can choose the right or wrong paths and just because the dangerous paths are more seen associated with the male gender in films does not mean that young women in the audience can’t imagine themselves as the powerful heroine that they see on screen. That’s not a sign of losing her sexuality or her “tomboy” pleasuring her sexuality.

To this day I still see people complaining about how we still don’t have “real” strong female characters in films because apparently their all just “missmales” due to the fact that they perform actions that men are seen doing. That is so confusing because as a man myself I don’t call a woman a tomboy just because she likes sports. That’s just silly. Don’t we all agree that we do what we like and what we feel is right. In real life or on the screen.

 

“Pillow Talk” and the Bachelor pad

One of the readings for next week’s class had me a little confused. It was about the stereotypical bachelor pad and how it relates to “playboy.” It says that a man’s home is the reflection of his inner self and for some reason the home would have some playboy elements. Aspects that would seem very fitting for some romantic get togethers. From what I’ve seen from the pictures of a house, that was on blackboard, it did have a lot of fancy decor such as a fire place and a rotating bed but I don’t think it was all a reflection of man’s sexual desires or have something to do with playboy. From the ending of “pillow Talk” we see the main female lead transform the room into something that she liked and that scene was supposed to show her interest to Allen. Was that room decor supposed to reflect her sexual desires? Clearly that’s what the film was trying to convey but it was just played for comedic effect and only for that one moment. Her own apartment did not spell seduction and nor did Allen’s room despite looking fancy. The article used this film as an example of a person’s home having some relation to playboy because of Allen’s phone conversations, and piano playing. The article goes on to say that a man should take over the house in order to prevent it from becoming more “for women” as if “males did not exist as males” whatever that means. The relationship with that and playboy just screams stereotypes or at least that’s what i’m getting. The main point of this article seems a mystery to me because i’m not sure what i’m supposed to take from it. Is it saying that all men are pigs or that this bachelor style house is the only way to stop the “Womanization of America?’ Can someone fill me in on what i’m missing?