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A few years ago, a friend in the acting community here gave me a copy of a movie he wrote and directed to possibly review on HDJM to get some press out. I watched it. And there was no way I was going to give it a positive review. Technically it was fine. Solid, if very "film school project-y."

However.



The movie is about a woman being raped. Wait, no it isn't. It is about how the husband deals with his wife being raped. The movie is in HIS perspective. His POV. His feelings, how he deals with it, how he feels about it. She's a sexy lamp in the background for most of the movie, in fact.

ARE YOU FUCKING KIDDING ME. Now, there are ways, possibly, that this could be done that didn't make it all about the man (jfc, I am so ANGRY about that) but this movie doesn't. The woman gets over it (we just know that she's okay, we don't ever see her deal or process what has happened) and then she fades into the background as her husband comes to terms with how victimized HE feels, how emotional HE feels, how unsafe HE feels.

AND THEN SHE COMES BACK ON SCREEN TO COMFORT HIM ABOUT HER RAPE. He's sobbing and fetal, and she holds him and shushes him.

CAN YOU SEE WHY I WAS ANGRY?

This person posted to FB today that he finally got a distribution deal - nothing huge, sort of an Indie Film Vimeo thing. But I'm seeing all over my feed how wonderful this is, how proud everyone is of him, how smart it is...

And they're all dudes. And some of these guys are making huge movies now, and all of the parts are for men. I know this is nothing new, but these are "hipster, thinking, emotional guys." No, fuck that shit. They're writing parts for themselves and their friends (which is how it works) but that happens to be all WOMEN.

And studies have shown that when you show a scene to a man that has 70% male characters and 30% female, they are really seeing a majority of women in the scene. TAKE A MOMENT TO ABSORB THAT. Think about some of your favorite shows and movies. And think about the ratio of men to women.

When are we going to demand equal representation? Fair characterization? IDK, I'm just bitter and angry. I'm in my 40s now, and the likelihood of me ever acting again is pretty much nil. There are hardly any voice acting jobs for women, and the ones that are available are near impossible to get. I think about Jennifer Lawrence being told she's too fat, people marveling at actresses being attractive over 35 and I'm just fucking sick of this shit.

And the people who should listen to this, the men who should realize that they can't fucking write women - that women can write men better than they can write women - aren't interested, because why should they be? They've been able to skate by doing what they do because no one challenges them.

And it makes me want to write a Grindhouse movie with Michele Rodriguez beating the shit out of dudebros and call it FRIENDZONED.

Bah.

Comments

( 38 comments — Leave a comment )
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fabrisse
Oct. 3rd, 2013 05:46 pm (UTC)
You're using the wrong tag
Stoney, honey, you have not lost your mind.

There is value to remembering that an assault (rape or not) will have impact on more than just the person immediately involved, but DAMN! am I tired of stories where that's more important than the emotions/recovery of the person who actually experienced it.

Somehow, it seems worse when we're living in a time where idiots can talk about "women's bodies shut down" to prevent conception and other lies about the results of rape are being promulgated.

Your response is honest and sane. It's one that need to be stated, possibly at the dude's Facebook page where it can become food for thought for the ones who are congratulating him.

It's great that he's made a breakthrough. But we shouldn't have to debate Bechdel tests or wonder what's happening to the actual victim when we're watching a film about the aftermath of a rape.
stoney321
Oct. 3rd, 2013 06:12 pm (UTC)
Re: You're using the wrong tag
What's frustrating is how he's being lauded as a thoughtful artist - and there are women that are saying it, too. (Probably on the hopes he'll hire them for his next work.)

I'm positive he wrote this thinking he was exploring something interesting and thoughtful, and considers himself a feminist ally. And the fact that he can't understand how marginalizing his movie is is my whole point.

It's insulting to me to have a movie about one person being horribly violated and how she's expected to help HIM understand and deal with it. NOPE.
kuzu_no_ha
Oct. 3rd, 2013 05:50 pm (UTC)
GHGFGDFHSSGFGHJLK;LJ;KHLJHGKHDFJG!!!!!!!!


GROSS GROSS GROSS HATE SPEW
stoney321
Oct. 3rd, 2013 06:12 pm (UTC)
MY FEELINGS EXACTLY.
elisi
Oct. 3rd, 2013 05:52 pm (UTC)
And it makes me want to write a Grindhouse movie with Michele Rodriguez beating the shit out of dudebros and call it FRIENDZONED.
I will point my husband to your post, as he has just finished an MA in film production and is trying to (very, very, very, very) slowly start some sort of career. And despairs over 99% of stuff that's being created.

And to cheer you, Alex Kingston won Anglo Fan Favorites Title, and was Named Woman of 2013. Because you can be 40 and sexy and awesome all at the same time.
halfmoon_mollie
Oct. 3rd, 2013 05:55 pm (UTC)
Before she was River Song, before she was Doctor Corday (and I loved her in that role) She was...Moll Flanders.

... - elisi - Oct. 3rd, 2013 06:06 pm (UTC) - Expand
... - halfmoon_mollie - Oct. 3rd, 2013 06:14 pm (UTC) - Expand
... - stoney321 - Oct. 3rd, 2013 06:13 pm (UTC) - Expand
... - elisi - Oct. 3rd, 2013 06:21 pm (UTC) - Expand
halfmoon_mollie
Oct. 3rd, 2013 05:56 pm (UTC)
I just don't even know what to say.
stoney321
Oct. 3rd, 2013 06:14 pm (UTC)
I know. And I have so many writers/producers/directors on my feed, and if I say anything, they'll either write me off (both the comment and for future work, ha. HAHAHAHA, THERE IS NO FUTURE WORK) or simply skim and move on.
fishsanwitt
Oct. 3rd, 2013 06:26 pm (UTC)
*sigh*
I hear you. I have no insightful comment :(
stoney321
Oct. 3rd, 2013 06:33 pm (UTC)
I hate this feeling of rage and no ability to GODZILLA ALL OVER THESE DUDES.
ryokomusouka
Oct. 3rd, 2013 06:47 pm (UTC)
"Why do you write strong women?"

"Because you're still asking me that question." ~Joss Whedon
stoney321
Oct. 3rd, 2013 06:48 pm (UTC)
*fist in the air*
evewithanapple
Oct. 3rd, 2013 08:23 pm (UTC)
*BARF*

I've been noticing and worrying about this for awhile, especially since I started contemplating going to film school. Most of the big up-and-coming directors are still men, and they're men writing about men's experiences and men's viewpoints- even when it's totally unnecessary! Like, Edgar Wright is a Geek God for the Cornetto Trilogy and Scott Pilgrim, and I really enjoyed World's End . . . but surely I'm not the only one who noticed that the only female characters were Sam (who was basically there for Gary and Steve's character development) and the "marmalade sandwich" (GROSS) girls?
stoney321
Oct. 3rd, 2013 11:58 pm (UTC)
UGH, YES. World's End was fun, but it's the same old same old re: women and the importance of Male POV.

But we really need more female directors, writers, producers. SO KEEP AT IT.
ladycyndra
Oct. 3rd, 2013 09:18 pm (UTC)
I don't even know where to begin. Rape is SO NOT about the man and what he feels and what hes going though. Its ALWAYS about the victim and what she goes through and how those around her react. What was this friend thinking with this movie?? OMG!!!

What made him think this was a good idea? I don't CARE what a fucking man thinks because its NOT ABOUT HIS FEELINGS. EVER. The husband/boyfriend/male relative should put all his efforts into comforting HER and supporting HER and giving HER anything she needs to get through such a terrible trauma.

That sound you're hearing? That's my brain imploding. Especially at this part:

AND THEN SHE COMES BACK ON SCREEN TO COMFORT HIM ABOUT HER RAPE. He's sobbing and fetal, and she holds him and shushes him.

WTF?? NO!!! The rage I'm feeling. Oh the RAGE. Also, you are not losing your mind. Your anger is completely justified.
stoney321
Oct. 3rd, 2013 11:58 pm (UTC)
Yeah, it's fucking INFURIATING, the whole lot of it. And my cries fall on deaf ears in this industry. FUCK.
entrenous88
Oct. 3rd, 2013 11:53 pm (UTC)
Jeezum crow, it absolutely sucks that anyone is going to distribute that emo-guy veneer over what essentially sounds like a pile of steaming misogyny.

It reminds me weirdly of that joke from Singles, about Bridget Fonda's Sensitive Pony-Tail Guy ex-boyfriend. In some ways those dudes can be the ones you have to watch for -- they SEEM so in touch with their feelings and sensitive, but it just masks the same douchebaggery that lots of really aggressive and assholeish men also harbor.

You're right to be angry. We should all be angry. This is bullshit.
stoney321
Oct. 3rd, 2013 11:57 pm (UTC)
AHAHAHA, how much do I love that you said "Sensitive Ponytail Guy?" I USE THAT PHRASE ALL THE TIME. <3 <3 <3

There's a meme going around on Tumblr that never fails to crack me up. "New college guy: Hey guys? Have you ever thought about how big the universe it? Like, wow. Anyway, here's Wonderwall. *strums*"

(Sometimes I need to laugh because I get very very angry and have nowhere to direct said anger.)
parsedgarnish
Oct. 4th, 2013 03:25 am (UTC)
Ugh. I have more thoughts, but they're basically raegy and incoherent.

I would however like to donate to the FRIENDZONED w/Michelle Rodriguez Kickstarter...
lynnenne
Oct. 4th, 2013 04:29 am (UTC)
I have no words. Only rage.
a2zmom
Oct. 4th, 2013 07:00 am (UTC)
Why does this not surprise me?

It's an ongoing problem. And it's not just women. Over and over again you see a movie that deals with an issue that would seemingly be about its impact on a woman or a minority and it turns out, it's how it effects some white guy.

This one isn't even subtle.

Do you (or did you) watch "Orange is the New Balck"? I am reminded of her fiance.
strtmyorange
Oct. 4th, 2013 11:58 pm (UTC)
"I am reminded of her fiance"

OMG! Yes, exactly! Thank you for bringing that up! YES! I seriously wanted to beat him over the head repeatedly with his own "feels"!

Edited at 2013-10-04 11:59 pm (UTC)
... - a2zmom - Oct. 5th, 2013 12:53 am (UTC) - Expand
beadattitude
Oct. 4th, 2013 12:21 pm (UTC)
::rage black out::
ladyvyola
Oct. 4th, 2013 10:58 pm (UTC)
But... but... how can he grow as a person unless something horrible happens to someone he cares about? You can't be advocating that something horrible actually happen to him are you?

Next think you'll be expecting movies to be all about women and the issues they care about. That's just crazy talk!

(Besides, the only things that ever happen to women in movies are a) crying over their boyfriends, b) getting raped, c) getting raped by ex-boyfriends, or d) all of the above. And once you've seen one woman's story, you've seen them all. On the other hand, every (white) man is different and needs his own movie.)

....

Shower time. And maybe I'll disinfect my keyboard.

Did I ever tell you about the Star Wars fan film I wrote and helped make? Main character, main villain, main secondary character, all women. Plot had nothing to do with them being women. Guess what the fanboys whined about? Betcha can't! (Aside from the weirdo who kept complaining that Jedis can't have beards or goatees. I'm still not sure what he thought was growing on Obi-Wan's chin in every movie he appeared in....)

(sorry for the edits. can't brain, can't type.)

Edited at 2013-10-04 11:00 pm (UTC)
strtmyorange
Oct. 4th, 2013 11:51 pm (UTC)
*starts throwing things*

I can't speak coherently much less write a coherent sentence because of the RAGE!!! ARE YOU F'ING KIDDING ME!!!!!!!!??????????????!!!!!

If you make that Grindhouse film I'll contribute to the fundraising.
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