Saturday, August 18, 2007

For some more heated Apatow debate,


visit Pajiba, read Morals and Ethics and Carnal Forbearance, Dan's review of Superbad, then enjoy the comments that follow. The drama started when I read the review, then posted this statement:

...teen comedies, even ones written by men as smart and talented as Rogen.

Ha ha ha! That was a joke, right?

In addition to shoving the girls into short-shorts and not letting them say much -- no woman is seen onscreen who isn't talking to a man...

I am sooo not seeing this movie. Furthermore, I still can't understand why seemingly intelligent people will watch this movie, acknowledge that every woman on the screen is portrayed solely as a potential sperm receptacle, then declare the writer of said movie "smart and talented." It doesn't take that much "talent" to essentially remake American Pie.


Then came this comment from "Johnny":

Hey Bianca, if you're trying to reinforce the stereotype that feminists don't have a sense of humor, it's working.


Oh, you know it was on now. After I replied to Johnny's ejaculation, I was then told by "Allen" to "STFU" because I obviously "haven't been a teenage boy" and I "don't have a sense of humor or perspective."

Really?

Then "dave" informed me that I was "a complete fucking idiot" and that I should "get off [my] soapbox please."

Well, he did say please.

People like my Mummy would have told me, "Bianca, pick your battles," or, "ignore those fools; they don't deserve a response." This is an excellent example of why there are "so few women on digg." If I voice my reaction to a movie marketed as inherently sexist (and passively discriminatory towards nonwhite people as well), I am told by certain hateful males that I am a humorless feminist who needs to shut up, because I wasn't born with the right genitalia and therefore my opinion is not valid. If I say nothing, my silence is acceptance: the film's co-writer Seth Rogen is indeed "smart and talented," despite the fact that he excels at casting a female lead "simply because she’s 23 and looks good in just a bra and has no qualms about portraying [an] interchangeable female archetype" Faced with this dilemma, what's a good feminist to do?

This feminist decided to stay and fight. And by fight, I mean I responded both politely and effectively to the trolls, using my wit and charm to get my points across. Subsequently, I was met with some hostility, but I also got some good support, even from people who initially disagreed with me.

I'm tired of backing down online when I'm right. I did it once before a few years ago when the moderator of a certain unrelated forum twisted my words, inserted his own, and insisted that I was calling him a racist. Because to him, it was worse for me to call him a racist, than it was for him to espouse discriminatory beliefs towards certain nonwhite people. I chose to leave that forum because it was no longer beneficial for me to be there. I didn't regret that decision at the time, and I don't regret that decision now.

However, I'm not going to stop reading or commenting on Pajiba because some ignorant guys aren't ready for this jelly. They need to get ready. They don't need to call my words "insulting and immature," then suggest that I "fuck off." They need to step up and bring something to the plate. And if they can't? Then they need to step off.

9 comments:

Amy's Brain Today said...

Yer awesome.

Catherine Avril Morris said...

Yeah!

Guh--don't even know how to express my sick-and-tiredness of women being shouted down for their opinions in sick, misogynistic ways (which doesn't happen just in forums of mostly men, either; that happens on Twisty's blog a lot too, where most of the commenters are women, which is one reason I don't read the comments very often; I can't take that kind of vitriol coming from women, directed toward other women).

As for Superbad, we saw it last weekend, and I liked it, though certain parts were shocking in certain ways. The thing I thought was really, really interesting about it was that it was, at its core, a love story about these two boys (Michael Cera and Jonah Hill). It was beyond homoerotic; it explored boy-boy love in a pretty in-depth way, and it didn't shy away from the real homosexual love and attraction that two "straight" adolescent boys can feel for each other. I think this is interesting because I don't know of many movies that explore that theme so thoroughly and deliberately, and unapologetically. And of course the movie theater was full of a bunch of homophobes, as usual, who were either uncomfortable with that aspect of the film (which, for me, was the main point of the whole story), or who didn't even recognize it because they couldn't. It was pretty funny. There was even a dude sitting next to Erik who got really agitated when Michael Cera's character refuses to have sex with this girl because she's drunk. "Dude," the dude kept hissing in the darkness, "you should totally hit that."

Also, I don't think the fact that "no woman is seen onscreen who isn't talking to a man" means anything in particular other than that it's a film about these two boys, told from their points of view. (It wasn't a movie about an ensemble cast of boys and girls. It did have an ensemble cast, but Cera and Hill's characters were the stars.)

There was some real misogyny in the film (the aforementioned shocking parts), like the scene in which a woman gets menstrual blood on Jonah Hill's character's pants, and he almost pukes. That one bothered the crap out of me in the same way that it bothers the crap out of me every time a "comedy" movie shows 2 men kiss, either on purpose or by accident, and then they (onscreen) spaz out with the disgustingness of it as the audience gags along with them.

Anyway. Good for you for standing up to those fuckers, and I'm sorry you were subjected to their idiocy. I do think it's good to stay in and fight, as you did, but I hate thinking of the abuse you endured to do so.

Bianca Reagan said...

Thanks, ABT! I'd read your blog, but your profile is private. :(

Thanks for your viewpoints, Catherine! I did read about the homosocial/homoerotic nature of the film in a few reviews and comments. I wish that part of the film had been featured more in the marketing and in the film itself. Then I would have considered watching it. Instead, I now can't pass a Superbad billboard or one sheet without recoiling. And it's LA, so they are all over the place.

Amy's Brain Today said...

Oh, the blog is in transition. It's at http://www.feminist-reprise.org/wpblog

if you care to check it out. But good work at Pajiba--you're really brave. Most of their *reviews* are hideously misogynist, and I rarely even bother with the comments. So go you!

Bianca Reagan said...

Thanks, Amy's Brain. I will continue perusing your blog.

IStuffMyself said...

Well said, Bianca. Well said.

Glad a blog like yours exists ;)

IStuffMyself said...

Um. Ignore my username. (It's me, Claire.) It is in no way a reference to bras/breasts, but rather it was going to be my username for my food blog.

Bianca Reagan said...

Hi Claire! Your screen name sounds dirty. I wasn't thinking about bras at all. Is your food blog up now? I'm glad my blog exists, too. :) Sometimes I forget that people actually read it, and I have an effect on them.

Anonymous said...

Suprisingly enough, what catherine says about the homoerotic core of this film was also said by one of its writers, Seth Rogen. I agree with Bianca in that this aspect of the film should have been concentrated on more. Instead they concentrated on its idiocy because apparently that sells.