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artisanal film reviews | by maryann johanson

men, bless their blinded little hearts, really, really don’t get it…

…but at least cable TV loves strong women.

“The Week in Women” (my regular column over at the Alliance of Women Film Journalists) really has me down this week.

But what do I know? I’m just a girl, and worse, a feminist. And probably a lesbian. Certainly, my legs are hairy, and all those coarse nasty hairs leap up and strangle my brainstem, rendering me stupid. Or else it’s my hormones that do that. I can never remember. I have a tiny little lady brain, you know.

*sigh*



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maryann buzz
  • PaulW

    Huh?

  • Ryan

    I’m sure lumping all men together and attacking them isn’t how you MEANT for that headline to read.

    Here’s my quote of the year;

    ”I think all women in Hollywood are known as sex symbols. That’s what our purpose is in this business. You’re merchandised, you’re a product. You’re sold and it’s based on sex. But that’s okay. I think women should be empowered by that, not degraded.”
    -Megan Fox

    I’m not sure it’s just the guys who aren’t ‘getting it.’

  • Victor Plenty

    I find it odd, and sad, but not surprising, that the first responses here are not words of encouragement or consolation.

    No, the first priority for some here is to express confusion and shock at the very idea that while giving voice to her disappointment with the constant bombardment of negative messages against women, one woman has chosen one headline phrased in a way that might inadvertently step on the toes of some sensitive men.

  • Dear MaryAnn: please do not ever group me with Jeffrey Wells. Not by gender, species, or anything else. Thanks.

  • amanohyo

    Hey now, some of us are trying our best to get it.

    This probably isn’t very helpful, but when I get depressed about obliviously sexist ramblings of strangers on the internet (or of my own), I tell myself that the reason people like Adam get so hostile and defensive is that deep in within their thickened skulls they sense that the balance of power is shifting. Just as religion is slowly loosening its grip, hairline fractures are appearing in the foundations of patriarchy, and most men are terrified.

    It’s going to take a while for that ancient wall to come a tumbling down though. It might be so gradual that you won’t even notice it getting lower until it sinks below eye level, and there will always be frightened people (mostly men, but a few women too) screaming and pointing and piling more bricks on top. But they won’t matter in the end; it just makes the whole structure even more ridiculous and unstable. Everyday, people like you widen the cracks a little more… and a little more…

  • JoshB

    MaryAnn, would you prefer that Flickfilosopher readers post their comments on your Week in Women articles over at AWFJ?

  • Der Bruno Stroszek

    Just in case any B-pluses, Bs, B-minuses or C-pluses feel tempted to chance their arm on a relationship with Jeffrey Wells, here’s what he does when he sees someone he considers an A-plus:

  • Victor Plenty (Fri Jun 12 09, 7:57PM):

    I find it odd, and sad, but not surprising, that the first responses here are not words of encouragement or consolation.

    No, the first priority for some here is to express confusion and shock at the very idea that while giving voice to her disappointment with the constant bombardment of negative messages against women, one woman has chosen one headline phrased in a way that might inadvertently step on the toes of some sensitive men.

    Well, Victor, allow me to illuminate the issue for you. MaryAnn has purposefully chosen an incendiary headline to get us to read her article. It’s blatantly over-generalized (which I’m sure she knows) and intended to generate discussion and comments over at her Week in Women column.

    The problem is, some folks don’t read her other columns, so it has turned the comments thread here into a specific response to the headline itself. But please, don’t fool yourself into thinking she’s “inadvertently” stepped on toes — it’s a conscious attempt to engage people in dialogue. Unfortunately the fact that the actual column is an entire website away makes the discussion at this website a little one-sided and off the mark.

    Also, why should posts of consolation or words of encouragement be the expected response? Are you implying women need some extra loving tenderness?

  • Victor Plenty

    Newbs, consolation or encouragement would be natural responses toward anyone who is feeling discouraged and downhearted by the inequities they observe around them.

    Especially from those of us who enjoy that person’s work, even if it is sometimes an uphill battle against deeply entrenched problems.

    As for your attempt to “illuminate the issue” for me, thanks, but no thanks. I find none of your interpretations of this particular discussion in the least persuasive or illuminating, to phrase it as politely as I can.

  • JoshB

    consolation or encouragement would be natural responses toward anyone who is feeling discouraged and downhearted

    That’s the natural response of one personality type towards the same personality type. It is by no means the only possible or even the only useful response.

    You take exception to Newbs’s condescending use of the word ‘illuminate’ (and condescending it was), yet you seem unaware that your own post was equally dismissive.

    Also, Newbs is correct to say that there was nothing inadvertent about MaryAnn’s headline. She’s smart and experienced enough with this conversation to know what sort of responses that would provoke.

  • PaulW

    Huh?

  • Victor Plenty

    Well played, PaulW.

    JoshB, where did I ever lay any claim to “the only possible or even the only useful response?” Newbs asked whether I was implying that women need extra loving tenderness. My point was simply that I (and many other people) would have the same natural response whether the other person involved happens to be a woman or a man.

    As for my being dismissive, yes, I’ll admit, I’m often quite deliberately dismissive of people who lack all sense of proportion.

    Complaining that the headline here makes one feel attacked, and placing top priority on defending one’s own delicate self-image as a sensitive new age type of guy, is the approximate moral equivalent of complaining that the paramedics scuffed one’s shoe while they were rushing to the ambulance so that someone with a severed foot could get it reattached.

    Sure, in the most ideal conception of justice and fairness, maybe it was rude for the paramedics to step on people’s toes, but at the moment, that’s far from the most urgent issue afoot.

  • Ryan

    I’m not a sensitive ‘New Age’ type of guy; as a writer I found the headline to be amusingly broad, especially given MaryAnn’s contention below that all WOMEN were being lumped into stereotypical groups.

    Now, I’m sure MaryAnn probably did that intentionally, because she is often ironic…and so I wanted to drop the Megan Fox quote as it tied into her article on the other site where this Jeffrey Wells guy was being a misogynistic asshole.

    Anyway, I don’t see why I should be forced to waste all this typing explaining this to you, when it was in fact not directed TO you.

    Please, Victor, carry on hysterically attacking all the straw men (or women) here whom you perceive as criticizing MaryAnn…but I beg you, stop trying to use metaphors if they are all going to be as tortured as the one in your post above.

    That was hard to read.

    @Newbs/JoshB thanks for trying to inject sanity into the thread…a lost cause, I fear.

  • Victor Plenty

    Ryan, sorry to offend your sensibilities as a writer, but I tend to get verbose in an effort to clarify every conceivable nuance of meaning after seeing people twist my words around to claim I meant the exact opposite of my actual point.

  • JoshB

    Victor Plenty, I know I’ve been snide with you in the past, but that’s not what I’m going for here at all. I don’t want you to feel as though you’re being attacked, at least not by me.

    I suppose that you didn’t claim that it was the only possible response, but you did say this…

    I find it odd, and sad, but not surprising

    …the phrasing of which indicates that you think all other responses are bad.

    And then this…

    Newbs, consolation or encouragement would be natural responses toward anyone who is feeling discouraged and downhearted

    …which again was phrased such that it looked as though you were suggesting that other responses are unnatural.

    I’m often quite deliberately dismissive of people who lack all sense of proportion…placing top priority on defending one’s own delicate self-image as a sensitive new age type of guy

    Well yes, your response might have been appropriate if what you describe above is what was happening. But that’s not what Ryan was saying. His post was not “you’re hurting my tender male feelings” but rather “your post title contradicts your stated opinion that people should be treated as individuals rather than as women or men.” One is self-absorbed emotional whining, the other is maintenance of logical consistency.

  • Paul

    I wonder if Megan Fox believes what she said because of the common psychological desire to justify one’s actions. People often do things they are uncomfortable with, such as acting as a sex object, and think around the discomfort so they can live with themselves.

  • Victor Plenty

    JoshB, thanks for clarifying your points. I appreciate your efforts to keep this civil, especially considering my impatient responses. I’ve explained what I meant by the words you’ve quoted, and hope you won’t mind if I leave it at that.

    As to logical consistency, that’s an interesting point to raise in this context. It draws the issue right back to the sense of proportion, which remains relevant even if I have done a poor job of articulating it here. So I’ll try again.

    Men can choose to go through life nearly oblivious to the torrent of intense negative messages directed at women. Most men remain silent about this most of the time, even among the few who are aware of it at all. This obliviousness becomes most obvious whenever some tiny fraction of that torrent splashes gently in the general direction of men. Suddenly men leap into action, no longer willing to remain silent.

    The headline of this article is mild by comparison to the thing it describes, so any response that focuses mainly on the headline lacks a sense of proportion. It’s the opposite of logical consistency.

    This whole discussion serves as proof that most men have an incomplete understanding of their social world. Not because of any natural inferiority, but precisely because their privileges shield men from the need to learn certain realities women must learn to survive.

    Being oblivious about this may make life simpler for many men, but it also impoverishes all their relationships. Making significant progress on these issues will make life better for everyone, not only for women.

  • mortadella

    Does anyone know what Adam looks like?
    Is it wrong that I long to see an image of him so that I can email my critique of his appearance to his bullshit web site?

  • Victor Plenty

    Mortadella, I tried to find a photo of Adam E., but much like many manly macho talkers, apparently he is afraid to let anyone see what he looks like.

    Perhaps he imagines himself to be in mortal danger from the millions of heavily armed liberals who roam the countryside, itching to gun down some right wing blogger whose views are uniformly dull and unremarkable, despite his bloated delusions about his own intellectual originality.

    But in answer to your question, no, it’s not wrong of you to want him to see your point by point critique of his physical appearance. Not wrong in any absolute sense, that is. My only objection to your plan is that it would continue to give a small minded man far more attention than any of his ideas deserve.

    Anyway, now I need to go take a shower. Reading Adam’s blog and bio page was ickier than that time you tricked me into doing research on Perez Hilton. (o_O)

  • mortadella

    Hahaha. Gosh, and here I am, having to apologize to you again, Victor. ;)

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