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artisanal film reviews | by maryann johanson

four seven Mission: Impossible Rogue Nation posters, one woman’s ass

One of these posters, for the upcoming Mission: Impossible Rogue Nation, is not like the other. Can you spot the difference?

mirogue

*grrrrr*

UPDATE! Three new character posters, all of men, none of them presenting their asses or throwing the viewer a come-hither look:

mirogue2

What are the odds?


  • Jurgan

    It’s not just the ass shot. Also, the woman is the only one looking into the camera. The guys are off doing important stuff and looking dangerous, whereas the woman is beckoning the (presumably straight male) to come along and experience things with her. Basically “come-hither,” putting her subservient to the viewer, whereas the guys are ignoring the viewer, meaning the viewers are forced follow them. Am I making sense? I’m not sure I’m explaining myself well, but there’s something about the eye contact that throws me off.

  • Yup, all that too.

  • Or, to borrow one of the male actors:

  • Rhonda Rhymes

    It gets worse — it looks like she is staring at the camera seductively, while straddling the bike with spread legs and her lower back flexed out to emphasize the ass. This is supposed to be an action movie, why does it look like a high-budget porno?

    I’d like to see the day where a MI movie poster depicts Tom Cruise with spread legs and skin-tight minimal clothing clothing looking seductively at the camera.

    Screw this.

  • Marc Esadrian

    Don’t fret: I’m certain she’ll be kicking plenty of men’s asses in impossible girl power action sequences that will make Michael Bay’s Transformers look almost plausible by comparison.

  • Thanks for your concern, but I’ll fret.

  • amanohyo

    Yeah MaryAnn, when a man kills a bunch of nameless henchmen using his kick-ass elite dude-killing skills, it’s believable, but come on, no woman has the upper body strength to murder dozens of people in a fictional, impossible, totally unrealistic, over the top, fantasy action sequence… unless she’s some kind of sexy alien, or sexy mutant, or sexy cyborg… or sexy robot – is she a sexy robot? Cuz that would be awesome.

    Seriously, are you genuinely disturbed by the lack of realism when women do the same ridiculous things that men have done for ages in movies? Is it more realistic or less realistic when women perform their impossible girl-power action sequences while wearing heels and a skin-tight dress in full make-up? Would it be a step toward greater “realism” if they were dressed similarly to their male counterparts in the field?

    I’ve watched Yukari Oshima and Michelle Yeoh kick ass in ridiculous action scenes, I’ve watched Donnie Yen and Jackie Chan kick ass in ridiculous actions scenes. If Mission Impossible was some kind of ultra realistic gritty action movie, you might have a point, but it’s an over the top setpiece popcorn movie. Are the action scenes in MM: Fury Road realistic? Not in the slightest, and they are equally ludicrous (and entertaining) when Theron is pulling a trigger and driving a truck instead of Hardy.

  • Marc Esadrian

    No, you’re right. Those sequences are unrealistic all around; some far more than others. I was just offering you all a reason to cheer up, for there will be plenty of opportunities for her in the movie to demonstrate not only how a heeled boot-wearing 115-125 pound female can take down male fighters three times her size, but how much more savvy she is than the dim-witted straw sexist dudes around her who make assumptions about her worth based her gender. She’ll probably be super gifted with computer hacking, too, to help glamorize more female participation in STEM. And, of course, she’ll save Mr. Hunt’s hide at least once in the movie, proving to us all that he mortally needs a woman on his team.

    “If Mission Impossible was some kind of ultra realistic gritty action movie, you might have a point, but it’s an over the top set piece popcorn movie.”

    Precisely the reason why remarking on the wrong in sexualizing the female character in the film and wanting her to be “more realistic” is equally pointless, perhaps? An over-the-top action movie geared mostly for males will involve hot chicks in some degree, as much as it will involve crazy action sequences. And with Hollywood’s cliché feminist formulas today, it will involve plenty of feminist messages embedded in the action, to boot. But sure, while we accept how ridiculous these popcorn movies are in the first place, let’s get all bent out of shape because she’s posed sexy on a bike.

  • I was just offering you all a reason to cheer up,

    You have a hilariously wrong idea of what will cheer me up.

    remarking on the wrong in sexualizing the female character in the film and wanting her to be “more realistic” or less sexy is equally pointless,

    It’s not pointless.

    But please keep demonstrating how well you understand feminism and Hollywood, and the pathetic lack of intersection between the two. It’s amusing.

  • Marc Esadrian

    Ah, the old “I don’t understand/respect the beautiful movement enough” thing. Hollywood and feminism has a veritable Times Square for an intersection, by the way.

    Female objectification, I’m afraid, is never going to go away so long as we all still have pulses and libidos.

    “It’s not pointless.”

    Ok. :-)

  • Attraction and appreciation is possible without objectification.

    Maybe not for you. But some people are capable of it.

  • Marc Esadrian

    Demisexuality aside, I think you’ll find that on some level there is objectification of some form in most initial and ongoing sexual attraction. A little bit of it can be sexy, in fact, even in a prolonged relationship. Objectification and personal appreciation isn’t always mutually exclusive, either, I might add.

    “But some people are capable of it [not objectifying in attraction].”

    Sure, but does that fact alone mean we all have to emulate such people?

  • No, keep on being a jerk. I’m sure the ladies find it very appealing.

  • Marc Esadrian

    Since you brought it up, I have great, ongoing relationships with the ladies, including my own mother. Your point is?

  • That people tend not to like being objectified. But I’m sure you already know that.

  • Marc Esadrian

    I already answered what I know, or at least wrote about my observations regarding objectification. Summary: it’s not all black and white.

    “People tend not to like being objectified.”

    Are you objectifying the actress as a victim of sexism in Hollywood? Are you objectifying readers as needing to be convinced of feminist views? Do you objectify some directors and screen writers as forwarding anti-feminist messages in their films based on your paranoid politics?

  • Bluejay

    That’s not what objectifying means and you know it.

    No one’s mind is going to be changed here, and you know that too. Not yours, not hers, not anyone’s. So what do you come here for?

  • Marc Esadrian

    “So what do you come here for?”

    To “flick philosophize,” of course. Isn’t that the point of this site?

    “That’s not what objectifying means and you know it.”

    I’m finding it amusing how many times I’ve been told what I know and don’t know here.

    I see MaryAnne objectifying in the form of instrumentality and interchangeability (fungibility). Where it comes to me, specifically, she’s objectifying via denial of subjectivity, as feminists often tend to do where it comes to conflicting perspectives.

  • amanohyo

    Now that we agree that greater realism is not a valid argument against “girl-power” action scenes in silly movies like this, we can address the fundamental issue of objectification.

    You are correct in saying that the objectification of women (and men) is not going away. There will always be times when people view each other as mere sexual objects. We are social animals – sometimes we see a beautiful body and we just want to fuck it – it’s unavoidable.

    Would you agree though that women have historically been more objectified than men? That their bodies have been put on display for the pleasure of straight men far more often than male bodies have been displayed for the pleasure of straight women?

    If so, then do you believe any of the following?

    1) This lopsided representation of women as sexual objects accurately reflects the real world. The first thing that almost every man does when he meets a woman is look her up and down and think, “Do I want to fuck this woman?” If the answer is yes, then he continues to interact with her, if the answer is no, then she is not worthy of attention and stories centered on her should not be told, because a man has nothing to gain or learn from an undesirable woman. Women view men as sexual objects much less frequently than men.

    2) If people naturally feel an urge to do something, they should be allowed to do it. When a man sees an attractive woman walking down the street with a low cut dress, he will naturally want to stare at her breasts and think about having sex with her. It is wrong for the woman to become angry at the man for doing and saying what he is naturally inclined to do. Feminists are trying to force men to behave in a constrained, unnatural, false manner.

    3) Some movies are for men. Some movies are for women. Women who appear in movies made for men should be sexual objects because that is what most men want to see. Placing a woman in a position of power or authority is a political statement. When a female character demonstrates agency, it is no longer possible to enjoy the movie. Soon, there will be no more mainstream movies made solely for the pleasure of men.

    Do you agree with any of those three statements? I’m trying to understand your position. What specifically about these “girl power” scenes makes you uncomfortable?

  • Bluejay

    I’m finding it amusing how many times I’ve been told what I know and don’t know here.

    So I was wrong, and you’re admitting you don’t know what objectification means, then? Fair enough.

    Although, of course, you do know what it means. (Yeah, I know, I’m telling you what you know again. But it’s true.)

    I see MaryAnne objectifying in the form of instrumentality and interchangeability (fungibility). Where it comes to me, specifically, she’s objectifying via denial of subjectivity

    Bravo, you know how to use Wikipedia. You’re also, to use the correct philosophical term, full of crap. No one is denying your subjectivity or failing to take your feelings or experiences into account or silencing you. We’re just profoundly disagreeing with you. And if some of us deliver that disagreement with a side of snark, that’s because you’re not going to change your mind anyway and we might as well amuse ourselves.

  • Marc Esadrian

    “Now that we agree that greater realism is not a valid argument against “girl-power” action scenes in silly movies like this, we can address the fundamental issue of objectification.”

    I’d say we agree marginally on that. Seeing women overpower men time after time in action films universes where everyone is given a dose of unrealistic power, agility, and luck, still serves an obvious political agenda that men are starting to tire of (at least the ones I personally know, including myself), but never mind that. My original point was that, despite the whining about the featured actress’s derriere on a poster, we’ll likely see her doing amazing stuff, often at the expense of male characters for the sake of the usual silver screen activism. It more than outweighs, in my mind, at least, a harmless and visually pleasing poster of a hot chick on a bike—who, by the way, will likely use her sexual charms to her advantage to bamboozle men in the film: a force multiplier for girl combat, we’ve come to learn, as seen in countless other movies that have preceded this one. The argument that female objectification in film is always damaging to women’s esteems has much to answer for, in light of this. If anything, the prevailing script these days in film often is “women are hot, and they’ll kick your ass!”

    “You are correct in saying that the objectification of women (and men) is not going away. […] Would you agree though that women have historically been more objectified than men?”

    I’m going to skip past the cards you dealt and answer directly. Sexually? Yes, of course. It’s human nature to do so. And as you rightly point out, men are objectified, in turn, by women and men, not only sexually (if they’re attractive), but as objects of success by women (if they aren’t as successful as society defines it, women tend to not give them much of a toss at all). As for “objects of success,” that can be reversed (maybe) with cultural paradigm shifts—especially by destroying the money system—though who knows what other benchmark will take its place? To some degree, I think the object of success thing can be changed. But I sincerely don’t think you’ll ever stomp out sexual objectification (i.e. “The Male Gaze” or “self objectification”) in a thousand years of fretting over women being displayed (and displaying themselves) provocatively in sexy outfits, on magazines and posters, in movies, or anywhere else, and I don’t think celebrating, glamorizing, or capitalizing female beauty in and of itself leads to rape culture, either, for recognizing we all sexually objectify does not mean one moronically condones men doing whatever they want to women on the street. If we have “straw feminists,” we certainly have “straw misogynists,” to boot.

    “What specifically about the se “girl power” scenes makes you uncomfortable?”

    In a nutshell, they are often painfully obvious as the social engineering tools they are meant to be in media. I personally don’t mind films depicting women in action or having agency, as you put it, especially the more realistic films that pay attention to some semblance of reality between the sexes. Action fantasy films have all too often become a platform for feminist messages of equal strength and combat prowess, however. Sometimes it works, depending upon the physics of the fantasy world concerned. Other times it’s very groan worthy. If you want to complain about a woman being objectified sexually, I’ll also complain about her being objectified as a boy busting object for feminist propaganda in film. At the end of the day, however, I can still see the film and not get all bent out of shape about it. And I can think Ms. Ferguson looks stellar on that bike.

  • Marc Esadrian

    “So I was wrong, and you’re admitting you don’t know what objectification means, then? Fair enough.”

    I see what you did there!

    “…you’re not going to change your mind anyway and we might as well amuse ourselves.”

    Yeah, that’s another thing I keep hearing from you. Do you want to discuss stuff here or do you just want an echoplex of agreement, MaryAnn/Bluejay?

  • amanohyo

    Thank you for the detailed reply. I understand a little better now – you object to scenes in which a woman is portrayed as physically strong when her ass-kicking is clearly out of character and/or seems overly forced. There are some movies in which action scenes involving women work and some that do not.

    For example, Vasquez is a stereotypical “strong female character,” but I like her action scenes because they are consistent with her design and the world she inhabits. On the other hand, I rolled my eyes at a recent trailer in which a woman shows a man how to punch by hitting him in the face using very poor form. This scene was meant to impress on the audience that the woman was a badass, but it came off as pandering and trite because it didn’t flow well with the design of the character.

    So, I agree that a scene showing a woman beating up a bunch of men is not beneficial if it’s not supported by the rest of the film. The average woman (certainly the average bone-thin actress) is at a physical disadvantage in a one-on-one fight against the average man – the filmmakers should acknowledge this either in the script or in the fight choreography. For example, there were no moments in the fight choreography of Theron’s scenes in MM : Fury Road that stood out as being completely unbelievable because she almost always used a weapon, and her training as a dancer probably helped her ensure that her motions were convincingly powerful.

    You are also making the argument that even though Ferguson is objectified in her poster to a greater degree than the men (almost any pose which displays a butt and boob(s) simultaneously is uncomfortable and impractical – seriously try it, don’t forget to arch your back and push your shoulders back so your boobs are on display), this is made up for by the fact that she will be allowed to participate in girl power action scenes and allowed to use her sexuality as a weapon to deceive and distract the men she defeats.

    I don’t think it’s fair that she has to pay that price, and I don’t consider it a privilege for her to be allowed to participate in her own action scene (this should be a given, depending on the design/role of the character) or allowed to display her body to manipulate men (this is so overused it’s gotten boring and is typically done in a way that is insulting to both women and men).

    So, I’d agree with you that women are sometimes clumsily used as political pawns in movies that are trying to demonstrate gender equality in an effort to satisfy the women who make up a significant percentage of the audience. I also agree that women are often reduced to sexual objects in an effort to satisfy the men in the audience. I guess the question now is, which is more moral (in a secular humanist sense)?

    1) Presenting women as physically stronger than they are in reality in order to push the idea that men and women are equally capable and worthy of respect and admiration for qualities other than their physical appearance.

    2) Reducing women to the status of displayed objects in order to ensure that straight men are not denied the rare and distinct pleasure of slightly increased blood flow to their genitals.

    I’m being facetious, but really doesn’t one of those things seem more important, and more dare I say… socially just than the other? Sure, Ms. Ferguson looks good on the bike, but she would look just as good (and frankly a lot cooler) if she was staring intently straight ahead while the bike was in motion, you know, doing her job like the rest of the cast. The other option would be to have most of the male actors showing pecs and ass simultaneously while giving the camera a smoldering “come and get it ladies,” Fabio stare a la male empowerment Hawkeye, but that would clearly be ludicrous marketing for an action movie. Wouldn’t it?

  • No, *you* are not going to change our minds. We’re willing to consider reasonable arguments and debates. We haven’t gotten that from you.

  • Marc Esadrian

    “So, I’d agree with you that women are sometimes clumsily used as political pawns in movies that are trying to demonstrate gender equality in an effort to satisfy the women who make up a significant percentage of the audience. I also agree that women are often reduced to sexual objects in an effort to satisfy the men in the audience. I guess the question now is, which is more moral (in a secular humanist sense)?”

    Good question. The foregone conclusion that women gratuitously smacking men around in film—clumsy or not—satisfies the female audience in action films (or comedies or cartoons) is something that troubles me. If we reversed the dynamic of the sexes with that same foregone conclusion, there would be plenty of secular humanist outrage, I’d posit. At the same time, and I’m speaking strictly from my own observations, not all women truly enjoy seeing these action themes. I think female strength and complexity can be more morally portrayed by not having them engage in predictable misandrist action/comedy/cartoon violence that we deem as “satisfying” for political reasons. When I compare this to the image of a hot woman on a bike (which attracts both male and female viewers), I certainly don’t see how the two compare in offense or immorality, now that you mention it.

    On that note, perhaps instead of seeing women being overtly depicted as sexy as a negative, we consider how doing so reinforces the very thing that is “bad” about female sexiness. It seems to me that if surrounding culture doesn’t consider women who capitalize on their sexiness to be deserving of respect, we should attempt to fix that attitude instead of complaining when we see a woman who blatantly and willingly poses for sexual visual interest. I think there is certainly a moral argument to be made there, which, I might add, would combat the more malignant objectification that is the real problem.

  • not all women truly enjoy seeing these feminist action themes

    Not all people enjoy all movies. So what?

    If we reversed the dynamic of the sexes

    You would also have to reverse the relative standing of men and women in the world.

    I think female strength and complexity can be more morally portrayed

    Are you so concerned about how male strength should be portrayed?

    the image of a hot woman on a bike (which attracts both male and female viewers)

    Citation needed.

    reinforces the very thing that is “bad” about female sexiness

    Classic concern trolling + strawman!

    No one is saying that female sexuality and sexiness is bad. We’re complaining about how it is used and *misused* by Hollywood.

  • Marc Esadrian

    “Classic concern trolling!”

    Classic defensive dismissal.

    “We’re complaining about how [sex] is used and *misused* by Hollywood.”

    There’s no misuse here that I can see. There is a demand and a resultant supply factor that isn’t harming anyone but overly paranoid feminists. Otherwise, Rebecca Ferguson is obviously misusing her body by willfully choosing to act in this terribly objectifying film and pose for its advertisements.

  • Danielm80

    Miley Cyrus recently posed naked with her pet pig. She presumably did it on purpose, and there’s presumably a demand for the magazine with the photos. That doesn’t mean they’re good photos.

  • Marc Esadrian

    Do you have a problem with that? If so, this goes back to what I was saying about hangups with nudity and being a politically correct square that gets bent out of shape about it. If she were straddling the pig clothed, hardly anyone would be talking about it. Cyrus is exploiting the dysfunctional relationship popular culture—which feminism is certainly a part of—has with sex, among other things. I’m pretty sure she knows it’s going to raise dander and make people talk, and I’m pretty sure she enjoys thumbing her nose at people and their butt hurt over it, all the while.

    I have a lot to say about Miley Cyrus—or rather the product she was made into—that combined consumerism with messages of sassy empowerment for little girls, but it has nothing to do with nudity or her tight shorts. In reality, she’s a perfect feminist. She does what she wants and holds her own views, regardless (and even in spite of) the controversy it causes. She commands her own appearance, despite what detractors have to say about it. She uses her talent and beauty the way she wants, and she raises money for charities while doing so. Miley Cyrus should blow the average feminist’s mind, actually, for I think she obnoxiously offends delicate sensibilities with sexual objectification, all the while demonstrating an almost iconoclastic agency.

    “She presumably did it on purpose…”

    Are you suggesting she was possibly forced?

    “That doesn’t mean they’re good photos.”

    Noting how this subject has strayed far from the talk of a benign movie poster, I think artistic or creative dialog on “good” is wholly different from political discourse on “wrong.” Creative expression is often good and thus marketable precisely because it’s wrong. It challenges us, or at least gets us to look. In short, the work is all in the eye of the beholder, and in the context you see it. A blinkered feminist will likely find several things “wrong” with the photos, and that works wonderfully for stirring the pot. Others will be entertained or tickled pink over her irreverent antics. Some will find it just plain shocking and strangely sexy. People like Miley capitalize on all of the above. No patriarchal conspiracy required.

  • David C-D

    I know I am coming late to the party but have been reading along with interest.

    If I understand correctly, you oppose attempts to limit portrayals of women’s sexuality, and you read MaryAnn’s annoyance with the Rogue Nation posters as being in line with a sort of PC feminism that wants to do away with, say, T&A shots.

    If so, I don’t think this is entirely an accurate read. I believe the concern here is that many, if not most portrayals of women in the movies fall into such cliches as the hot chick, the rom-com heroine, the mother, the damsel in distress. Whereas, while there is plenty of male eye-candy in the movies, there is also a much wider variety of interesting male representation. Especially as the father of two girls, I am interested in seeing portrayals of women who are not primarily focused on getting a man, having children, being rescued, etc. That doesn’t mean I am looking to eliminate nudity (or whatever).

    Specifically with regard to portrayals of “kick-ass” women, I’m not clear if you are concerned about the trope in general or just with some particular, problematic examples. Like their male counterparts, most of the female action heros that I see are portrayed as being highly-trained, if not superheroic. I doubt most of the audience is going to take away from these movies the idea that they can walk out of the theater and start beating people up. If there are moral problems with these portrayals, I don’t see them as being much different from the moral problems with male action heros.

  • Danielm80

    Marc isn’t interested in a nuanced discussion. He’s constructed a straw feminist who hates any portrayal of sexuality and thinks it will lead to mass outbreaks of rape across the nation. Any argument with Marc will immediately turn into a cartoon.

  • David C-D

    Maybe you will be proved right. Sometimes people bring in their own baggage but are still interested in genuine discussion. So far I don’t read Marc as a troll.

  • hangups with nudity and being a politically correct square

    So why aren’t men sexualized in our culture the way women are? Is that the result of hangups about nudity?

    benign movie poster

    It’s NOT benign. It is reducing a woman to what she looks like. The men get to be worthy of our attention because of what they’re doing or who they are.

  • Google him. I’m not going to link to it, but he runs a site dedicated to encouraging female submission and male dominance. It’s disgusting.

  • David C-D

    Interesting. Given the obviously incompatible worldviews, I’m surprised that Marc wouldn’t follow the advice on his own website to do something more worthwhile than “haunting an online community of voluntary participation”.

  • Dr. Rocketscience

    Oh, so this is that Marc Esadrian. I thought the name looked familiar.

  • Marc Esadrian

    David,

    Thanks for your questions. At this point, this subject has been talked to death. You’re correct, though, I do oppose limiting portrayals of women’s sexuality, as well as men’s, and I do find excessive anxiety about women or men being sexually objectified in this day and age not only a bit long in the tooth, but counterproductive to that aim. The complaint that a woman is shown sensually but men in other posters aren’t, while easy to understand, just seems so pedantic, if not dismissing the demographic this film is appealing to, market-wise—which is mostly male. I’m certain dudes have no interest in seeing Cruise straddle a bike similarly.

  • Marc Esadrian

    Men are increasingly being sexualized in our culture. I just don’t think there is an equal market for it desired by women. Can you honestly say there is?

    “It is reducing a woman to what she looks like.”

    Well, it looks like she’s a devil on that bike, too. And judging by that outfit, she’s the racing type. Honestly, though, it’s not grossly sexed up, but it is sexy. Sex—especially female sex when appealing to male action audiences—sells. There will be plenty more of it to come, per demand. Would you be in favor of censoring advertisements like these toward something more “correct”?

  • Would you be in favor of censoring advertisements like these toward something more “correct”?

    I have said no such thing. And you know damn well that’s not what I’m talking about.

    But I sure as hell hope to counter people like you, who think this it is natural and normal for a woman to be treated like a sex toy.

  • LaSargenta

    When I looked at his site months ago, what I found disturbing wasn’t the encouragement of submission — as far as I’m concerned, lots of people are really happy and even empowered in that role sexually, and that’s their and their partner’s/partners’ business — but, the lengthy disquisition on the importance and attractiveness of female silence. It appeared that this was desired at all times, not just in the context of consentual submissive play.

    Silence can be powerful when chosen by the person who decides it is the time not to say anything. I use it frequently in adversarial meetings. (Those who only know me socially might be shocked to know this!) However, there are obvious drawbacks, to say the least, in exhorting or demanding silence from 51% of the population.

  • Marc Esadrian

    What was that about conversations turning into cartoons?

  • Marc Esadrian

    “It appeared that this was desired at all times, not just in the context of consensual submissive play.”

    It’s only in the context of consensual relationships of choice involving female submission. Nothing was mentioned about absolute silence at all times, or applying it to100% of the non-consenting female population.

    I do appreciate you having an open mind about alternative relationship paradigms, however.

  • LaSargenta

    Well, that wasn’t how that piece read at the time; the wider implication was there. Maybe you’ve changed your tone.

  • Marc Esadrian

    No, it’s just the way you read it, I’m assuming. You can reference a Wayback Machine archive of the article all the way to 2012, if you’d like.

    http://web.archive.org/web/20121230182832/http://www.humbledfemales.net/publications/

    It’s all in the context of a consensual D/s relationship. No world domination plans whatsoever. Promise.

  • LaSargenta

    Ahhhh, no thanks. Life is short. ds is dull.

    When I want to be, I’m a sadist. Otherwise, I work, go to hardcore shows, and make shit happen.

    Over and out.

  • David C-D

    Again, I think the primary concern is not that women can be sexy, which no one here denies as far as I know, but rather when movies convey the sense that women are only, or primarily, there to be sexy.

    Looking at the posters on this page, one finds six men, some of whom appear to be doing interesting things, some of whom are good to look at. One also finds one woman, who appears to be the token sexy lady. Moreover, this “token sexy lady” trope seems to be a recurring theme in many movies.

    Even for a movie with a primarily male audience, I don’t know of any reason to think that the presence of additional female characters won’t enhance the movie. I don’t get to watch a lot of movies these days, but we have been watching Agents of Shield, a show that includes 3 women in the regular cast. None of them is a token sexy lady (one is a Scientist!), but, this being Hollywood, all of them are good to look at. I would be surprised to find that the presence of so many interesting female characters was a drawback for the male audience members.

  • Marc Esadrian

    “I would be surprised to find that the presence of so many interesting
    female characters was a drawback for the male audience members.”

    I agree, permitting the viewers don’t see those characters as rhetorical devices for a condescending political agenda. Too often people do, or at least I do. I’d also add that what is “seen” in the poster we’re talking about does not necessarily carry to the actual film. I hope the men in those posters aren’t as boring in the movie as they appear to look in the posters. Is she going to be a one-dimensional sex object? The jury is still out on that, though I’m sure she’ll be kicking men around all over the place.

  • David C-D

    Having a token sexy lady who kicks ass might not represent a big step forward for women on screen. OTOH, having grown up on a steady diet of “sexy lady who needs to be rescued”, it at least feels to me like a refreshing change of pace. I recognize this is a false choice, and I look forward to the expansion of women’s roles outside of the dichotomy of kicking ass or being rescued.

  • David C-D

    Just to add – there may indeed be those in the feminist ecosystem with a “condescending political agenda”. I don’t think that includes the folks on this site, and I think it misses the real point of feminism, which is why it sometimes sounds like your disagreement is with a “straw feminist”.

  • Marc Esadrian

    “I look forward to the expansion of women’s roles outside of the dichotomy of kicking ass or being rescued.”

    This I can certainly agree with.

    “…which is why it sometimes sounds like your disagreement is with a “straw feminist”…”

    Having my discussion and character here reduced to just a man who “normalizes women only as sex toys,” I think that there’s more than one bail of hay going around in the least. But thanks for the civil discussion, David. It’s appreciated.

  • Exactly. Submissive as sexual roleplaying? Fine. As a way of life? No fucking way.

  • Nothing was mentioned about absolute silence at all times, or applying it to100% of the non-consenting female population.

    Most generous of you.

  • permitting the viewers don’t see those characters as rhetorical devices for a condescending political agenda.

    But the fact that men occupy the vast majority of significant roles in movies isn’t a rhetorical political device?

    I’m sure she’ll be kicking men around all over the place.

    Please stop with this. You think she’s going to be kicking around the men in these posters?

    And however she ends up being depicted in the movie, she has been reduced to a sex object here. It. Is. Not. Cool.

  • Having my discussion and character here reduced to just a man who “normalizes women only as sex toys,”

    This is based on your own words. If you’ve got something else to say, you’d better say it.

  • Marc Esadrian

    MaryAnn, I think it’s you who’s carrying on at this point.

  • Marc Esadrian

    Ridiculous. Show me where I said this.

  • It’s the stream of all your comments here. You’re desperately worried about women being depicted as physically strong, yet keep defending depictions of them that panders to the male gaze as normal and natural.

    Now I’m done with you.

  • Marc Esadrian

    I other words, you can’t find anything specific.

    I’m pretty sure I’m on record here, however, in saying that seeing someone as a sexual object and personally appreciating them aren’t mutually exclusive. Whether you agree with that or not is irrelevant. Evidence is required to support your simplified caricaturization in light of what has been said.

    “You’re desperately worried about women being depicted as physically strong…”

    Nope. I’m annoyed at times with what I see as misandry in film justified though the vehicle of depicting women as strong. I’m not loosing sleep over it, though: “At the end of the day, however, I can still see the film and not get all bent out of shape about it [her kicking ass]. And I can think Ms. Ferguson looks stellar on that bike.”

  • Dr. Rocketscience

    Here, let’s see if I can do this without getting past the “About” page:

    We believe dominant male and submissive female relationships have thrived foremost over the ages because it is a relationship dynamic that simply works.

    Yep!

  • bronxbee

    jeez, i guess i’ll have to skip seeing this MI movie then… being as i am “not the demographic”… how sad, especially as i saw Ghost Protocol three times in the movie theatre. i guess production companies don’t want my money. thanks for letting me know.

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