movies matter | criticism by maryann johanson
Sat Jun 04 2016, 06:19pm | 10 comments
Who’s this “we”?
Personally, I have always hated the male protagonist of Sideways…
Valid up to a point, but as I’ve commented here before, lots of stories still assume that I’ll cheer for anything that sits in the narrative role marked “protagonist” without bothering to try to make me feel sympathetic towards (usually) him. I don’t want manchild stories or womanchild stories…
Every female character is an unlikable female character on the Internet. Except maybe the likes of Star Wars Rey, who gets a pass by simply being almost perfect in every conceivable way. See girls, it’s that easy.
could you please clarify that?
It doesn’t matter how awesome I think a female character is, I always find myself defending her on every outlet against an assortment of mouth breathers.
Granted it could just be my opinion that these women are awesome, I can see why someone might not like Iris West on the Flash or Tulip O’hare on Preacher, the problem is they are the only characters that are consistently trashed in spite of male characters being just as bad or worse.
The former is one of the nicest, most loyal characters I’ve seen on TV in a long time and has never been in a jam that she couldn’t at least partially get herself out of, not to mention the fact that out of all of the women on the show, she has been in the damsel in distress position the least. But she’s also kind of wishy washy about her feelings and somewhat gullible, flaws that are treated as nothing less than fatal by a good section of the fandom in spite of several male characters having far worse ones.
The latter is hilarious, brimming with charisma, and endearingly vulnerable, but she’s also something of a crazy ex-girlfriend, a flaw that is treated with more contempt than that of the title character and ex boyfriend in question (who’s feelings are heavily implied to be reciprocated btw), a man who is almost unforgivably irresponsible with a power that can and has ruined several lives. And those are just two examples, if I had all day I could give several more.
Women are always judged more harshly even if the men are worse, except for shows and movies with predominantly female audiences.
As for Rey being perfect, well, she is. I can’t think of a single flaw that she has, aside from maybe getting annoyed a couple of times, I like the character, but I can’t pretend like she’s super complex.
I like those stories as long as the narrative doesn’t try to justify their behavior. It’s why I hate most of Adam Sandler’s new work, but quite enjoyed Young Adult and High Fidelity.
Rey isn’t any more “perfect” than Luke is. Yet no one ever accused him of being implausible.
It’s really hard to avoid coming to the conclusion that a significant portion of male geeks have never progressed beyond the “girls are icky” stage that most men leave behind in kindergarten.
Well, sure. It’s one of the side effects of your group’s culture saying “everyone is welcome” – you get the people no other group wants. (Then the culture gets changed, so that the mouth-breathers can keep out people who would show up their inadequacies.)
This is as true as ever: http://plausiblydeniable.com/opinion/gsf.html
I actually did like Rey better than Luke, whom I found more than a little whiny. I didn’t realize people were complaining about her too. I guess not even being flawless is enough to spare women from criticism. Maybe I’m giving the mouth breathers too much credit.
oh, i see. i was hoping it was something like that.
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