movies matter | criticism by maryann johanson
Wed Jun 08 2016, 07:58pm | 6 comments
Ghibli is so good at female represenation onscreen, so it’s a shame that doesn’t reflect in their hiring practices.
Besides the fact that he’s wrong, I don’t even understand the logic of what he’s trying to say:
“Unlike live action,” he continued, “with animation we have to simplify the real world. Women tend to be more realistic and manage day-to-day lives very well. Men on the other hand tend to be more idealistic — and fantasy films need that idealistic approach. I don’t think it’s a coincidence men are picked.”
So he’s making a distinction between live-action and animation, ignoring the fact that a lot of live-action films ARE fantasies that “simplify the real world.” He’s also ignoring the fact that a lot of Ghibli films aren’t actually all that “simple”; they have plenty of nuance and often a quotidian real-world feel that grounds the fantasy, so women (according to his argument) should be able to do that even better than men. And surely he must be aware that several Ghibli films are based on stories by women. So is he saying women are capable of writing fantasy stories, but not directing fantasy animation? Is it technical skill that he’s arguing about? Is there a translation problem here?
Ugh. Whatever. Sexism, like all bigotry, will latch onto any justification, no matter how illogical and easily debunked.
This is baffling. Men are supposed to be the ones who go out in the real world, take care of business, provide the goods, do all the practical stuff, while women are supposed to be the nurturers, the emotional ones, do all the feeling stuff for the family…isn’t that the trope, even in Japan?
It’s really simple. Whatever explanation justifies men being hired over women is the right one.
The stereotypes are a little different in Japan. That being said, sexism is sexism. Japan also tends to promote a kind of casual racism that’s hard to make them admit to. Not that we’re that much better as a whole.
And he was born in 1977, so he doesn’t have the excuse of being from an era when that sort of nonsense was normal. (Maybe in Japan; I don’t know.)
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