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film criticism by maryann johanson | since 1997

a quick primer on how to dehumanize and objectify women in movie marketing

My ongoing look at how movie marketing objectifies and dehumanizes women — which began here — continues.

And to get us going again, a quick rundown of some of the common ways women can be rendered as less than people. There’s the removal of her face:


(That’s the Region 1 DVD of Toad Road, just out this week.)

Or even better, just chop her head off entirely:


(That one is the Region 2 DVD of Upstream Color, which will be released on December 30th.)

For maximum depersonalization and objectification, reduce her to her sexual parts:


That’s the Region 2 DVD of Thanatomorphose, released December 9th, and it comes with bonus depersonalized objectification of womankind. For this was the original cover art:


Why was this so offensive that it had to be changed? Why, because everyone knows that a woman’s crotch is not for her own pleasure, but for that of others. The altered version is acceptable because a generic female crotch presented for the pleasure of the viewer is perfectly normal and just as things should be.

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