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part of a small rebellion | by maryann johanson

curated: what, exactly, do men fear about older women?

Is it that, as we get older, we give fewer and fewer fucks what men think about us?

posted in:
easter eggs

  • RogerBW

    I’ve never understood this, but I’m pretty sure it isn’t rational, i.e. there’s no reasoning behind it; it’s caught from other people, like a disease but more harmful.

  • Bluejay

    Fisher’s line, in this Force Awakens deleted scene, seems apropos.


  • Jurgan

    “He [Lucas] explained: ‘You go into space and you become weightless. Then your body expands but your bra doesn’t. So you get strangled by your own underwear.'”

    Wait, seriously? I did not know this, and it leaves me with a question: When in any Star Wars movie were the characters weightless? I’m willing to suspend my disbelief that all ships, even ones as small as the Millennium Falcon, have artificial gravity, but then you can’t use weightlessness as an excuse to make your women’s breasts more visible.

  • Bluejay

    It’s interesting to see how clueless Lucas’s writing is about women in the Star Wars universe in general. There’s a case to be made that the entire saga hinges on the fact that the Star Wars universe, as Lucas imagines it, doesn’t have the first idea about prenatal care and childbirth.


  • The dirty perv just wanted to see Fisher’s boobs bouncing around.

  • Dent

    Well, I suppose the process of aging is frightening to most people on some level. Seeing stars reprise roles they played in their 20s reminds us all of our own mortality. Although I don’t see why we have to get the same article every time a female star reaches her 50s…

  • RogerBW

    And much less, for example, “you belong in a museum” about Harrison Ford in Kingdom of the Crystal Skull or The Force Awakens.

  • We’ll stop shouting about it when Hollywood stops treating women over 50 (or over 35, even) as pariahs.

    This is NOT about a general fear of aging, or else men wouldn’t still be treated as sex symbols in their 70s.

  • RicoSuave

    Madonna shows how to age well in Hollywood. Her recent tweet shows grace and style.

  • Bluejay

    Her risque tweets have nothing to do with how Hollywood treats aging men and women differently.

  • RicoSuave

    Ultimately Hollywood , despite actors wearing multi colored ribbons at awards show for their “cause du jour” , is driven by money. If a person is not deemed to be a box office draw, be it for age, height, weight , movie producers will not fund such projects.

  • Bluejay

    And yet that “deeming” can be influenced by irrational prejudices towards gender, age, color, etc, that can blind the producers to the opportunity to make MORE money. Films that are female-centric and racially diverse have been highly profitable, despite conventional “wisdom” that believed otherwise. It’s always a good idea to examine one’s assumptions about what would or wouldn’t be a box office draw.

  • Dent

    Yeah good point, there’s a pretty clear double standard here. When skin blemishes and wardrobe malfunctions get their own articles…

  • RicoSuave

    Recently the Chinese made film “The Great Wall” was criticized for having Matt Damon in a lead role. It seems like the movie has opened to great success in China. Am curious what the result would have been if they cast a minority actor in the role.

  • Danielm80

    From the film Guinevere, written and directed by Audrey Wells:

    Deborah Sloane: For starters, I don’t really think that your young girl predilection has much to do… with their firm, young flesh. I mean, when someone like you is out with someone like Harper, you must invite all kinds of comparison and ridicule, which can’t be much fun… for either of you. Right, honey?

    So then, what is… a man of, uh, your age… doing with my 21-year-old daughter? It’d be easy enough to say you’re afraid of mature women, but that’s so glib. Afraid of what, exactly? So I kept thinking. And then it hit me. I know exactly what she has that I haven’t got. Awe. That’s it, isn’t it? I mean, no real woman – no woman of experience would ever stand in front of you with awe in her eyes… and say, “Wow, Look at that man. Look at that bohemian wedding photographer… with holes in his jeans. Gosh, isn’t he something?” No. I mean, it takes a naive girl for that. It takes Harper for that.

  • Bluejay

    Racial politics are different from country to country. Though I should point out that, in China, Matt Damon IS a minority. So yes, it could be argued that casting a minority in the lead role made the film very profitable in China. :-)

  • RicoSuave

    I think you are missing the major point. The movie is made for an international audience, not just Chinese audiences. The casting was done with a view to what the producers felt would play well in all global markets. There was an article sometime ago about the racial politics pf casting movies where they cast a Latino actress in the female lead role with a Black actor,

    “when casting a Latina actress as a romantic interest sparked a major debate with Eva Mendes landing a role opposite Will Smith in 2005’s rom-com hit Hitch. It certainly wasn’t the first time; but in Hitch’s case, this casting decision was a strategic one made by studio producers. According to Smith, when casting two Black leads, a film will automatically be deemed a “Black” movie; therefore, producers didn’t want to take a chance in alienating audiences. ”


    In the same way, having a well known White actor in “The Great Wall” would make the film approachable by global audiences as it wouldn’t be seen as just a “Chinese” film.

    As I said, movie producers are all about the money. In some ways more than any other industry.

  • Bluejay

    And yet, despite having a well-known white actor in the lead, The Great Wall IS A FLOP.


    Meanwhile, Hidden Figures, supposedly a niche “black film” because it has black leads and tells a “black story,” is cleaning up at the box office, beating out several white-led films this weekend (including La La Land, Scorsese’s Silence, and Affleck’s Live by Night) after beating Rogue One LAST weekend.


    Producers who are afraid to shake things up with gender, age, race, etc are, quite simply, leaving money on the table.

  • RicoSuave

    You are picking 1 film . An A list Director Like Spike Lee made “Miracle at St Anna” in 2008 . Like “Hidden Figures”, it was a true story, this time about Black soldiers in WWII in Italy. The movie was a total disaster and flopped. So each film is to be subjectively taken on its merits. Just because “Hidden Figures” worked, doesn’t mean that it is a surefire formula. The “Blair Witch Project” was made on a $60,000 budget and went on to make almost $250 million world wide. Do you the success of one such film means that will work as a sure fire model for box office success ?

  • Bluejay

    Not just one film. See again the Hollywood Reporter link on the box office of diversely-cast films, in my previous comment.

    So each film is to be subjectively taken on its merits… Do you the success of one such film means that will work as a sure fire model for box office success?

    No, but by this argument, that’s even LESS reason for producers to rely on old assumptions about what actors have box office draw. Relying on old prejudices about casting white/young/male leads is NOT a surefire model for box office success!

  • RicoSuave

    Hollywood is a business and they will go with what their various marketing departments tell them will sell. They are not going to cast Melissa McCarthy for the upcoming Tomb Raider reboot, even though she is a successful comedy actress. Look at all the Marvel superhero films churned out. Pretty much all major box office hits that worked because they stuck to a tested formula in terms of casting. Yes, you do have the successes of films like Hidden Figures. But that doesn’t translate into a predictable formula for a business like Hollywood. They go with predictable models, no pun intended.

  • Bluejay

    So there’s a predictable formula for success, except each film should be subjectively taken on its own merits. Got it.

  • RicoSuave

    The results are driven by the audience. The productions are formulaic. Green Lantern failed. Dead Pool was a huge success. Same actor. Get it ?

  • The results are driven by the audience.

    But you’re rejecting the audience-driven results of *Hidden Figures*…

    You might want to widen your perspective a little.

  • RicoSuave

    On the contrary… to clarify again. I pointed out that it is finally the audience that decides about what makes the film a success. A well known director like Spike Lee failed with “Miracle At St Anna”, a true story about the untold story of Black soldiers in WW II in a crucial battle.. On paper the film sounds like it should have been a success, not the disaster it was. “Hidden Figures”, was directed by an unknown White Director, interestingly enough but the story did strike a chord. “The Blair Witch Project” made for $60K made $250 million and spawned a a whole bunch of hand held camera “faux documentary” style movies. Professional cinematographers hated the films but the audiences loved it.

  • Bluejay

    Green Lantern failed. Dead Pool was a huge success. Same actor.

    Aaah, so a white male lead is NOT a guaranteed box office draw. So there’s no reason not to shake things up and try casting different kinds of people. Glad you agree with me!

  • Bluejay

    it is finally the audience that decides about what makes the film a success.

    And, as you pointed out with the Deadpool flop, audiences don’t necessarily go to a movie because of the white lead. So the studios’ assumption that “white/male/young etc = more box office” is false, and there’s no reason not to shake up the casting more often. Glad you agree with me!

  • Bluejay

    *correction: Green Lantern flop

  • RicoSuave

    Actually what I said was “Green Lantern” a PG-13 superhero origin movie with Ryan Reynolds flopped. Yet “Dead Pool”, a hard R-rated superhero origin movie again with Ryan Reynolds set box office records. “Shaking up” is not always going to work. When Vin Diesel dropped out of “XXX”, they replaced him with Ice Cube in the sequel. The film flopped miserably. Diesel is back for the 3rd film. In the current Iron Man comics, the new Iron Man is 16 year old Black girl. Do you think Disney is going to recast the role in the upcoming Avengers: Infinity War films, to “shake it up” as done in the comic books ?

    In life nothing is “100%” certain. The last election had 9/10 highly respected research polls showing Clinton coasting to an easy win, right till the day of the election.

  • RicoSuave

    Sure… they cast a Black actor for The Human Torch in the last “Fantastic Four” film. How did that work out.

  • Bluejay

    In life nothing is “100%” certain.

    Right, so there’s no reason not to shake things up with casting, because it’s not certain that shaking things up will fail, and it will probably often succeed, given the overall track record. Glad you agree with me!

  • RicoSuave

    The play Hamilton cast non-White actors for White historical figures. But I doubt such “shaking up” is going to work in all contexts. Look at the “shaking up” of the “Ghostbusters” remake. Producers investing $200 million in a film are going to stay within certain predictable limits. They are not going to cast Kevin Hart as the replacement for Henry Cavill for the next Superman film.

  • Bluejay

    Despite occasional misfires, statistically, diverse-cast films make more money. If studios care so much about profits, hiring a diverse cast is actually the SAFER choice.

    They are not going to cast Kevin Hart as the replacement for Henry Cavill for the next Superman film.

    Why not? Cavill’s first Superman film didn’t do as well as the studio hoped anyway, and the consensus seems to be that Cavill’s portrayal isn’t that great. So what have they got to lose? I’d be really curious to see how much a Kevin Hart Superman film WOULD make.

    Or if not Hart, why not an ethnically nonwhite Superman? I can almost guarantee that the minute they cast Idris Elba as James Bond, they’ll have the highest-grossing Bond film in history.

  • RicoSuave

    There is a difference Cavill’s Superman underperforming versus being a box office bomb like Ghostbusters. A Kevin Hart Superman movie would be like the Ghostbusters debacle. Let’s see how the Ocean’s 12 remake with an all female cast works.

    How about making a Blade movie with a White Actor ? Or a Tomb Raider film with Tyler Perry, to mix it up even more.

    Much as I like Elba and would really like to see a big screen adaptation of “Luther”, I don’t think Bond would work for him. He’s been cast as Roland in “The Dark Tower” , which I think might be his breakout role, because there has never been a screen adaptation and associated movie history of that character.

  • Bluejay

    If I told you, a decade ago, “There’s gonna be a show about the American Revolution sung in hip-hop, and a black guy is going to play George Washington and a skinny Puerto Rican dude is going to play the main character, the first US Treasury Secretary, and it’s gonna be the biggest hit in the world!!!”, you probably would have laughed in my face. And yet, here we are.

    What I’m saying is: Producers shouldn’t be afraid to shake things up. AT ALL. Even to extremes. Because people are tired of the same-old same-old, so WHY NOT? WHY NOT Kevin Hart as Superman? WHY NOT Tomb Raider with Tyler Perry? It might be good! It might also be bad, but at least it’ll be bad in new and interesting ways. And again, statistically, audiences LIKE films with diversity, so it’s actually the safer choice to stop ALWAYS automatically casting white. So bring it on, producers!

  • RicoSuave

    And back in 1982 when Blade Runner came out it bombed at the box office. and was written off as a gloomy, downbeat, incoherent mess of a film. And yet in 2017 it is required viewing for fans of serious science fiction and hailed as a master piece , with a much anticipated sequel on the way later this year. Yes, things do happen. I know that. But as I pointed out, an industry of any kind is based on predictability. Sometimes the wild cards work. But by and large, Hollywood is pretty conservative in terms of making radical changes. Ironic for an industry that touts itself as “innovative”.

    Producers are in it for the money. They aren’t really too concerned about making political/social statements when they are investing 200-300 million in film projects.
    Such film experiments would work as smaller experimental films outside the studio system. Tyler Perry created his won film production company, so he has full control over whatever he wants to make. He could make it, if he could get the rights to the character. On a side note, did you know that O J Simpson was the first choice to play the Terminator and Schwarzenegger was to play the hero ?

  • Producers are in it for the money.

    No no no no no. If that were true, they would be making more diverse movies and hiring more diverse filmmakers, because that has been proved to be more profitable. Over and over again. Instead, Hollywood is locking into favoring white men over everyone else at the expense of greater profit. I’ll leave it to you to decide why it might do this.

    I invite you to educate yourself on this topic some rather than regurgitating the industry bullshit anymore.

  • RicoSuave

    Here is the thing… with any story, the characters have to seem like they fit. If it comes across in contrived way as a cast created by a quota or to fit some directive, then I think the story will just not sell to any audience. I am not disagreeing with you that there should be greater diversity as per the stories being told. But I wouldn’t expect a story like Robin Hood to have a major Black character in it if they are going for an authentic depiction of the time period. Neither would I find a show like “Friends” , set in urban New York realistic with a cast of only White characters.

  • Bluejay

    with any story, the characters have to seem like they fit. If it comes across in contrived way as a cast created by a quota or to fit some directive, then I think the story will just not sell to any audience.

    This is not wrong. However, it’s worth examining assumptions (whether on the part of the producer, casting director, or audience) of WHY something seems like it “doesn’t fit” or seems “contrived.” Oftentimes there’s no real reason besides unconscious (or conscious) prejudice.

    When an ensemble cast has mostly men and one or two women, people think of it as “normal”; as soon as the ratio comes close to 50% (which IS entirely normal, given the M/F ratio in world population), a lot of people instead think of it as “too many women,” and therefore the cast must have been determined by a quota to appeal to the PC/feminist crowd.

    The Avengers have a rotating membership in the comics, and Marvel has plenty of female superheroes they could put into it. But if they tried to flip the gender ratio of the current onscreen Avengers — so that it’s 8 women and 2 men, instead of 8 men and 2 women — how many people would dismiss the move as “contrived” or “pandering,” for absolutely no logical reason? Yes, characters have to “fit” the story, but our notions of what can “fit” can be EXPONENTIALLY expanded.

    I wouldn’t expect a story like Robin Hood to have a major Black character in it if they are going for an authentic depiction of the time period.

    It’s a common misconception that there were no people of color in medieval Europe. That’s flat-out wrong. A Robin Hood story with black characters would be ENTIRELY historically appropriate — and more accurate, in fact, than a story without them.



  • RicoSuave

    The Robin Hood stories never had a character as depicted by Morgan Freeman in the film. The Norse God Heimdallr described as “the whitest of the gods” in Norse stories is played by Idris Elba in Thor. Are they going for accuracy there too ?

  • Bluejay

    The original Robin Hood stories may have ignored black people, but black people did in fact exist in Europe at that time. So a modern Robin Hood story with black characters would in fact be closer to “an authentic depiction of the time period” as you said.

    As for Heimdall, are you really going to be a stickler for cultural accuracy in a Marvel movie? If so, it’s interesting that it’s only Heimdall’s skin color that bothers you, and not, say, the fact that Thor is supposed to have red hair, or that Sif wasn’t a warrior and was Thor’s wife, or that the Marvel Asgardians speak English and are actually aliens who ride around in spaceships. For some reason, it’s just the change in Heimdall’s skin color that bothers the “accuracy” critics. Hmm, wonder why.

  • RicoSuave

    The character is based on Norse stories. Are you saying that legends are not to be followed as accurately as possible, for cultural sensitivity For some reason it seems ok to do that here. Would you be alright if they cast a Caucasian actor to play an Indian god in an adaptation of the Ramayana epic ?

  • Bluejay

    Again, it’s interesting that Heimdall’s skin color is the ONLY thing you’re concerned about in your “accuracy” complaint. You’re not upset that Thor isn’t a redhead; or that the costumes are totally inauthentic to Old Norse fashion; or that Mjolnir’s handle is supposed to be awkwardly short; or that the Asgardians have custody of some Infinity Stones that are mentioned nowhere in the Prose Edda. You also probably are not upset that Snow White and the Huntsman and Maleficent departed wildly from the original fairy tales in so many details. Because as long as all the characters are white, that’s all the “accuracy” that matters to you, right?

    So you’re clearly going to bring out the old “reverse racism” bullshit argument. You’re going to say: It’s hypocritical of liberals to insist on accurate cultural representation for nonwhite people, but be perfectly fine with nonwhite people playing white characters!

    Here’s what you’re missing. You’re going to disagree, but I’m going to lay it out anyway. In the West, we have historically had a severe imbalance in representation. White people have always had the opportunity to represent themselves, but they have ALSO represented others, often with offensive stereotypes, making it hard for other groups to make themselves truly seen and understood. (And making it hard for nonwhite actors to get jobs.) So the more underrepresented, stereotyped, or historically marginalized a group is, the more responsibility we have to depict them honestly and accurately, and give actors and artists from that group a chance to tell their own story. Our culture is already soaking in European influence and Germanic fairy tales, etc, so it’s fine to play around with them. We have far, far less exposure to Polynesian culture, which is always in danger of being swallowed up and erased by the mainstream, and so it becomes a far greater responsibility for Disney to do it justice.

    In an ideal society, anyone should be able to play anything. But we’re not there yet. We still have to pay attention to which groups are getting unjustly underrepresented or misrepresented, and which groups are already getting overwhelming representation so it’s fine to play around with the roles (and give some of them to underrepresented actors). So in an IDEAL society, yes, I would be okay with a white actor playing an Indian god — IF AT THE SAME TIME, Indian actors are cast as the Greek gods in all the Clash of the Titans films. Do let me know as soon as that happens.

    That’s all I’m gonna say on this. Here, do some reading.


  • RicoSuave

    Since your keen eye spots all the discrepancies in the film, why is it that the casting of a character is to be ignored ? Isn’t that just as relevant as costumes, weaponry ?
    So The Rock, who did the main voice work in Moana and made $65 million last year and was the #1 earner in Hollywood is a representative of the unknown and culturally exploited Polynesians. Thanks for the laugh.

  • Bluejay

    No, I don’t care a bit about any of the discrepancies in the Thor films. My point is that YOU don’t care about those inaccuracies either. The only thing that bothers you, the only thing you openly complain about, is that one of the actors isn’t white. That says something about you.

    Dwayne Johnson has Polynesian ancestry and has every right to represent Polynesians — alongside Auli’i Cravalho, Temuera Morrison, and Opetaia Foa’i, who did not make $65 million last year.

    Your arguments are weak sauce and getting weaker. And they increasingly have nothing to do with the subject of the original post. I’m done with you here.

  • RicoSuave

    So ethnicity shouldn’t matter, but in the cases like that of Dwayne Johnson, despite being the #1 movie star in Hollywood, an actor should be cast in a role for his ethnicity.

    Your double standards are just laughable. I’m done too.

  • Bluejay

    in the cases like that of Dwayne Johnson

    You know, YOU’RE the one who brought up Moana as an example of respecting cultural authenticity. And now you’re arguing the exact opposite.

    Your inability to build a coherent argument is just laughable. Buh-bye!

  • RicoSuave

    You seem to be unable to comprehend the point… ethnicity is apparently to be used only in some cases of casting, which is fine, by your definition. But not for others. Clear now ? buh-bye.

  • Bluejay

    ethnicity is apparently to be used only in some cases of casting, which is fine, by your definition. But not for others.

    Yup! :-) And that’s exactly what I said you would say. And of course you completely missed the reasoning, or disagree with it, as I also said you would. No surprise there. You’re so predictable it’s sad, Rico. Oh well.

  • RicoSuave

    Yeah, and that of course is your standard “some-roles-are-special” cop out contradicting your previous (specious) claim that casting roles should be color blind. And you think you are unpredictable, regarding “equality”. What else can be expected of avian brains.

  • Bluejay

    Some roles ARE “special.” That’s not a contradiction to wanting more adventurous casting in general — except to small minds that can’t handle nuance, context, and history.

    It’s hilarious that you don’t even know what side you’re on — you just want to be on whatever side you think is opposite mine. When I argued for open-minded casting, you said “But what about cultural authenticity? Look at the cast of Moana!” And then when I said there’s definitely a place for Moana’s authenticity, suddenly you have a problem with Moana’s casting! Also, rich Polynesians can no longer play Polynesians! LOL.

    Thanks for the comedy. I’m sure you’ll want to have the last word, saying something like “I’m not a hypocritical idiot, YOU’RE the hypocritical idiot,” so go right ahead, knock yourself out.

  • RicoSuave

    You seem to be unable to comprehend… so let me explain.. I am saying that you can’t be culturally sensitive only in some special cases. If there is to be sensitivity, apply it uniformly else it is just a farce. In the manner that you want it applied… in those “special” cases alone. What next ? LOL indeed.

  • bronxbee

    just about as badly as the first movie… i don’t think color had anything to do with it.

  • RicoSuave

    The first Fantastic Four film, while no masterpiece made 330 million on a 100 million budget. Even the second made 289 million on a 130 million (according to imdb).

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