07 July, 2007

Joss Whedon on Misogyny

I'll spare you the lame effort I was writing on the same subject and instead link to what Joss wrote over at Whedonesque.

"What is wrong with women?

I mean wrong. Physically. Spiritually. Something unnatural, something destructive, something that needs to be corrected.

How did more than half the people in the world come out incorrectly? I have spent a good part of my life trying to do that math, and I’m no closer to a viable equation. And I have yet to find a culture that doesn’t buy into it. Women’s inferiority – in fact, their malevolence -- is as ingrained in American popular culture as it is anywhere they’re sporting burkhas. I find it in movies, I hear it in the jokes of colleagues, I see it plastered on billboards, and not just the ones for horror movies. Women are weak. Women are manipulative. Women are somehow morally unfinished. And the logical extension of this line of thinking is that women are, at the very least, expendable."


Reel Fanatic said...

Though I wish the great Mr. Whedon would get back to making movies, he can be just as enlightening when he cimply unleashed a good rant .. and he's dead right .. the major failing of this world is how we treat women, and I unfortunately don't see an end to it coming anytime soon

Lucy said...

It's by saying "it'll always be this way" that things never change in my opinion.

I revel in my status as a woman and doing those things it's thought you can't/shouldn't be able to. You have a child at 18, your life is over. Gotta be kidding! I'll go to university, be a good mum, do what I was going to do - what example would I set otherwise? It's said that you have children or a career? Fuck that, I'll do both thanks. You have a career and a child, you can't have a successful relationship. No way - I have a happy marriage. You're successful at what you do? Then you must be a BITCH. I'm never knowingly a bitch to anyone or about anyone - and certainly never to my lovely Bang2write clients: they are my bread and butter and vitriol is the tool of the weak script reader in my opinion.

Yet all around me (in my real life - go cyber ladeez) I see my female peers in bad relationships or jobs they don't want, doing what they feel they ought to. It's sad. What angers me is they tell me I'm lucky to have the life I have. I did it all through hard graft. They could have the same. Yet they're scared.

So, controversially, I think women *can* typecast themselves in this role as well by believing in the negative view that can be imposed via the media. It's a vicious circle. But that does not mean you can't get out of it. Plenty of us do. You can do anything you want to - it's harder for some people, it's easier for others - but I believe everyone can live the life they want and need, therefore changing the world just that tiny bit.

Anonymous said...

Whedon cleary hasn't seen too many UK tv ads, in which men are constantly portrayed as bastards or bumbling fools, outsmarted by women. Like that advert with the man being dragged along the ground by a jogging woman (and then left in a bin). Could you imagine an ad with a woman being treated like this?

Only white, straight men can be figures of fun these days. Crazy. Whedon needs to take off those pink tinted glasses.

He cites an incident of brutal "honour killing" in some barbaric middle eastern country as his example! Yeah, I really need to cut down on stoning young girls to death.

Robin Kelly said...

In those ads, the men represented debt who were shackling the women. In the ad by the same company aimed at men, the man had a woodpecker pecking his head constantly. Why wasn't that reversed?

A woman being pecked by a woodpecker, fine no issues with that but a man dragging a woman along as he jogs and throwing them away would make me think about the two women a week killed in domestic violence. Not in a foreign country but here.

The same type of 'honour' killing of that woman takes place here at least once a month, usually they are forced to kill themselves. Incidentally in the UK, young Asian women are three times more likely to commit suicide.

But you're right in that the agency were probably hoping to get women to like the ad with that subtext of a man being treated badly but its different because of who holds the power usually.

Comedy is about status and a rich young man in a suit falling down a manhole is funnier than a little old lady doing it. A man being dragged along is funnier than a woman, not that it is particularly funny in the first place.

Misandry should be condemned as much as misogyny but it's not even in most dictionaries. It's not to say there aren't lots of women who hate men but that they don't tend to have the physical power and political power to act out their fantasies on a larger scale. Government and the law are still overwhelmingly male.

Fair enough, we don't tend to stone women in the high street but we can rape them and know that it's unlikely to go to court and even if it did, we would most likely get away with it.