Sunday, March 9, 2008

And Lo, A Skinny White Chick Shall Save Them

There seems to be a weird trend going on in fantasy-land. And, well... I pretty much spoiled it in the title. But for those of you who aren't about the title, here it is: action/horror/sci-fi/crap movies where the fate of mankind/Earth/the Hershey plant in Hershey, PA is left up to the strongest fighter out there... white chicks under 120 lbs.


Now, I don't know about you, but when I see a 14-year-old girl or anorexic model my first thought is to run like Hell. Because Lord knows when they will look at you cock eyed, and beat you within an inch of your life in a way that the Sean Connerys, Bruce Willises, and Samuel L. Jacksons never could.

I'm lying.

I can see how my rant on this might be controversial. After all, feminists and girls all like a good role model to look up to. Someone who can prove they can be just as tough as the boys. Except that's not true. As revealed in Brian K. Vaughn's excellent Y: The Last Man, your average dude is stronger than your average chick, and even as strong or stronger as your average athletic chick, fair or not. I mean, no offense to Summer Glau, but if her and Jimmy Kimmel ever mixed it up in the octagon... my money would still have to go to Kimmel, years of ballet training or no.

I have no problem with women in action movies. But wouldn't the better and more realistic example be women that looked like Vasquez in Aliens, Sarah Connor in Terminator II, or those freaks of nature Chyna and Nicole Bass?

I blame two things. First, the "Maximization" of our culture, otherwise known as "douching it down". Some cynical movie exec is thinking, "hmmmm... guys like action movies, but there's a smidge of homoeroticism in the way the camera lovingly frames Sly Stallone's oily pecs. Now, if it were a 100 lb. chick that looks fifteen at the oldest... bingo! We tap into the lucrative hetero-pedo demo! Beth! Another line of Columbian!" And some dickhead reading Maxim, wearing a trucker hat, getting highlights in his hair while watching NFL thinks, "hot ladies! This is totally awesome! Any dude who doesn't like this must be a fag!" And the intellectual world silently weeps...

Secondly, Joss Whedon. Is this guy that much of a p-whipped feminist, or are we gonna see him on the news one day fighting allegations from teenage girls? Yes, women are strong. How about writing a strong male character? Oh, what's that? You're about as athletic and macho as Louie Anderson? Can't relate? Think Schwarzenegger films are right-wing propaganda? Ok, back to your high school scripts, then.

I realize I seem like I'm lashing out every which way but loose, but come on. You can't have it both ways. Either stick with something vaguely new and different, like the realistic options of badass black guys, kung-fu masters, and gun-crazy Republicans, or stick with different... realistic different. Like putting a chick that can bench press more than cocaine and Tic-Tacs in a project. Just a thought.


ryanprows said...

When are we getting more of these?

Marietta said...

Well written article.

K. D. Bryan said...

Re: Joss Whedon's strong male characters

- Cyclops in Astonishing X-Men
- Angel from the show Angel, which ran 5 seasons.
- Captain Mal Reynolds, leader and hero of Firefly/Serenity

Seethe Rogers said...

I'm sorry, but so much of Joss Whedon's writing is so annoying. He's kind of like Bendis in some regards. Yeah, I can see how they're considered top writers, and I even like some or a lot of what they do, but occasionally (or often, depending on your point of view) their stylistic excesses get in the way and become grating.

In Bendis' case, see the "diaper truck" exchange between Ultimate Wolverine and Ultimate Spider-Man. Seriously, it goes on past the point of parody. "Diaper truck?" "Diaper truck." "That diaper truck?" "That diaper truck over there." "Man, diaper truck, huh?" "Yeah. Diaper truck."

In Whedon's case, it's the fetishistic love for tiny girls like Buffy Summers, Kitty Pryde, River Tam, ad nauseum, as well as the cutesy dialogue like "He's the Big Bad" and "He started to get all vamp-y". Just so annoying with the teenage girl talk.

I don't know. Personal preference. Feel free to think I'm an idiot.