Sunday, February 01, 2009

Thinkin' About the Fellas

I watched the Sex and the City movie this afternoon.  Wasn't really that into it.  I liked the shoes and the New York City bit, but I just couldn't get into it.  On further discussion with the lovely Girl Clumsy this evening, I realise what has stuck in my craw.

It's the attitude to men in it.  It felt to me that every man in it was either a piece of man flesh, or an arsehole.  With exception perhaps to the dark haired woman's husband (I know, I don't know their names except for Carrie and Samantha) who really was a bit of a shadow through the whole movie, he had about three whole lines and wasn't given any substance.

It's got me thinking a bit about how men are portrayed in film and television.  Now don't get me wrong, I'm not saying that how women are portrayed is any better, but at least we all speak up about that regularly.

But when it comes to how men are portrayed, it is open season.  How many ads can you think of on TV at the moment where it centres around a doofus male who just can't find something or asks a stupid question, or makes a big gaffe doing DIY etc?  Can you imagine the uproar if a woman was portrayed like that?

When we see a movie and the women in it are all either portrayed as tarty bits of flesh for the men's amusement, or complete bitches that make a man's life hell, don't we all get horrified at it?

Now I'm not saying that all movies should be touchy feely and everyone nice.  What I'm getting at is that when a whole gender is negatively portrayed, it just feels really wrong.  Sure, have your bad guy, but also have the hero who helps save the day.  Have your bitch queen, but have another woman who is cool.  Go for the bit of sexy  man flesh, but give him some depth of character.  Make your gals sexy AND smart.

I'm also not saying that men can't be arseholes and that women can't be shallow bits of fluff.  But to tar a whole gender with the same brush in a film or television show just makes me feel uncomfortable, you know?

I know ladies, I know, we've all been treated REALLY badly by a man or men in our past.  Some of us in our very recent past.  But does that mean they're all bastards?  You know we all have heard the thing where women are somebody's daughter, somebody's mother, somebody's sister?  Well the guys are somebody's son, somebody's father, somebody's brother.  And like women, guys deserve a chance before they're all written off.

Two wrongs don't make a right is all I'm sayin'!


Girl Clumsy said...

Hey Kath,

Thought I'd write here instead of Twitter!

While I think your point is very valid (that men can be portrayed as idiots and its OK) - the SATC movie is a postscript to the series, and you can't really use it to judge the series.

Characters like Mr Big and Aidan did have a lot of complicated storylines. Then there's Steve, Miranda's partner, and Trey and Harry, Charlotte's husbands. All the major male characters had story arcs and relative depth of character.

I think there are certainly shows appealing to both genders that could do more to raise above stereotypes. But SATC did better than most.

We need to have a girls' night and watch the vids!

Nerd of the Library said...

I have watched SATC and I think that many of the characters lack depth and integrity. It's just MHO. I saw the movie too and while I thought it was REALLY FUNNY, I couldn't relate to any of the plot or the character's behaviours. e.g,. WTF was Samantha so nasty to her BF? WTF did Miranda compromise her integrity and go back to Steve, b/c of peer pressure? Why did Carrie bother pingponging back and forth to BIG the bushy eyebrowed idiot? Why did Charlotte hang out with her? BTW, I don't really like Charlotte's BF - he's gross.
But that's my opinion. I like the show, but I can't relate to any of the characters in it.