What Women Want!


:steps onto soap box:

(Advance warning that a semi-rant concerning Twitter hate follows. It’s petty as hell and completely immaterial in the greater scheme of things, but I just had to get this out of my system – apologies in advance.)

While I’ve gotten better at not engaging with Jupiter Ascending hate, I do make occasional exceptions. I’ve got a clear rule: while I won’t engage with people just saying that they dislike the film – that’s their prerogative and I’m past caring – I will occasionally engage with people who extrapolate their personal dislike of the film to invalidate or deny others’ enjoyment of it.  I am always polite and civil, and simply attempt to clear up misconceptions when I engage with such people. 

I really should just stop because there’s no point to it, since the people who post tweets such as this have zero interest in discussion or opinions that differ from their own. This little exchange ended, of course, with my being blocked for presenting an alternative standpoint:

My main objection to Mr Wheeler’s initial tweet is that it’s almost laughably paternalistic. Prior to women coming to be treated as independent, functional adults, it was common for men in positions of authority to determine what sort of entertainment was appropriate for the consumption of women, who were widely considered to be inferior in intelligence, discernment and morality. Gothic novels, for example, with their lurid morbidity, supernatural silliness and simmering sexuality, were considered to be positively hazardous. Now, it would seem, excess glitter, epic histrionics and non-stop sensory overload are considered equally unhealthy. 

While I have no doubt that Mr Wheeler had good intentions in attempting to decry the terrible standards of entertainment women are being fed, it is simply not his place to pass judgement on what’s worthy entertainment for women. The tweet is also founded on a fallacy – while there are plenty of articles out there focusing on JA’s female fanbase, I have yet to see anyone beside Mr Wheeler suggest that women are more inclined to like it because they are somehow content with or deserving of poor-quality entertainment. 

In short, while I have no problem with Mr Wheeler’s personal dislike of the film I do have a problem with him assuming that the film is somehow objectively bad and that women are being condescended by being expected to enjoy it (which is, as I establish above, a fallacy). To present and stick to such a claim is, as far as I’m concerned, the worst kind of close-mindedness and something to protest.  

:steps off soap box:

It’s weird how you never get the opposite of criticism like that. “I hate the implication that Transformers, a very bad movie, is ‘good enough’ for boys” is…not something I’ve ever heard a female film critic (or anyone) say.