Saturday, December 22, 2007

Don’t Fear the Feminist

Last week I received a MySpace friend request from "Women's Studies." While I typically don't accept friend requests from people I don't know personally or from non-human profiles (like mags, groups, etc.), I do like to check out who's checking me out and asking for my virtual friendship. And as a Women's Studies major, I thought perhaps this was someone I knew or maybe a group of BC WS alumni.

So I clicked on the icon:



... and lo and behold, it was nothing as comforting as a fellow feminist, but a "feature length horror film currently in post-production ... the story of a pregnant grad student and her friends who are held captive at a women's academy that's actually a cult of feminists bent on the enslavement of men."

I was horrified (clearly the point of a horror movie, but not this film's intended inducement of horror, I'm afraid); but I still mustered enough objectivity to watch the trailer. My horror certainly grew in intensity, but now it was the result of über-cheesiness that actually takes itself way too seriously: "Rather than a typical 'hack & slash' horror movie, it's an intelligent look at groupthink, women's issues, and how blind belief in any one-sided dogma can create a terrorist." Oh, riiiight.....

Then I wondered, who is actually making this film? My suspicion that it was not written or directed by a woman proved correct. Why is the fact that this film was conceived and created by a man so predictable, you may ask? It's a phenomenon I sometimes refer to as "It's still all about men." The short summary is it's a common assumption about feminism that essentially equates it with man-hating (and in this extreme fictional case: enslavement, torture, and murder). I find this premise not so much offensive as simply insulting. I'm a feminist because I hate men? Sorry to break anyone's heart, but men shouldn't flatter themselves. To think that men (even the hatred or abuse of men) is at the center of feminism is still self-congratulatory and egocentric.

Is this film supposed to be scary because "it could really happen"?! The likelihood of this scenario is not outside possibility but definitely probability. A more likely, and perhaps scarier scenario (for most men, anyway) would be a film about women that didn't include men at all: didn't mention, show, or long for one. A really frightening film about feminism might be one in which there was no longer a need for the word or concept because the world it depicted was so much more advanced than our society that real equality were a given and not a question mark.

The ideal that feminism promotes is actually one of inclusion; if it's excluding or harming anyone, it's not feminism. A pithy statement from one of my favorite bumper stickers is: "Feminism is the radical notion that women are people." To take this sentiment further, one of bell hooks' book titles says, and I agree, Feminism Is For Everybody. Thus the goal of feminism is fairness and "free-to-be-you-and-me," regardless of who the "you" or "me" is.

Truth be told, I think "Women's Studies" (the horror film) is more accurately a form of projection, a depiction of one man's sado-masochistic fantasy. So all you gals who fancy yourself a dominatrix looking for a guy who likes to be whipped into shape by a strong woman, Lonnie Martin may be your dreamboat.

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4 Comments:

Blogger Alexandria said...

That is hillarious! I didn't bother checking out the movie. It sounds silly and far from a horror flick. Unfortunately, that seems to be the same for most horror flicks lately. Cheesie.

*btw: I found your blog through one of those rolling lists of blogs*

6:44 PM  
Blogger Pand0ra Wilde said...

Thanks for the warning on this one. I say warning because I absolutely do not do horror flicks, and I might have tried this one thinking the same thing you did, that it was a documentary of some sort.

3:12 PM  
Blogger Amanda said...

Oh my God, I remember the casting call for this movie! I don't even think they paid any of their actors. So offensive on so many levels

9:36 PM  
Blogger Nikki_Jilton said...

"the story of a pregnant grad student and her friends who are held captive at a women's academy that's actually a cult of feminists bent on the enslavement of men."

LoL, and they were all lesbians with Harleys (rofl)

3:00 AM  

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