Monday, October 24, 2011

I'm a Baaaad Feminist

So I reviewed a movie the other day that was in a series that is marketed as "A Science Fiction Thriller for Girls." It was terrible, and I admit I spent the majority of the movie howling in laughter because it was frigging ridiculous. 99% of the movies I love fall into that strange horrible-lovable category, but I didn't love anything about that movie.

What I most took umbrage with was the "For Girls" portion of the thing; apparently what made it "For Girls" was the lack of any violence, blood, or decent story. There were just half-naked buffed-out boys running around in boxer briefs, rubbing themselves erotically about the head and shoulders. This wasn't for GIRLS, if you get my drift.

Welp, I was politely and respectfully dressed down by a fellow poster on the website, who informed me that he does in fact have girls in mind when creating his films, and that when you see one of this director's films, you don't have to worry about watching a 'torture porn' or movie that focuses on the rape and humiliation of women.

That made me pause.

If horror movies are nothing but torture porn and films that glorify the rape and humiliation of women, and I love horror movies, does that mean I love torture porn and the rape and humiliation of women? I kind of think that's what was so respectfully implied.

That hurt my feelings.

She listed some of the companies she does work for, some of which are highly woman positive and I respect, and that she has won awards for articles written about her local domestic abuse shelter. Street cred, okay, fine.

I have a little bit of street cred myself if we want to play feminist bingo; as a victim of both domestic and sexual assault, I have attended and helped teach self defense techniques to women. I taught fun and sex-positive workshops for women who had comfort issues with both receiving and giving sexual pleasure. I have done my fair share of spreading the word and giving charitable donations and spending time on campaigns to fight domestic abuse and various cancers and issues that primarily affect women. I even assisted with the construction of our local women's shelter. As a woman, not a GIRL, as I so often have to point out; I'm fucking grown, and don't need to be called a girl.

Hmm; maybe that's the point. Science Fiction/Horror for Girls. Girl; an immature woman. Someone not ready or able to handle the images/messages coming across on the screen. Perhaps that's it? If so, then I don't need girls being shown oiled-up beefcakes. Thriller for girls for me equals Nancy Drew. Give us a story, a puzzle. Let our brains work on it and figure it out and save the day. Don't pander to me or coddle me because you think I'll flip out if I see someone's head explode a la Scanners.

But, I digress.

My problem is that I am a feminist; but I can't help it, I LOVE these movies. I love it when the bad guy infiltrates the sorority house and goes to town on morally repugnant women and men. I love the fact that there is one sorority girl... are they called anything else? I realize I'm contradicting myself here, but is there a synonym? Sorority babe, I guess? Anyway, there is one who realizes something's up and is going to either kill the bad guy, or find a way to contact whoever can and save the rest of the house from certain doom. That is awesome, and that shows just how strong a girl or woman can be; to face the evil, to fight it and come out okay on the other side. Real life is so much more horrible than anything we can watch on a movie screen; the real horror is in the newspapers and on the street. If I can unwind by watching a man with knives for fingers try and kill a bunch of teenagers and get outwitted by a caffeinated high school senior, then that is my choice. If I want to sit around and watch people get butchered for sport until one figures out how to get away, so be it! I used to think I was an anomaly, but there are a lot of women like me, women who realize that most of the time, a movie is just a movie. Are we bad feminists? I guess so. I'm a bad feminist.

So, I'm going to kick back and continue to watch these movies, to delight in the gore and the nudity and the violence and the scare. I'm going to keep laughing when I see a good kill, or an unnecessary shower scene, or ridiculous monster makeup. I'm going to clap when the bad guy eats it. I'm going to admire sexy bodies and pay a little more attention when they start making the sign of the epileptic platypus, because I know that they may get harpooned mid-coitus.

I'm a bad feminist, and I like it that way. I think all of you do, too.