I found an opinion piece on Cinema Blend today entitled “We Don’t Need More Female Superheroes“. I gave it a chance. I actually forced my way through the entire article. I can’t say I didn’t throw the remote control across the room when I read this nugget:
Even Wonder Woman was only a success because men supported her. The old Wonder Woman television show was a hit because men tuned in. Men tuned in because Wonder Woman was hot and watching her rope bad guys with her golden lasso fulfilled some sort of hot chick, dominatrix fetish fantasy.
Now granted, when William Marston first created Wonder Woman she wasn’t treated as much more than that. And apparently there are still a few stray men left who feel the need to objectify woman who are stronger than them.
But the crux of Mr. Tyler’s argument is a slightly skewed version of the “Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus” theory. For the most part, men like superhero movies and women like romantic comedies. And there’s nothing wrong with that. Boys play with guns, girls play with dolls. Equally fun, but different. He further goes on to say that since movie producers aren’t trying to get men to go see romance films, they shouldn’t try to crowbar female superheroes into movies. He argues that it’s sexist to do so, that it send the message that women should be more interested in the same things as men. He concludes with:
Rather than trying to twist and turn guy movies into something that might be interesting to women, consider making more movies for women instead. Quality movies like Sex and the City are all too rare, and its success over the summer proved what needs to be done.
So in his bizarre way, he’s trying to say Hollywood should be producing more entertainment geared towards women. And I agree. I think for the most part there aren’t enough quality female-minded movies being made. But I don’t agree that they shouldn’t be superhero movies. I realize that I’m considered an anomaly. Personally I know there are plenty of women, like me, who read comics or love action movies or gag when they see a white frilly wedding dress. And we women folk don’t need “Spider-Man” to be geared toward us because we’re either going to see it as it is or we’re not. Simply putting a female superhero in a role and marketing towards women isn’t going to magically make women (or anyone) go see it. I think “Catwoman” proved that. But making a good movie with a female superhero will get people in the seats. I think “Iron Man” and “The Dark Knight” proved that this summer. Both film did amazingly well at the box office and pulled in all sorts of people — not just us comic book nerds. I think if a Wonder Woman movie was made on that level it would do equally well. It’s not a matter of whether it’s a male or female in the role.
But I think it is important that a quality female superhero movie be made. I think we need one, if only to prove that it can be done, that woman will go see a movie that’s not a romantic comedy or about a woman who apologizes to the man who leaves her at the alter.
Or maybe that’s just irrational feminist ranting.