by John Eberhard
I saw a video the other day with political commentator Bill Whittle where he said that we will look back on this current time period as “the time of the feminists movies, or the desert.”
I think this is hopeful in two ways – one that we will someday move past this terrible period. And the other, that people in the movie industry will someday realize that the current trend is destructive.
So let me define what this trend is. Basically we somehow have feminists getting into power positions in the film industry. And convincing those in charge to hand them the reins and let them make feminist movies. But not just any feminist movies. They are being allowed to take every major film franchise, established, popular, money-making franchises, and turn them into feminist franchises. And completely ruining them in the process.
Let me count the ways: Star Wars, Terminator, X-Men, James Bond, Marvel, Thor, Men in Black, Ghostbusters, and now Charlie’s Angels (the last not being a huge popular franchise, but you get the idea).
So how are feminists ruining these movie franchises? By making them into girl-power movies where all the main female characters are good, virtuous, smart, honest, talented, powerful, and succeed at everything they try, the first time, and they never lose. And all the main male characters are bad, evil, condescending, hot-headed, incompetent, etc. And often you get blatantly pounded with the feminist message of “men bad, women good.”
And it’s not enough that they make a movie that has this message. No. They have to take existing, popular franchises and take them over and insert this type of message into them.
Case in point. The last two Star Wars movies have featured a character named Rey. She’s never flown a spaceship before but she gets into the Millennium Falcon and flies it better than Han Solo. She’s never picked up a light saber before but she gets into a fight with and defeats Kylo Ren, who’s been training his whole life. At the end of the last movie she levitates tons of rocks so the good guys can escape from a cave, but she’s never done that before. She never loses, never has any self doubts, never develops as a character. All the leaders are female. And all the male characters are portrayed as hot-headed, impetuous, etc.
Contrast that with the original Star Wars trilogy, where Luke starts out as an arrogant, ignorant kid, fails repeatedly, goes through many trials and tribulations, works hard, trains hard for years, and finally becomes capable and powerful enough to get his father to turn good and defeat the emperor. Luke basically goes through what is known as the “Hero’s Journey,” a term coined by academic Joseph Campbell in 1949. This was a concept that greatly influenced Star Wars creator George Lucas.
The thing is that when a character goes through a “Hero’s Journey” type scenario, where he starts out as a normal Joe, has doubts, fails repeatedly, works hard, and finally is able to pull off the big win, we can relate to him. Why? Because no one on planet Earth has all abilities and gets everything right on their first try. We all have doubts, flaws, and failures. And very few of us can go up against impossible odds and win every time.
So when we see a character have doubts, work hard, fail repeatedly, work harder, persist on their given course, and finally bring off the big win, we can relate to them. We can see ourselves in them. And of course it inspires us. We want to be like them.
And basically, what do we read books for, or see movies for? In most cases we are doing that because we want to be inspired. We want to be inspired to find ways to better succeed in our endeavors in life.
Take a movie like Pride and Prejudice, or Sense and Sensibility. Those movies are inspiring because the people in them are seeking love, they run into various barriers, but they persist and succeed in the end. So movies don’t always inspire us to save the world. But most of our movies or books that have become classics are ones that inspire us to do better.
Here’s something else these feminist takeovers of successful movie franchises are doing. In some cases they are destroying the characters that we loved in the movies. Like Luke in Star Wars for instance. In the original trilogy he was a character we could admire, because he worked hard to bring off the ultimate win. But in the last two movies, he is a bitter, resentful old man who has gone off into hiding, not willing to help Rey or even care. So our feelings for him are ruined in the process. And don’t get me started on what they are doing with the new James Bond movie. They’re going to ruin that character and franchise as well.
Spoiler Alert: In the new Terminator movie, John Connor, the young boy who in the previous movies has been protected at all costs so that he could lead a resistance against the machines in the future, is killed. Just like that. So now we find that the resistance will still happen in the future but it will be led by guess what – a young Hispanic girl. Of course.
I’ve seen some commentators theorize that the reason these feminists are making movies with female lead characters that succeed at everything and have no flaws is based on a basic insecurity. They feel like they can’t show a female character with any flaws or weaknesses, or who ever fails. Because girl-power. So in the process they are making characters that no one can relate to.
The stars or makers of these movies then blame the fans when the movies do poorly at the box office or get criticized. Male fans “just can’t handle a movie with strong women.” But men had no problem with Ripley in the Aliens movies, or the recent Wonder Woman movie. Or Lea in the original Star Wars. But in those movies we weren’t being clubbed over the head with a girl power message or “all men bad” message.
And most men aren’t bad, evil, incompetent, etc., which everyone knows unless they have had their brain stuffed with that corrosive feminist message. But when men find themselves being clubbed to death with that message in a movie, especially when they can see it in the trailers or media interviews, they stay away. And it doesn’t give them a warm and fuzzy feeling. They tend to feel resentful.
I for one look forward to the day when Hollywood finally realizes that this current trend is a bad one – not just for the bottom line, but for the goal of making good movies that inspire us.