Like it or not, folks, despite our best efforts, here in 2017, feminism doesn’t stand a chance. Gender equality might be a wonderful ideal, but it’s not going to happen anytime soon because men and women don’t get killed, dismembered or injured the same way — in the movies. The fact is, as long as we maintain our Neo-Victorian attitude toward violent entertainment, gender equality will remain a distant dream. Let me explain.
Shooting — When minor male characters get shot in films, their guts are splattered across three walls, half their chest is missing and their arteries are pumping enough ketchup to sicken Dracula’s sister. If the action’s close enough, they fly backwards through a plate glass window, bounce off the windshield of a car and end up in the gutter with their head caved in. When minor female characters get shot — actually, minor female characters seldom get shot on camera — but if they do, it’s usually because they’ve caught a stray bullet that causes nothing more than a vague look of surprise and a spreading red stain. (FYI, the recovery rate for female characters from lethal gunshot wounds is astronomical.)
Fire — When men get set on fire in film, they run around, flaying their arms and screaming like a berserk barbeque briquette. Women are instantly incinerated — no fuss, no muss and very little clean-up.
Torture — When men are tortured in the movies, they’re hanging by their thumbs. The bad guys are punching the hell out of them while simultaneously zapping them with 500 volts, hacking away with a machete and blowing cigar smoke in their face. There’s tons of slobbering and swearing and crying and hollering, and this goes on for at least three scenes — while the good guys are racing to the rescue. Women, however, seldom get past the sinister music and the initial scream of anticipation before the camera cuts to the next scene — where they’re found half-naked in an isolated wooded area (shallow grave optional.)
Dying — When men die, there’s no coming back. This guy’s been shot 4 times, stabbed, hit by a truck, blown up by 2 mortars and a grenade and dropped off a 12-storey building. His face looks as if it’s done 12 rounds with a K-Tel meat tenderizer, and both legs are either missing or bent around like a Bavarian pretzel. He’s coughing and spewing and spitting up god-only-knows-what while he vainly struggles to choke out his last words. When women die, they are normally on their back, their head comfortably resting or cradled in the arms of … you get the idea. There’s a tiny smear of blood from the corner of their mouth and they say something like “I’m so cold.” before their head slumps sideways and their eyes close — makeup completely intact. Honestly, I’ve fallen asleep with more fanfare than that.
Let’s face it, people! The only time women get any screaming-ass agony in the movies is during childbirth. And if that isn’t the final sexist kick in the head, I don’t know what is.
It’s sad, but until men and women get their heads blown off with some kind of equality in movies, feminism will remain merely a hope and a promise.