05 November 2013

A Rant You Say? I Am The Fandom!

This is also from Ginger's Bring Back The Words Prompts asking if anyone has something they want to rant about. Well I sure do. At first even I thought I was being crazy, but the more I think about it, the more it pisses me off. This rant brought to you by my Marvel/Avengers fangirling.

The story begins with me searching for pictures from the Thor: Dark World premier and there is no interesting news to be found because every single page is devoted to discussing Jamie Alexander's underwear. Not the fact that Jamie Alexander does such a great job of playing Sif. Not the fact that she is self-defense instructor and serves as a great role model for girls, not only as a person, but also in the character she plays. Oh no, all we care about is her revealing dress and the speculation that she was sans knickers. Really? Premier of an amazing looking movie, in one of the largest super-hero franchises ever, that has inspired previously unheard of fan following and all we care about is her panties. Please mansplain to me one more time that there is no gender bias in the making of action films, or films at all for that matter.

Over and over we see this. Men are asked about acting, existential questions of identity and other important items. Women get asked what bras they wore and what diets they had to be on to fit in the outfit. One of the many reasons I like the Marvel franchise, the Avengers parts specifically, is how the actors seem to work to combat this. While the movies fall prey to certain male/female tropes (not cool, but consistent with cannon so some leeway can be granted here) the actors themselves seem to take a hard line about this gender bias. Scarlet Johannson got a great reputation for calling out the press on such behavior (click the link to see her in a panel where asked the classic diet question). There is a great set of GIFs/videos of her EXTRA interview with her and Jeremy Renner where she tells a reporter that asking about her underwear is basically offensive. As if people should have to be told that is a stupid, pointless and sexist question. Go Team Sick of This Shit.


I find all of this frustrating to say the least. Women are underrepresented in most forms of media and this kind of crap doesn't help. As long as women are valued for what they wear, or perhaps don't wear, while men are valued for their craft, the gender inequity will remain. No one asks male politicians what they wear yet entire volumes of "journalism" have been dedicated to Hilary Clinton's hair. Not her politics, her hair. Female sportscasters must be thin, blond, young and busty, but male sportscasters can be 400 pound balding men* in terrible ties because "experience." Just no.


And the final nail in this here coffin? The real salt in the wound. Elizabeth Henstridge who plays the amazing Jemma Simmons in TV's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. is consistently misidentified as Natasha Henstridge. The press can keep all three Hemsworth brothers straight, but can't be bothered to check the name of one sole woman with no relation to the other Henstridge? Well, heck she is just some hot blond chick right? Close enough.


So yeah. Feeling pretty ranty about gender inequality in sci-fi/fantasy/action games and films. For anyone else interested in such topics I highly recommend Feminist Frequency for a look at women in gaming and Women Action and the Media for discussion of representation of women in media. Come join. Like the Baratheons of old, "ours is the fury."




*Not implying that there is anything wrong with being 400 pounds and balding in a bad tie, just pointing out a discrepancy in "aesthetic requirements" along gender lines.