Friday, April 09, 2004

An Officer and a Self-Obsessed Asshole

While I'm on the topic of representations of women.

The other night I was flipping through the channels (surprisingly, I was not glued to TLC...) and I came to rest on one of those movies everyone has seen on a Sunday afternoon, An Officer and a Gentleman. This is one of those movies that people oooh and ahh over, a "romantic", "inspiring" movie. A contributer to pop-culture references, a movie spoofed in The Simpsons.

What a bunch of crap.

Watching it, I was completely disgusted--I couldn't believe I had ever actually liked the movie.

Let's recap what I saw. There's this guy who has been dating this girl for a short time. She is desperate to get out of the town where she lives, but is apparently unable to do it herself (she's just a woman, after all!). He treats her like a whore. She tells him she loves him anyway. He never apologizes for treating her like a whore. Then he shows up suddenly at her workplace, and wraps his arms around her. Yay for her! He has lowered himself to love her back. It is her lucky day! Without a word, he then carries her off, like some kind of THING he has claimed, as the entire room celebrates for her stroke of luck.

I was fucking infuriated. And Sean didn't get it. Just didn't get it. Looked at me like I was a crazy person. Which maybe I am, but that's beside the point.

The thing is, it's not like it's just that movie. This is not an isolated situation. This is just one of many, many images that women and men are presented with countless times a day, every day, 365 days a year. After awhile, it weighs on you. After awhile, when you take a step back and allow yourself to see these images for what they are, you start to become angry.

How many times a day do you see something that suggests that women are objects? That they are possessions? That they are "less"?

Do you see them, I mean really see them? Probably not. But they're there, and they are having an affect on your life, whatever your gender. They are affecting the lives of your mother, your wife, your sister, your daughter. When she is treated badly by her male boss, when she is raped, when she is made to feel badly about herself because of her gender; these images are partly to blame.

Do you see them? Do you see those images you are bombarded with every day that teach you that women are less than people? That they are pretty tempermental things to be pampered? That they are sweet submissive things? That they are objects for your sexual gratification? Do you see them?

Open your fucking eyes.

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