Today, the husband and I went to see Transformers: Dark of the Moon. Gold Class session, lovely to sit down and have a meal and a beer without a toddler crawling all over us.
And the movie itself was enjoyable. It seems that Michael Bay has finally figured out how to (sometimes) hold the camera still for action sequences. We didn’t see the 3D version (for once), and it was obvious to see which sections were filmed with 3D in mind.
Now, first of all I need to say this: I’m not a huge fan of the franchise. I’ve seen the first two movies, but I don’t have the childhood nostalgia thing for the Transformers cartoon or figurines. I didn’t overly enjoy the first two movies, mostly because I found Bay’s hectic direction Too Damn Much and, frankly, I didn’t care for any of the characters.
That said, I actually enjoyed this movie. Apart from one thing: the female characters.
And I can see some people rolling their eyes and saying “Well, it’s just a big dumb action movie.” But you know what? Some day your daughter might watch that big dumb action movie and think that’s how women should be.
I’m going to try to talk about this without spoilers, so forgive any vageuness. We have two female characters in this movie: one in a position of power and one girlfriend. The woman in power wears frumpy clothes, glasses and no makeup. The girlfriend wears clingy clothes, flashes a lot of skin, has perfect makeup even in the middle of a battle.
Oh, and don’t forget this one thing: the girlfriend also spends the entire movie in stilettos.
Even in the midst of a war zone, in a building that is falling over, the powers behind the movie see fit to keep her in the damn stilettos. Seriously, I think I’d go barefoot and risk the broken glass. Or, you know, find another pair of shoes somehow.
It just makes me angry that this is still what we’re being presented with in movies. That it’s still okay that this is what we’re being presented with. If you’re a woman in a position of power, you’re not allowed to be pretty. If you’re the token girlfriend, all you have is being pretty and wearing your pretty clothes. Isn’t it about time we get to be both if we want to?
I’m not even going to start with the complete lack of logic that sees a kind-of-geeky/nerdy male character who gets attracted to women who are essentially nothing more than the pretty girl. I will give some credit in that the girlfriend did get to be a little more than arm candy – she did actually take part in the plot (but not in any way that could only have been done by her, mind). And it is implied that she has some skills in her job, but since her job is never described as being more then nebulous “organisation”, it’s pretty much useless.
I want to see the geeky guy being attracted to a girl because they have some common interests. Give me the geeky girl who is also hot (and then watch the pundits complain that said hot actress is totally unbelievable as a scientist or engineer or doctor). Let the girl take off her fricking stilettos when her city is under attack. Let her be defined by her brain as much as the fact that she looks amazing in that inappropriate-for-work white dress.
It just makes me angry that we still live here. That we’re still allowed to make and consume movies that turn women into these two-dimensional cutouts. And again, you can argue that it’s just an action movie. But even a fluffy action movie has responsibility and power to shape the world.
Mirrored from Stephanie Gunn. Please comment there.