Hostility and the Feminist Critic

It’s no secret this blog ‘o mine has been receiving some undeserved neglect these past few months. Summer’s been busy, with the writing and the teaching and the moving to Inwood to live with a partner for the first time, and the writing and the teaching and the sudden unalterable nonbudging of a body allowed to be at rest for the first time since starting the second year of grad school. So I’ve been posting less and doing other stuff more (including publishing other places, working on my Brontë thesis, teaching a graphic novel class, and planning a trip to Haworth, woooo), and yet I still get the occasional comment from someone Googling through.

Most frequently it’s been comments on this post, in which I playfully excoriate Oblivion, by and large the stupidest sci-fi adventure featuring two Tom Cruises I’ve ever seen. 

Because I made the decision to critique it while being a woman possessing feminist views (despite also possessing a love of sci-fi, stating my love of sci-fi, and linking my frustration with this film to the climate in which it exists), the most lengthy comments I’ve received have been from Dudes Who Have a Problem With My Tone.

I’m not surprised, just curious. It’s no secret that some men don’t like it when the ladies get mouthy. Even the dude who likes to brand himself as the most feminist male feminist to ever feminist has issues with women’s anger (I have issues with him, also, and not to victim blame but if he could stop talking over his shoulder about how he’s really done this time, feminists who don’t drink his koolaid could get on to other, more interesting, less Schywzer-y things).

At first I rose to the “you’ll never publish this” bait and published them. Then, I looked at the annoying debate I’d been drawn into, accompanied by insults (gotta love a troll who tells you you’re imagining misogynistic sentiment in the media, probably because you’re a PMSing feminazi) and condescension and atrocious grammar. And I deleted them. And it felt better. I get to choose who speaks to me publicly in this space, and I prefer to approve people who are saying nice (even not necessarily complimentary) things.  So if you’d like to disagree with my critique, by all means do so, but if you can’t do it without being an offensive asshole, believe me the rest of the Internet is happy to accommodate you so you should take it up with them. 

But the frequency of these comments, appearing as they do on my super opinionated posts, has me thinking, what is it about a woman being pissed off that prompts douchebros to weigh in telling her not only that she’s wrong about the movie, but about misogyny in general. “Misogyny doesn’t exist, you stupid bitch, so stop complaining and go take some midol” is not exactly, not precisely the way I’d go if I wanted to convince me of anything. 

I’m allowed to be tired of objectification. I’m allowed to be tired of trivial female characters. I’m allowed to be tired of men getting all the good parts and women’s adventures being invisible once they graduate out of midriff tops. And I’d be hard pressed to see how my being tired of this shit affects you at all. If all that macho woman-erasing hullabaloo is your bag, congrats. The mainstream action movie industry is super on your side. What is the point of barging in here to tell me I’m stupid for even asking to see something original instead of something recycled in a Sarlaac’s intestine? 


Besides, I never review movies when I’m PMSing. I’d get chocolate all over the keyboard. Obv. 


PS, thanks for the recommendations, most recent troll, to other, less misogynistic movies. You’ll note I never said they didn’t exist, or that I hadn’t seen them. I agree, the 5th Element was pretty rad, and I like Mila Jovavich. But dude, Oblivion blew, and fuck you too. 

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7 Responses to Hostility and the Feminist Critic

  1. Mark and Lynda says:

    What’s this rated?

  2. Sometimes I think guys freak out about women being angry because they aren’t used to it, like a dolphin killing a shark. They’ve been conditioned to think any woman getting angry is so abnormal she’s about to go total Hulk. Which of course becomes a self fulfilling prophecy as women want to bash anyone like that Loki style on the pavement.

    We’re just supposed to smile and be happy all the time, and only suffer one or two emotional phases when we want babies or marriage or burned a roast. Anything else is abnormal and alien.

    • mkpheartsnyc says:

      Ha, you could be on to something. I think we’re not supposed to be mad, and we’re definitely not supposed to be mad at stuff that dudes aren’t mad at, because if it needed to be madded-at, dudes would be doing it already.

  3. TMP says:

    Their insecurity is delicious if one can develop the stomach for it.

  4. mkpheartsnyc says:

    I bet everyone just fights to sit next to you at parties, don’t they?

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