Okay so this doesn’t really tie into being roundly shaped or fat rights. It is more related to my budding feminism awareness in the world around me. The hubby and I went to see the second Transformers movie on Tuesday. A lot of it was similar to the first film (aptly described here) While it was certainly a fantastic smash of metal action blurring across the screen and blood-pumping “RAWR” fight scenes there are a few twitchy little problems I had with it that I wanted to write down and let percolate here for a bit. There are plenty of spoilers for anyone who hasn’t watched it. If you wish to see it without an influenced mind; please beware.
**Spoilers Start About Here**
So, we have this great movie about robots that come to Earth and want to protect us by being cars and watching us in the background; transforming to bad-ass butt-kicking robot-machines any time we really need the help. Sure, fine. I can suspend disbelief in order to enjoy a brainless summer fluff movie. I can even forgive that the movie was basically a ludicrous twisting of a childhood favorite, filled with blatant and subtle inaccuracies; I’ll just pretend it is not quite the same world but still full of cool freakin’ giant robots: I dig it. I even love that the awkward lovers’ quarrel section of the movie was only about a minute long: rock on! And hey, you didn’t really rag too much on the fat father figure either so that was mildly pleasant.
What I DON’T really like is how about halfway through the movie I REALLY began to feel a lack of any female parts of any importance in the film. It was NOTICEABLE just how few females of any kind were in this movie. Let me rephrase: There very few women at all and there are no freaking useful women roles ANYWHERE in this damn movie. Anywhere. There is a Decepticon woman at the start (because, you know, apparently the transformers are now able to become people just like the second terminator or something) who is trying to …I guess rape the male lead? It isn’t clear if she wants to kill him or just try to screw information out of him really. But right, right I said I wouldn’t forget to suspend disbelief…fine. So we do have this sexed-up college-kitten of a robot. Check.
Other than this “evil” woman (who gets killed near the beginning by the way so her pretty powerful persona is squashed almost as soon as we discover how bad-ass she could have been); we have one other woman: the girlfriend. Big boobs, copious hair-flipping and lip closeups; able to run through basically a robot war zone with scarcely a scratch or smudge on her un-wrinkled clothing…but she does nothing of note. Aside from providing eye-candy in a border-line porn-esque manner at points; she really serves no useful purpose. She runs around with the male lead while holding his hand and looks worried.
Oh, okay. She does two things of note in the entire almost 3 hour movie: she “captures” a mini Decepticon that at one point humps her freaking leg and she is driving the car when it smashes the previously mentioned succubus Decepticon into a light pole (which is apparently more lethal to a transformer than being completely slammed into a stone building by another huge freaking robot…but again; whatever. Suspended disbelief.) Those are her two contributions. In almost 3 hours of film.
Otherwise she only runs, cries, and is even incapable of performing basic CPR on the lead male character, her boyfriend. (Though hey, the movie-magic of Girl-Tears brings him back to life basically anyways so YAY!)
The male lead’s mother is the only other line-having woman of any note…and all SHE does is cry about her “baby” leaving to college; somehow get and act “drunk” on one weed brownie (embarrassing Sam in a mortifying and stupid string of ways; all for his first day of college); and convince Sam’s father that Sam really should be left alone to grow up… or something… later in the film.
What you do NOT see is any sort of woman in the US/Jordanian armed forces portrayed throughout the film. Not as a captain, not even a lieutenant. No one. All men or boys dressed for war. No women marines or ground troops (even on the US part of the film, not even going into the Jordan/Egypt part). Not a single female of non-sexy eye-candy status to be seen. In almost 3 hours. Nothing. Also, the only female transformers aside from “sex-bot” are three motorcycles who get blasted away the moment they have a freaking spoken line.
I mean…come ON! Not even ONE competent female character? Either emotional stereotypes of the mother or girlfriend…or a bad-guy sex-a-tron killed off in the first 1/3rd of the film? What about the female autobots’ leader of the Autobots??? If indeed she was intended to be one of those three motorbike women, what the frick? She’s incapable of not basically RUNNING INTO bullets?!??! And how about some of her fellow autobot women? ANYTHING! I mean sure, even back in the 80’s there were few female autobots: but at they at least EXISTED and were halfway COMPETENT!!!
I guess what I’d like to say is that more people in the entertainment industry than just Disney/Pixar needs to hear this cry: No More “Princesses”! Please? Can we have some intelligent, strong, witty FEMALE leads? Or even secondary characters whose main point of interest isn’t how they mange to drape their half-naked asses around a motorcycle as they paint it with a sexy demon “tattoo”?
No more of this useless “Running along with the lead character just because the guys want to see boobs bouncing despite the fact that the female character attached to those breasts is actually useless for the majority of the film” crap, okay? Let the MAN be dragged around for a bit while the woman character figures the puzzle out using her BRAIN, right? (You know, that bit of gray matter about a foot above her tits?) How about a few females in the military (because yeah saying in the credits “Thanks to the men and women of the armed forces” really doesn’t say as much as actually HAVING a similar representation of both sexes in a movie).
In short: Not just “Guys” dig giant robots beating on each other. How about a bit of representation here? No? Shame. Just think of the amazing market there would be for a film with strong male AND female characters… you can even keep the sex-bot crap (maybe toss in a MALE sex-bot…eh, eh?)…just stop with the useless female princess stereotype already mass entertainment!!!