Reply To: Female Figures in Religion & Media

Index Forums Cognitive Functions Female Figures in Religion & Media Reply To: Female Figures in Religion & Media

Animal
Participant
  • Type: SeFi
  • Development: lll-
  • Attitude: Unseelie

@Bera @Faerie

you are very good at finding these tropes !


@Elsie
actually found this.  I am very media stupid.

The reason I can summarize these tropes is that if I see the trend in 2-3 movies, then I come to understand why people act the way they do. I see reality first, and then when I see media I discover what’s behind the brainwashing that occurs before my eyes. 😉

I am much more in tune with real life than media, so lies in the media really stand out to me when I see them.  The media ‘tropes’ hit me very hard because I don’t watch tv at all and never did, don’t watch many movies and don’t read much fiction. So when I do engage media, the bullshit really stands out to me.

Did you watch the whole video, though? The video touched on some exceptions, like in Star Trek, where the woman comes into the world ‘new’ and inexperienced, and then develops beyond that.  There are grey areas here.

Things come in shades. Yes, there are women that are into older, experienced men. There are men who are into older, experienced women. There are people who are into conductors because of the ‘wise’ vibe they give off.  There’s nothing wrong with this.  The problem is the promotion of an extreme power imbalance and an unrealistic standard for both genders.


@faerie

I also enjoy The Fifth Element, for the excitement factor, and I find her character to be really sexy and cute, but the relationship itself does nothing for me.

I haven’t seen Wonder Woman so I can’t comment on whether she’s an empathic character (to me) or not.

Mulhulland Drive actually does some amazing commentary on this trope. Gosh where do I begin. I’m going to do this inside a spoiler because I don’t want to ruin it for anyone that hasn’t seen it yet.

 

 

Spoiler:
So the plot of Mulhulland Dr. begins with a sexy brunette getting in a car crash. She forgets who she is. Another woman takes her in, a blond.

Blond falls in love with brunette. The two have a hot sexy relationship where the blond is an amazing actress, staying in a beautiful apartment in LA to begin her career, and saves the poor brunette from this terrible tragedy, thereby winning her love. A great director takes interest in casting the Blond for a major role, but he is intimidated by underhanded deals in Hollywood and is not allowed to cast her.

Then everything changes. The blond wakes up with a different name, living in a shitty apartment. She is the same actress but looks miserable and not as hot. The brunette is a successful actress who gets all the good roles and hooks up with the great director, who casts her in all the roles. Everyone’s names have switched around.

The brunette toys with the blond’s heart, inviting her places, then leaving her. The blond is a nobody, with no success, and the brunette has everything. Ultimately the blond gets a hitman to off the brunette, and shoots herself.

What we can surmise is that the first half of the movie was the blond’s fantasy. She felt powerless in her life, and in her dream life she had all the power – she was a good actress, pretty and happy and loved; and she had the resources to take in this brunette and make her fall in love with her. The brunette was “born sexy yesterday” since she had forgotten her name and had no idea who she was or where to go. The blond had all the power, and this was the sexy fantasy that turned her on and rescued her from her powerless life.

Mulhulland Dr. was a commentary on Hollywood in general; with the underhanded deals going on behind the scenes and the crime just beneath the surface of this glamorous world. It’s interesting how the movie also exposed the ‘born sexy yesterday’ fantasy for what it is; though they did it in such a real human way that made both characters empathetic and made the relationship hot. I didn’t realize he had ‘exposed this trope’ until now.

I related to the character feeling powerless, because of things that have happened in my own life to leave me in that position; and the longing to “save” or “be saved by” the men I desired. It is indeed a sexy fantasy for both parties – to save and be saved. But realistically, any relationship whose foundation relies on a power imbalance, will end up being abusive.  Love is what happens between two people who have empathy for each other and respect each other as equals.

The power imbalance being presented in such an extreme, IS an unrealistic trope, because full grown women aren’t innocent, helpless and reliant on men for basic things, and “average guys” don’t have absolute power over an ‘innocent doll’ in a real relationship. In most of these movies, unlike Mulhulland Dr – the power fantasy isn’t acknowledged for what it is. Instead it is sold as “good, ideal love story.”

Having such stories embedding ideas in our minds about ‘ideal romance’ may be harmful for the psyche.

  • It creates false expectations for women – to have no lovers in their past; to worship average nobodies when they are astoundingly beautiful themselves; to be unaware of their own sex appeal; to have no expectations of their own
  • It creates false expectations for ‘savior’ and ‘saved’ in a relationship, where in reality  relationship is a mix of both
  • It normalizes narcissism. (People of both genders might think they’re living out an ideal Hollywood romance, only to discover this ‘perfect hero’ was not so glorious after all. )

 

I appreciate Mulhulland Drive for “pulling back the curtain” and exposing the darker side of that issue.

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