Growing up, feminists were women who didn’t wear bras, didn’t need men and were generally unpleasant to be around. Things have since changed (read: I have changed) and I now understand that this world needs women who will stand up for women. It needs men who will defend women. It needs healthy representations of the female figure.
You know, like those in the film, Mercenaries…
With an all-star cast that includes Brigitte Nielsen, Vivica A. Fox and Kristanna Loken, the women in this movie fight like men to rescue one of their own from one of their own. On the surface, it’s a story that’s supposed to empower women and put women on the same level as men like Stallone, van Damme and Seagal…
I am woman, hear me roar.
…Except the main antagonist is a woman, implying that a woman isn’t good enough to battle a man on the same level as a man. You can argue I am reading into things, that having a woman portray a villain is just as empowering as having a woman play the hero, but stick with me here… In most mainstream movies, when there’s a woman fighting beside a man, her role is the fight the woman fighting beside the actual bad guy (e.g. Sandra Bullock’s character in Demolition Man). So then for a woman to fight another woman can only mean that she is not good enough to fight a man.
Now please understand, I’m not saying that a woman must fight a man to be equal. This is not what feminism is about. It’s about recognizing the differences and respecting what the other has to bring to the table. It’s about being yourself.
I’ve seen lots of cheesy, poorly made films that portray women as everything they’re not (yeah, I watch more television than I should), but as I get older, I find my choices in what I watch (and read) have changed, just like my views have. I desire to see us women as we really are – gentler, intuitive and sensitive; but also bitchy and kick ass when we need to be, like only we can be.
We are distinctively female – that’s a beautiful thing.