Oh Monday. How you sneak up on me and my 3.5 readers.
The latest debate in the nerdosphere is whether or not Apocalypse should have strangled Mystique.
So if you’re not a nerd, there’s a new X-Men movie out, X-Men: Apocalypse.
The plot is that the meanest mutant of all time has been lying dormant for thousands of years, but is back and ready to conquer the world.
To promote the film, Fox put out posters featuring Apocalypse strangling Mystique (the blue bodied, orange haired shapeshifter that dudes dig because she sort of walks around naked all the time except she doesn’t have nipples or a butt crack so it’s like Marvel found a loophole to have a naked chick walk around in their movies.)
Rose McGowan, who used to be on Charmed but I can’t think of anything she’s done lately, took offense, complaining on the Interwebs that this promoted violence against women.
Eh…here’s my two cents.
Could the studio have chosen a different image to promote the movie?
Did I notice a problem until Rose McGowan said something about it?
And you could say that maybe that means I’m oblivious to the plight of violence against women but rather, I’d say you women folk have done a fine job of training me like a dog to recognize women as equals.
I saw these ads around and it didn’t pop into my mind “Oh geez. Violence against a woman.”
Nope. All I really thought was “Cool. New X-Men movie.” And if anything, I thought, “Wow. Looks like Mystique’s in a bit of a pickle with this new bad guy.”
In other words, I didn’t see the ad so much as portraying violence against a woman but rather, a superhero taking on a super villain, combined with the thought that this villain is the worst the X-Men have ever faced as even the powerful ninja shapeshifter Mystique is getting bested.
That’s what we want, right? We want Mystique to be considered just as big a bad ass as Cyclops or Wolverine, don’t we?
When I saw this ad I didn’t think “Damn it. A woman is getting abused.”
I thought, “Holy shit! Apocalypse is the scariest villain ever! If even the great and powerful Mystique can’t handle him then surely we are all fucked royally! Everyone run for your lives! Apocalypse is coming! Get me to this movie so I can see just how evil Apocalypse is and how fucked all the X-Men are, whether or not they have penises or vaginas, all X-Men are truly fucked when this monstrous villain comes along!”
I don’t mean to complain but in my opinion, there’s just never been a time like the present where men have no idea what to do to keep women happy.
- It is sexist to show Mystique getting roughed up by a male villain.
- It would also be sexist to tell Mystique she needs to sit out the fight because she’s a fragile delicate woman who couldn’t possibly defeat a man.
So…what the heck do we do then?
Equality is great and all but I have to admit there have been some times when I fear that women, in their quest for equality, may have abandoned some things that actually made them better than men.
Case in point. Ronda Rousey. Most popular female UFC fighter ever. Trained in martial arts. Can beat up the strongest dudes with her pinky finger.
Good for her and all but sometimes I’ll see female UFC fighters knocking the crap out of each other and wonder if maybe, just maybe, “knocking the crap out of each other” might have been one of those male concepts that women would have been better off had they not aspired to.
Yes, you women have the right to beat each other up in a UFC fight, but why do you want to?
I’m a man and I don’t even want to fight anyone.
But I also understand that not every man and/or woman is the same. Not every man and/or woman wants to be a fighter.
It just becomes hard for me to know what to say. If women are clamoring for more female superheroes (“Rah rah, we can fight evil just like the men!”) then you can’t have it both ways.
You can’t demand more female superheroes, put those superheroes in a position where they have to fight evil, then cry foul or “Hey! You’re being mean to a woman!” if the big bad villain knocks the female superhero around.
Because honestly, it would be easy to start getting a little old school on this. I’d rather not see women get beaten up on screen, so if women don’t want that to happen, then we can just start a movement for women to no longer be superheroes. (I’m just trying to prove a point. I don’t want women to stop being superheroes.)
Then again, I also realize this is all fantasy. Men don’t have superpowers either. But these films are make believe. We’re expected to suspend disbelief and assume these men and women have superpowers. We shouldn’t look at the men or the women as being mere fragile humans but rather superheroes with great abilities.
It’s playing pretend. These films let us fantasize about how great life would be for us if we had special powers and since these movies are open to everyone, the fantasy is easier to indulge in when each movie goer sees someone who they can relate to. Men can fantasize about being male heroes. Women can fantasize about female superheroes and so on.
Eh. I can see all the points on this. Perhaps that didn’t need to be the image they put out everywhere.
Otherwise, I don’t know women. Yes, they are many douchey men out there who get off on violence against women.
On the other hand, the majority of average, trying to do the right thing men will probably do whatever you want, because let’s face it, that’s what we do anyway.
You want us to treat you as fragile and keep you out of the superhero fights? We will. (I say we like I’m some kind of studio exec that can make this happen.)
But if you want to be superheroes and fight evil villains alongside male superheroes then that’s great too.
Just keep in mind villains like Apocalypse don’t believe in chivalry. Apocalypse isn’t going to think, “Huh. Mystique’s a woman so maybe I ought to go easier on her.”
No. Apocalypse is going to think, “This is a do-gooder superhero who is trying to get between me and my plans for world domination so I better stop her.”
Look, I don’t want to get carried away, it’s just that at the end of the day, Mystique getting strangled by Apocalypse means she’s been accepted in the world of superheroes.
Wolverine, Cyclops, Gambit, Professor X, Nightcrawler – shit. Ask any of them and they’ll tell you that getting strangled by a villain is just a hazard of the job.
You could argue it would have been sexist for Mystique to not have been strangled by Apocalypse.
Apocalypse beats up all the male heroes and then pats Mystique on the head and says, “Take a break honey?”
Please. Had that happened I would have contacted a civil rights lawyer immediately to help me voice my anti-sexism concerns.
What say you, 3.5 readers?