This is part of my series on the gender of the 2012 big budget blockbusters. Check out the others:The Hunger Games, Prometheus, MIB3, The Avengers, Brave, Snow White and the Huntsman, Magic Mike.
Remember when I said that I didn't really know what to say about MIB3 because there weren't really women in it? Well...I should have waited until I saw Ted and Abraham Lincoln Vampire Hunter because I could have just made it a three part piece called: What Women?
In case you are unaware, Ted is Seth MacFarlane's brain child starring Mark Wahlberg. It is a "story centered on a man and his teddy bear, who comes to life as the result of a childhood wish." Abraham Lincoln is based on the book written by Seth Grahame-Smith (author of Pride and Prejudice and Zombies.) It is described as such: "Abraham Lincoln, the 16th President of the United States, discovers vampires are planning to take over the United States. He makes it his mission to eliminate them."
Listen, I'm not an idiot. I didn't go into these movies looking for a feminist hero or tale. MacFarlane, in particular, is not known for feminist-friendly humor. And true to my expectations, both films have a great deal of eye rolling-ness (with a side of racism!) All the women in these films (and there's about four of them who have speaking roles between the two flicks) are relegated to serving as accessories to men. Of course, both fail the Brechdel test epically. I don't consider the Brechdel test to be the end-all-be-all of feminist film analysis, but the level of irrelevance that women are to these stories was nicely evident as I tried to see if female characters would ever talk to one another (and not about a man).
Both movies also play into the stereotype of goodhearted women who are better than the men they are with...and yet they love the men without question. Love is a great thing, don't get me wrong, but it does get really tired to see all these men who don't deserve the women they're with. And besides, if these women are so great and amazing...why are they so important to the stories? Why don't they have their own stuff going on? Even friends at the least?
It was a pretty great sampling of the fact that 70% of speaking roles go to men.
I don't really have much else to say.