Are Apes Sexist? Yes, According to Hollywood

7 thoughts on “Are Apes Sexist? Yes, According to Hollywood”

  1. I don’t understand why this movie needed any female characters at all; never mind if they were strong or weak. After the society was decimated, women’s rights went on the back burner. Hey, society just got decimated. Gender equality was maybe less important than survival for the whole group just then. The story was about two distrustful groups, fearful of the “other”, who had to negotiate what sort of relationship they should have. There was division within and between these groups, and this movie explored those warring (pun intended) ideas. There was a neat symmetry between those who would strive for peace between the two groups, and those who only care about their own. As far as the dialogue? It made sense to me that the apes hadn’t become quite as eloquent or fluent or however you want to put it so that the way they spoke didn’t seem stilted. The ideas got through just fine.

    Maybe think of it this way – If you watched the Avengers, did you have any issues with the lack of people of color/ non-Americans represented in the Avengers movie? Not counting Loki or Thor… who are played by gorgeous white guys… all the heroes were either American or Russian. I only thought of this WAAAY after watching it. Why? Because the movie is awesome, and Joss Whedon is both brilliant and hilarious. Anyone who thought the Avengers was sexist because of Loki’s “mewling quim” line really misunderstood the context, and are too uptight for their own good.

    If we can let the Avengers slide (and let’s absolutely do that!) for only having white American guys (and one kick-ass Russian) save the world then why not let the Dawn of the Planet of the Apes slide because they didn’t bother to check the “has enough strong/relevant female” characters box?

    1. Also, I would like to add that I love Breakfast at Tiffany’s an Cat On a Hot Tin roof despite the problematic depictions of race in both movies. I enjoyed reading “Kim” by Kipling even though I find the politics of it highly offensive. Kipling was funny. Just because a work of art is not PC, does not detract from its other merits.

    2. Hey, thanks for commenting on this post. I have a problem with Hollywood representation all around, however, I particularly notice gender roles. Women are not a minority. We are over half the population, so sometimes it can get very confusing to mix minority arguments with women rights. I don’t want to get into that conversation, but Hollywood is notoriously sexist. Also, the Avengers do have one African American character, if you will remember. “Has enough relevant female characters” is not a box to check: it’s a deliberate omission, as is the usual omission of minority in any popular movie. I invite you to reconsider your tastes. (And I did watch the Avengers, and enjoyed it to a degree, but not particularly happy with the way females are either the usual trophy wives or female versions of Arnold Swartzenagger. There is a female entity that should be and IS perfectly acceptable, but it never seems to find its way into popular story telling, least of all in movies).

      1. So, to explain about the gender roles, if Hollywood were really representative of our population, in a movie where ten actors had roles, 6 of them would have to be women, 3 of them African American, 2 of them Latino, 1 of them “other.” When does that happen? Minorities often get represented well before women do, so that’s why I don’t like to mix an argument with the two. See Obama as first African American President, and also the fact that African Americans have explicit voting rights, but women still don’t.

  2. In that case, it is not a parody. It is, and likely will continue to be, recent history. SO, brilliant? you know I don’t think so, and neither do you.. Perhaps we need to invent a new mode of asshole puerile fiction that accounts for this, and that we can take advantage of. Why not. It isn’t as if anyone is watching.

  3. I understand your point of view, Laura. Let me hasten to add here that this is one of the worst movies of the last five years, and it is perhaps better that female actors did not have to go down with this particular ship. Nor, if you actually look at the script (as written) would you find ANY place for a female ape OR female human with a significant role. I know, you will tell me that the problem is the writing all along, but the premise, the actual BASE of the film precludes a significant female role. Think of this as a bad WWII movie with apes as the Japanese and humans as the Americans on some accursed Pacific Island. Or vice versa. There might be a nurse, or a hooker, but there will not be a significant female. THAT is pop culture Hollywood. Welcome to the New World, my love.

    1. A female role, a significant one, not a she-warrior ridiculous one, could have easily been written in. It’s post-apocalyptic San Francisco: there are women in the army now. What about the dude fidgeting with the radio: could that not have been a woman doing that? What about female ape telling Koba, “You always take things too far, and you snore, and you fart, and you’re a dead beat father, and you’re not even pretty. Take that gun and go play with your boys. I ain’t waiting around for you to come back any more.” The fact that none of the many writers, actors, producers and financieers of this flick saw the need to have an intelligent female role to supplement the minor part of the doctor/healer is just as telling of our current mindset as is the idea that the film would make it because apes are handling guns. Perhaps the whole thing is supposed to be a parody of exactly what we are: apes going apeshit with guns and pretending that 50% of the world’s population doesn’t exist, and the other 49% is inferior to us and can be caged and subdued. In which case, it’s brilliant.

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