With theaters â particularly larger theaters â chock full of men’s stories, where did the women go?
An interesting piece on NPR about this writer noting that the vast majority of movies out right now are about men or ensembles of men with women in a supporting role.
I also thought this was of note:
They put up Bridesmaids, we went. They put up Pitch Perfect, we went. They put up The Devil Wears Prada, which was in two-thousand-meryl-streeping-oh-six, and we went (and by “we,” I do not just mean women; I mean we, the humans), and all of it has led right here, right to this place. Right to the land of zippedy-doo-dah. You can apparently make an endless collection of high-priced action flops and everybody says “win some, lose some” and nobody decides that They Are Poison, but it feels like every “surprise success” about women is an anomaly and every failure is an abject lesson about how we really ought to just leave it all to The Rock.
Part of the problem with the “they’re just doing what sells” argument is the assumption that comics/movie/gaming industries are all made of purely objective beings of energy and thought rather than human beings who come with their own biases, and who can also tend to prefer the safe status quo that are affected by those biases. If a Catwoman or Elektra flops, it’s chalked up to people not wanting to watch movies with women in them, but if a Jonah Hex or Green Lantern do poorly, that’s not assumed to be the fault of those movies having male leads. As the piece says for men, a movie failing can be seen as the cost of doing business, rather than an indictment of the movie having a lead of a certain gender. If the “common knowledge” in Hollywood is that movies with women don’t sell, it can lead to confirmation bias, where ones that do are flukes (or not about having a female lead), and ones that don’t are proof that people don’t want to see women in lead roles (and not about the promotion of the movie, or the writing, or the acting, or etc).
Anyway, I wanted to share this because I thought some people might find it of interest. :)
A couple years ago I was in talks to option a Dresden Codak film, and was politely told that “female leads are a hard sell,” and asked how married I was to the fact that my protagonist is a woman. Suffice it to say, I ended up not wanting to make a Dresden Codak film.
What bugs me about “women don’t sell” is that not only is demonstrably not true, even if it were true, that’s not a valid excuse! If filmmakers discovered that the best selling movie concept was just 90 minutes of a puppy being beaten, I’d hope they’d at least give a pause.
Once again, women are subjected to a double-standard. If a male-led film fails, it’s because the film is bad. If a female-led film fails, it’s because “women don’t sell.”
In short, screw you, Hollywood, my lady-hero comic is successful, and it’s hardly the only one!
Sharing this too, because I did not know this.
Reblogging this here because I just got in an argument with my cousin about this very topic on Facebook and I got so overheated I knew I couldn’t formulate a coherent argument so I just stopped replying. I don’t want to get back into it with him but I just want to put this here because it makes me so happy that there are others out there who agree with me and who are awesome and smart and working to change things.
The Slow Descent into Unseeing
When my mother was my age, she had a six year old (my sister) and a five year old (me), and was starting back to work full time. The last thing she was thinking about was going blind.
But she probably should have thought about it.
This is on the verge of heartbreaking. But I have no doubt you’d find a way. You would cope. It’s what people do. Sometimes I fear losing my vision—not for any good reason; just because I’m a worrier. I’m an artist, a very definitely visual artist. I don’t know what that would mean. But I’m confident that my passion is part of me, not dependent on some particular action I perform. If I couldn’t draw anymore, it would be difficult and heartbreaking and would require me to completely realign what I know of myself… but I know eventually I would pick myself up and redirect my passion somewhere else. Because drawing is just the way I’m expressing my passion. The passion will always be there, looking for a new way to emerge.
Another quick figure sketch.
I’ve been doing a bunch of quick figure drawings lately to keep my hand in until I start on my next big project. I’ll post some here just for fun.
I’ve lost track of the source of this photo reference; it was in a big set of figure drawing poses I downloaded awhile back. If it’s yours, let me know and I’ll add a link.
This was done in Photoshop CS6 with a wacom intuos5 tablet in about half an hour.
My job today: come up with and enter unique keywords and descriptions for 150 pages of a website about mechanical contracting. This is … not what I thought a career in graphic design would be.
Fandoms by age:
Scuse me I’ve loved Hannibal Lecter and Will Graham for like fifteen years. Books!!
Hunger games: 4 years old
Supernatural: 7 years old
Percy Jackson: 7 years old
Harry Potter: 15 years old
Buffy the Vampire Slayer: 15 years old
(20 if you include the earlier movie)
Star Trek: 46 years old
Doctor who: 49 years old
Marvel: 73 years old
(Formerly timely comics)
Lord of the Rings: 75 years old
Sherlock: 125 years old
Merlin: 876 years old
You’ve lived a remarkably long life, Merlin fandom.
Hannibal fandom: like two weeks or something
“elementary doesn’t feel like sherlock holmes.”
I’ve been hearing this claim a lot lately, in various forms, and it’s a little bit unsettling. “Elementary is great, if you just forget that his name is Sherlock.” “He just seems like a clever guy whose name happens to be Sherlock.” “I’m just not feeling Sherlock Holmes from this character.”
There seems to be one “logical” justification that people tend to use, that there is too much changed from the canon to be called Sherlock Holmes (which I will probably address in a later post.)
Instead of the “logical” focus, I thought about the gut reaction portion of it for a bit I think and I figured out why people don’t ~*~feel~*~ Sherlock Holmes in Elementary. And that is that we as audience members of his crime solving adventures, the way he employs his deductions are different from the “Sherlocky” method that is usually employed. The thing is, I don’t think that the “deviation” in deduction style is either substantive or significant.
When Sherlockians think Shelock-style deductions, we usually think wild, rapid-fire conclusions that seem to come out of nowhere that are later explained by joining strenuous networks of circumstances that happen upon something true. What we’ve found over the course of Elementary is that our Sherlock deploys his deductions a bit differently.
Of course, he does have his spurts of “traditionally Sherlockian deductions.” He deduces that Joan is a former surgeon, that a patient died on her table, each of his deductions explained later. He finds Moran seemingly miraculously, and calculates the vehicle where thieves have gone with only set of tire tracks. Among other moments, he sounds and feels more like Holmes is traditionally portrayed.
Why? Because when he initially announces deductions, they stimulate the surprise and admiration in his audience because his conclusions seem impossible to come to. It’s only later when he explains how he comes to these conclusions that we feel quite silly after understanding the clever yet simple logical jumps that Sherlock is able to make. There is wonder from the audience (and Watson, famously, in the canon and other adaptions) in the ways of Sherlock’s enigma and independence of thought. He is mysterious and unreachable in his ability.
The original Sherlock Holmes explains it adeptly in A Study in Scarlet:
“I’m not going to tell you much more of the case, Doctor. You know a conjuror gets no credit when once he has explained his trick, and if I show you too much of my method of working, you will come to the conclusion that I am a very ordinary individual after all.”
But our Sherlock in Elementary is different. The story was never about him. It was never about how he has a superior intellect or can blow everyone away with his deductions. The story was always about leading his spectators through his thinking process. It was always about working with Joan and Bell and Gregson as equally intelligent people to solve the crimes. It was always about relaying his thinking process out loud, so that everyone reaches the finish line of understanding at the same time instead of leaving his colleagues and his audience in the dust.
The story was always about our dear Watson learning by his side, about her working her way through the cases and receiving feedback from Sherlock as she improves as an investigator. We can see the very poignant message of the story in Snow Angels:
SHERLOCK: They came out of EROC with $33 million in small bills. They loaded their haul onto an ambulance American-made in the late nineties. They haven’t been gone more than an hour.
JOAN: The driver had a lazy eye, the other two men had basketball caps, and one has canine lupus. See how it feels?
If that isn’t a hit in the face I don’t know what is. The tradition of Sherlock Holmes expects us to be impressed with Sherlock’s deductions that come seemingly out of nowhere. We are supposed to applaud his talent and expect an explanation later. Not so in Elementary. From the get-go - the very first episode - Watson establishes that this behavior is patronizing, immature, and unacceptable. The showy shimmer of Sherlock’s deductions is soured once we realize that it actually makes more sense to be upset about Sherlock leaving us behind in the dust, rather than struck with wonder. It’s this arrogant, showy behavior that feels like Sherlock Holmes, but also manages to make everyone around Holmes feel inferior.
If that’s what it means for Sherlock to “feel like Sherlock Holmes” then I don’t want it.
I want our Sherlock, who is still incredibly intelligent and can make great logical leaps without pause, who has a vast knowledge of useful topics for crime-solving, who thinks and acts in such a peculiar way that is characteristic of the Sherlock Holmes from so long ago. There’s no question that Elementary’s Sherlock is Sherlock Holmes. The difference is that he is able to prove himself able to grow and develop as a person, willing to accommodate others. Sherlock Holmes from canon was afraid of being an ordinary man. Sherlock Holmes from Elementary has no qualms with helping make extraordinary of “ordinary” people. And that doesn’t subtract from the integrity of Sherlock Holmes at all.
I like this. Elementary’s Sherlock is, to me, much more like my read of canon Holmes than BBC Sherlock is. I’m not sure where we got the idea that Holmes is a cold-hearted psychopath. That’s not canon to me at all, that’s not Sherlock Holmes to me at all. (Don’t get me wrong, it’s an interesting interpretation, just not the only one; BBC Sherlock feels way less “Sherlock Holmes” to me than Elementary does). I think JLM’s impression of an eccentric, perhaps mildly autistic, somewhat arrogant, brilliant but fundamentally warm-hearted and absolutely enamored of humanity Sherlock is very much the Holmes I know and love from canon. Canon Holmes’ coldness is, to me, much more a factor of the era and Victorian/Edwardian sensibilities than it is a feature of his specific character. No doubt he is quite eccentric but his driving forces, to me, have always been more about his love for humanity and his drive for justice than about showing off. Well, maybe a little showing off. :)