I have mixed feelings about James Cameron as a director and artist. By all accounts, he’s a nightmare employer, one of those directors who go mad with power. On the other side, he’s created some of the most indelible female protagonists in the history of film, from Ripley in Aliens (which, granted, was the sequel) to Linda Connor in Terminator and Rose in Titanic. He was also married to Kathryn Bigelow and Linda Hamilton and both marriages ended in disaster (Bigelow and Cameron are still professional friends though, and he’s often credited with nurturing her talent as a director). James Cameron is a mixed bag, basically: either he’s a bastard who does some good things, or he’s a brilliant feminist who has many a–hole qualities. Cameron has a new interview with The Guardian and man, his “hot take” on Wonder Woman and feminism has stirred up some controversy. Here are some highlights from the Guardian piece:
What he thought of Wonder Woman: “All of the self-congratulatory back-patting Hollywood’s been doing over Wonder Woman has been so misguided. She’s an objectified icon, and it’s just male Hollywood doing the same old thing! I’m not saying I didn’t like the movie but, to me, it’s a step backwards. Sarah Connor was not a beauty icon. She was strong, she was troubled, she was a terrible mother, and she earned the respect of the audience through pure grit. And to me, [the benefit of characters like Sarah] is so obvious. I mean, half the audience is female!”
Why Hollywood has a hard time creating strong female characters: “I don’t – I don’t know. There are many women in power in Hollywood and they do get to guide and shape what films get made. I think – no, I can’t account for it. Because how many times do I have to demonstrate the same thing over again? I feel like I’m shouting in a wind tunnel!”
On independent women, ex-wives: “Being attracted to strong independent women has the downside that they’re strong independent women – they inherently don’t need you! Fortunately, I’m married now to a strong independent woman who does believe she needs me.”
He’s not a Trump fan: “There’s nothing that he’s done since he took office that should surprise anyone, but it’s about as horrific as it can be. At a critical point in history when we should have been making progress, we’re going in the wrong direction. The toll in human misery in the future was going to be big anyway, and it’s now going to be greater.”
“She’s an objectified icon, and it’s just male Hollywood doing the same old thing! I’m not saying I didn’t like the movie but, to me, it’s a step backwards. Sarah Connor was not a beauty icon.” Yeah, but… why can’t a female protagonist be smart, tough, empathetic AND beautiful? By dismissing Wonder Woman as an “objectified icon,” he’s basically saying that women – in real life or on film – can’t be taken seriously if they A) care about their appearance, B) are found to be attractive and are therefore objectified by men, and C) are anything but makeup-free, gun-toting, stripped-of-femininity ballbusters. James Cameron totally mansplained feminism TO WONDER WOMAN.
A statement from Patty Jenkins:
— Patty Jenkins (@PattyJenks) August 25, 2017
Photos courtesy of WENN.
James Cameron I don’t remember who asked your opinion. Also we know he’s not a feminist either so…
It was the Guardian. 🙂
I haven’t watched the movie. But looking at pictures, it just seems the same old things to me. Hot female superhero in minimal clothing.
Yes, but with great storytelling too.
I especially appreciated the fight scene of women vs men at the beginning of the movie. So apt for what is happening in our societies today.
I watched the movie and thought bland boring superhero story, women in minimal clothing. Same ol same ol.
Yup. It absolutely objectifies her (why else does it keep insisting on telling us how hot she is) and all female interaction is dropped after the first half. Meh.
Functional clothing that was designed to resemble ancient armor. But you know facts.
Agree with you Snowflake, everyone seems to forget who created Wonder Woman :
Read the article, Moulton clearly created a dominatrix fantasy hidden behind a feminist message.
But the women who interpreted the story for the 21st century did not go along with the original fantasy.
@merritt thx for that link. that’s a really cool article about the costumes. i completely agree with the author’s argument about intent. the amazons do look sexy, but also badass and ready to battle.
Yep, nothing new to see here. I thought the movie was utterly bland and frankly not good at times, so it came as a huge shock when people on this site said they were crying. Clearly I missed some memo on this film.
Me too. Boring and generic.
Not the same old thing at all. The lack of male gaze in the direction of the film is striking and crystal clear. An absolute credit to the female director.
James Cameron is entitled to his opinion but he also said Terminator Genesis was a good movie so….yeah.
+1 I agree! Yes, she was hot, which, let’s be frank, was unfortunately necessary to sell the film, but the gaze didn’t dwell on it. Far more emphasis on her power, bravery, nobility, and even tenderness. The portrayal of the badass Amazons to me was strikingly distinct. The script had some weaknesses, but I was impressed overall.
I find it strange that some people are now saying
the movie was bland because a man told them WW was being objectified. I didn’t see the disgust for the movie when the reviews first came out and we talked about it all over C/B.
And yes she was created for the male gaze but how long ago was that. Step out of the past ladies and leave that way of thinking behind you. It’s like you’re agreeing with this pretend feminist that only unattractive women can be smart, powerful and strong. Patty Jenki s said it all. Oh and BTW we know the male superheroes were created for fanboys but guess what now they are for the female gaze as well, why else make them so handsome and and pleasing to the eyes. There’s a reason why most male heroes almost always never go without a movie where they shirts are not off.
I’m excited. I haven’t seen it yet. But I’ve only really heard good things about it from everyone who isn’t my dad, ahha. He focuses so much on the historical inaccuracy of movies…especially war era films because he’s super into that sort of thing. So he was grumbling about how it wasn’t the best or whatever, and I’m like
“Wait. WAIT. Hold up. You’re telling me…that a movie about an amazonian demi-god with magic accessories isn’t realistic? What has the world come to!? It’s about time we riot!” and he just kind of was like “Okay… fair. It’s entertaining.”
Agreed. And the fact that it wasn’t about the male gaze is what helped the film. And despite the complaints about her costume up thread, it was designed to be like armor worn by ancient warriors.
@ V4real, if you have time to scroll the archives I’m pretty sure I said about the same thing when I first saw the movie. So did a few others. I dislike most superhero movies, gave this one a chance because of all the buzz and was not impressed. The love interest irked me because it just seemed like a device used to shoe horn a dude into a lead role. And playing victorian misogyny for laughs wasn’t that funny imo. I remember thinking that if a black dude was assumed to be the slave/servant of the white guy no one would be laughing. Implying that women who don’t agree with you must get their opinions from men instead of thinking for themselves is worse than anything Cameron said.
‘Ancient warriors’ lol
Honestly, read Whedon’s take for what a male gaze Wonder Woman looks like. In comparison, the first 20 or so minutes of Wonder Woman. I don’t know if I’ve ever seen a movie with so many bad ass ladies being BAMFs.
I was pleasantly surprised and happy with how WW was treated in the movie. Jenkins deserves all the accolades.
The Romans wore skirts into battle that were very similar in design to Gadot’s costume.
Merrit: Roman Soldiers wore a tunic under their armour, definitely not a skirt. A Roman soldier was hella more covered up than that costume.
At best, the WW costumes have elements of Roman-esque in inspiration, and only very lightly so.
Like i said it was inspired by the Romans. It is also far more functional for fighting than previous versions of the WW costume. The bodice on all the Amazon costumes was secure, none of them looked like a wardrobe malfunction waiting to happen.
The point of this reimagined WW as celebrated by the world is that it’s not supposed to pander to the male gaze and it’s supposed to be a feminist WW, yet the costumes were barely there which makes a mockery of all that.
And before you say it, Superman’s costume was changed from the long established pants on the outside costume of old.
The Xmen costumes were changed from yellow spandex to leather jumpsuits (Exception Mustique, and the lingering shots of her naked blue body remains problematic)
This WW costumes could have been changed completely to reflect the message they were trying to convey because minimal clothing undermines the message and is simply same ol same ol.
i agree, it looks like the same old same old.
they should have gotten emily ratajkowski to play her. “i’m a feminist and stop talking about my tits but here look at my tits, please.”
Well Superman’s clothing is kind….tight. He’s covered but isnt he being objectified too? James Cameron is a step backwards.
And i always wonder why no one tells him that he is wearing his pants on the outside!!!
There is a lot of homo-eroticsm embedded in the comic book images and screen portrayals of male Superheroes, as farcified by The Ambiguously Gay Duo on SNL. Male gaze is not limited to women.
snowflake: I agree. Watched the trailer and hated it. I don’t understand all the noise about this movie at all. To me, a Swedish woman, it seems incredibly American to get this excited about such a stale role model as Wonder woman. I’m lucky to live in a country where gender issues are a lot further ahead than they seem to be in the U.S. I lived for a couple of years in America as a teenager, went to highschool etc, and it both shocked and appalled me how deep the misogyny ran in American culture and society and how trapped men and women still were in their gender roles. Granted this was 20 years ago and I hope that a lot of things have moved forward for women in America since then but judging from the actions of your new president and all the misogyny present in your media’s representations of reality I feel…not very optimistic.
I really have to agree with Kaiser’s take on this — why can’t a strong female figure also be beautiful and sexual? I think it disempowers women to have to deny their beauty or their sexuality in order to be taken seriously. I thought this depiction of Wonder Woman was refreshingly balanced in that way: her strength and determination were never overwhelmed by her physical attractiveness, and Gal Gadot’s appearance is (or appears to me to be) far more natural and unenhanced than we see with most Hollywood actresses.
I like Patty‘s response and I agree with her. I didn’t particularly enjoy WW to be honest and felt the praise was a bit over the top.
I cringed whenever Gal opened her mouth, she‘s so bad.
I liked the second half of her response. but how she responded is the core problem of feminism. The first part of her response basically say your opinion is invalid because you are not a woman. Dismissing half of the population is not a great way to win all the non feminist to our side. What she said after is absolutely right, but we really need to get rid of the narrative that men doesn’t matter (or the perception that feminist thinks men doesn’t matter).
We really need to stop telling men, their opinion doesn’t matter because they are a man. Everyone is entitled to their own opinion. You can tell them they are wrong and why they are wrong. Or that you disagree with him, but dismissing him just because of his gender.. Is a step backwards.
And men like Cameron, with a history of treating women poorly, should stop mansplaining when it comes to feminism.
So what you’re saying is, because we don’t want to offend men, we should continue letting them tell us what should and should not be empowering? You’re going with that?
what i’m saying is the point for feminism is equality not female superiority. There is no equality if we are completely dismissing other people’s opinion because they are a man.
I am not saying he is right. I am saying we can disagree with him and inform him why and how he is wrong. But its a step back in equality if you just go, your opinion doesn’t matter because you are not a woman.
I never said we should sit back and let him dictate what is empowering. When someone is wrong, you are suppose to tell them why they are wrong. Man or woman. You don’t go, oh your opinion doesn’t matter because you are not the correct gender.
Meh, that’s his opinion. He’s entitled to it. Instead of focusing on a movie character, I’ll agree with what he says about Trump and the “toll of human misery.”
Ripley is a Dan Bannon/Ridley Scott creation…..
James Cameron was hired only after the first TERMINATOR film became a hit. And Sarah Oconnor in that first film is a helpless damsel in distress. She’s amazing in T2. Definitely doesn’t need rescuing or need to be rescued.
James Cameron directed the first terminator movie
She’s referencing that Cameron was hired on to Aliens 2 only after the original Terminator was a hit. He didn’t create Ripley.
Nothing more annoying than a man trying to tell women what a ‘strong independent woman’ should look like and be.
You tell him Jenkins!
Seriously!!! Take several seats, Mr. Cameron.
Look up mansplaining & when you’ve copied the word & definition a hundred times, then you can go.
Cameron just doesn’t quite get it.
He’s right about Trump though and the terrible direction we’re going in.
Hot take: He mad Wonder Woman did better and wants to blame boys drooling.
I think Wonder Woman’s success was mostly female driven though, unlike Terminator? I don’t have any stats or numbers just a vague feeling.
I know I only went with girlfriends to see it because it was a woman lead actor/woman director combo as not a Marvel fan.
I wanted the figures/sales to count and did the same with Atomic Blond because of Charlize Theron and ofcourse, McAvoy was easy on the eye…
I went to WW with gfs for the same reasons, I honestly didn’t have hgue hopes, but it exceeded them quite handily.
I didn’t for Atomic though, and should have.
I love T2. I love the arc from the first film to the second one, however taken individually, Sarah Connor makes me cringe in movie 1. Then again, most roles for women in action films from the 80s were ‘helpless damsel in distress’ roles. Or ‘bitch on wheels’. I found i preferred the later to the former. At least the later was charting their own course rather than sitting around waiting to be rescued or screaming helplessly at every.little.thing.
Yeah, I’m with you with that. I liked the Bitch on Wheels better than the damsels too, but if you look deeper neither are great I guess. The Bitch on Wheels at least got respect for the most part though, and wasn’t an accessory.
I actually get what he’s saying to a certain extent. However, it doesn’t apply to WW. She is supposed to be all things at once. Beautiful, tough, understanding, compassionate, but strong. And she’s supposed to look good doing it because she’s a demigod. I liked WW and enjoyed it, however, people tend to overhype things, and that happened with this movie. It wasn’t some huge feminist coup and that’s FINE. It was definitely still enjoyable and kudos to Patty on her response.
Also, if he doesn’t think men objectified Sarah Conner then he hasn’t been around enough men…or read the internet.
I think it became overhyped because women in lead roles are disappearing. Especially in big studio popcorn films. In a strange way, woman leading popcorn movie has become a unicorn genre. Since it is increasingly rare, when it happens, all the frustration, celebration, imaginings, expectations etc are projected onto the film and anyone who dares criticise it is viewed negatively.
Agreed, that definitely happened here. No movie can be all things to all people.
Why is he saying women can only have one idol? Men get to have tons of heroes/anti-heroes to model after because men are different-but women? Nope choose one! Wonder Woman! Ripley! Sarah Connor! You are not people and are all the same and so can only have one icon. *eye roll* It doesn’t have to be all or nothing.
And of course only the gritty model that he ‘created’ is acceptable. Never mind that Sarah Conor ran around with a thin tank top and no bra the entire second movie-she’s gritty and real so HIS objectification of her is just fine.
I wonder how many angels he thinks can dance on the head of a pin. Or, if there’s any there, there.
What a yutz.
I’m totally a feminist and I believe in strong women in film (which I created, by the way and I did it first and tried to tell everyone and no one is listening about this great thing I said) and like, strong women are okay in real life, as long as they still let me tell them what to do.
Also, Avatar sucked and I don’t know why one sequel is necessary, let alone four.
Yeah, his comment about being so attracted to strong women made me heave a little.
James Cameron is resting on the laurels of 2 female characters (one that he didn’t even create) from movies that are decades old at this point. He’s not “shouting into the wind”, he’s standing on the sidelines. Because James Cameron is absolutely in a position to affect change. He can help get projects made, he can help nurture talent. Look at Ryan Murphy, who is doing just that.
“James Cameron is resting on the laurels of 2 female characters (one that he didn’t even create) from movies that are decades old at this point. ”
Here’s James Cameron explaining how he created Zoe Saldana’s character in Avatar:
Spoiler alert: it’s all about her “tits” (his words, not mine obviously) and how she’s supposed to be super hot because it’s so difficult for men to deal with women in real life, or something.
But thanks for digging that one up.
Bridget, You’re right, he’s sidelined & so adorably out of touch.
Sigh, how disappointing. :/
Notice that I didn’t include any of Avatar’s characters in my statement.
James Cameron thinks he’s this great feminist ally, but the reality is that he has done nothing beyond talk for years. His roles for women aren’t particularly great, and he leers. Did Kate Winslet really need to be naked for Titanic? Did Zoe Saldana’s cartoon boobs need to be a thing? If James Cameron wanted to see change, he is absolutely in a position to do something. But instead he’s just a gross old dude mansplaining Wonder Woman to us.
Well said, Bridget. He can and SHOULD help more women tell more women centric stories that involve our badassery. But he seems too caught up in defending his own place in the pantheon.
His attitude is old fashioned in terms of feminism and hasn’t progressed which is why his statement doesn’t boil my blood. 30 years ago women were trying to get away from the pressure to be perfect beauties who were expected to be reflections of male desire. It is important to take his comments in that context. It was still common for bosses to use the excuse not to promote women because she might want a child one day. There were no gay rights. RB music that became popular was called crossovers and Whitney Houston was the exception, not the rule. Madonna was scandalous. It was a different world then. Feminism was much narrower because the struggle was still trying to find our place and identity in society.
He missed the mark because we have now come to accept that a woman can be a beauty in a bikini and still be a strong feminist. The focus has moved beyond simple gestures.
The man is an absolute nightmare of a human being. He berated Kate Winslet about her weight and treated women in his life terribly. But he is an equal opportunity nightmare who is just as awful to men. None of that has anything to do with his creative vision though. His political views are spot on though.
Patty J’s correction was great and thorough.
*popular WERE called*
Sorry poor editing and rushing.
Yeah, a woman can be smart, strong and sexy as hell all at the same time. I shouldn’t need to dress rugged or spinstery to be taken seriously
But if you don’t pick the right costume, how will the men’s know what kind type of lady we are?
Eh. This reeks of “she was different than MY idea of what a strong woman is so therefore it’s all wrong.”
It wasn’t his movie, wasn’t his character. I enjoyed it, didn’t feel she was objectified, and don’t really care whether James likes it or not.
This reeks of “she was different than MY idea of what a strong woman is so therefore it’s all wrong.”
That’s my take as well. I’m tired of the idea that ‘strong woman’ must be this physically strong bad ass. Give me some nuance. Give me complex, flawed individuals who are not necessarily nice or likable. How about we write and depict women on screen (and in literature) as human being first then go from there?
Is that what he got from WW?
And why should strong women be physically unattractive.
There are plenty of strong independent women around the world , who are conventionally attractive and are fighting against this stereotype on a daily basis.
I loved WW because this exactly is what I struggle on day to day basis. To be taken seriously even if I am conventionally beautiful or wear make up or wear a dress and high heel
How superficial of him to think all of it is mutually exclusive
I like that a powerful man is pointing out objectification. If woman want to do it, it’s their choice. But they are making the choice to continue what men started, and claiming it as their own. It’s fun to be attractive, but do you want it to be your main calling card? Confusing.
I can’t stand this man. I remember him making fun of Kate Winslet back in the Titanic days for being fat, which she wasn’t. I’ve never read anything about him where I was like, oh yes I totally love James Cameron for that, he’s awesome. And I couldn’t even get through Avatar btw. Fell asleep.
I am incredibly sick of these very slight actresses being cast as action heroes and superheroes. It just looks ridiculous, especially when all the men get insanely ripped for their roles.
WW obviously borrows massively from the whole Amazon woman thing. I expected a modern, feminist friendly film to lean into that properly and cast a very tall, powerful looking woman. Someone who actually looks like a Demi-God among normal people, the way Hemsworth does as Thor. She could still be beautiful and feminine. But she could be beautiful and feminine while also looking like someone really capable of kicking some ass.
I have to agree with you here. Also, I didn’t see anything new in WW. For instance, the Amazon village was lifted from Xena Warrior Princess–including the martial arts exercises, outfits, etc. WW needed more of a butch aesthetic like Xena had, in order to really seem powerful. When WW was off the Amazon island, she was then sort of just a copy of Lara Croft Tomb Raider–scholarly/serious looking. I think they lost so many opportunities with this movie.
“why can’t a female protagonist be smart, tough, empathetic AND beautiful? ”
I’m pretty sure they can. They have to be. Attractiveness is the most important asset for an actress – in fact, beauty & a conventionally feminine appearance is what makes toughness & aggressiveness in female characters palatable to audiences.
“Pretty AND smart/tough/brave, etc.” is the norm for female protagonists in Hollywood.
Similarly – “oh so to be taken seriously women have to be makeup-free, gun-toting, stripped-of-femininity ballbusters?”
If the past 20 years of movies are any indication….no. We’re not exactly drowning in butch female action stars – I’m actually having trouble thinking of any examples.
I expect most movie execs would say that’s because the general public finds women who look unfeminine/butch off-putting, unappealing, and more importantly, unsexy. And possibly gay (and not the kind men like).
It’s actually still noteworthy when a female character is allowed to have realistic grooming & dress for someone in the midst of a military/police operation, natural disaster, etc. Make-up, flowing long hair, shoes with heels, etc.,- even if makes no sense plotwise (or in the case of revealing/form-fitting clothes, actually makes stuntwomen’s jobs more dangerous) – has been the standard for female action heroes.
While there’s plenty of women in the world who are ugly to plain or who don’t perform femininity to the standard that’s expected of them, there’s no need to fret – we’re extremely unlikely to see them as protagonists in an action movie.
I’ve always felt the same about Wonder Woman, but seemed to be alone in my opinion. The costume has a lot to do with it, and so does the Wonder Woman story/plot in general. I mean…an Amazonian princess riding in an invisible airplane? I feel like I’m being made fun of.
The latest Wonder Woman was hilarious in regard to beauty. The Kardashian hair, the way she barely has a smudge of dirt on her face and perfect lipgloss even after saving the world. Wonder Woman sure did look Instagram ready, even after smashing that building! A female character can be beautiful and the film still feminist, but let’s be realistic.
The latest Wonder Woman is overrated as a feminist flick for other reasons, too. The side character (the guy Chris Pine played) drives most of the plot in the new Wonder Woman, which is what really ruined the films feminist cred for me. I also felt Diana as a character was garishly one dimensional. “I am a good person who cares about humanity!” is not a well-rounded character. After hearing all of the hype, I really was disappointed.
A good friend recently asked me for an example of a feminist character in film. I told him Ripley from Alien. Just sayin…! ;D
@Jennie Hix + 1000000 Yes!!! Ripley is my shero and my girl crush forever!
HONKS FOR RIPLEY!!!!!!!!!!!
Another honk for Ripley.
And when he talks about the ‘objectified icon’ I believe he’s talking about Steve. His pov and experience of WW is so essential, the movie probably wouldn’t have been made without it. For a long time steve is the subject and the amazon/ww are the… object he witnesses.
Compared to Peggy Carter in Captain America, the difference is astounding. Her PoV is irrelevant, because it’s about Captains PoV. Peggy is the subject in 1 scene (the shirtless one), for the rest captain is the subject and peggy is… Not even in the passenger seat but the person sitting behind the passenger seat.
Why is the partner so important in WW? Why is his story so important compared to ALL other partners in superhero movies? He’s a dude and therefor his story matters. There’s room for improvement, we’re not “there” yet, and I don’t care which gender brings it up. It’s a valid point.
The only thi g I disagree with is that WW was the step backward. That step was made at least a decade or two ago.
Ripley was originally a male character, and the director decided it would be bettter if Ripley was a woman. I honestly think thats why the character stands the test of time. It was written as a genderless hero, so theres less baggage.
I think WonderWoman worked in the strict confines necessary for a studio to bank a film. I’m hoping Jenkins gets more leeway with future films though, because I agree with the beauty comments. I don’t want to add ass kicking to the already long list of things women need to do while looking beatiful in such a narrowly defined way.
Not only that she only manages to truly ‘discover’ and use her God powers when she finds lurrrvvveee, and loses it, you cant get any more derivative than that. Everyone spends the entire film commenting on her hotness and she spends the entire film going weak at the knees over Steve.
Patty’s response was perfect. Sit down, Cameron.
I only enjoyed the beginning part of WW, the rest of it sucks, same old super hero movie with a female lead. And the ending plot is just really bad. I hope hollywood can come up with better feminist movies
James is 💯 right
oh…he’s a bastard.
I do agree that the ww movie is overrated and I’ve seen many more compelling female characters
Why this movie got so much praise is beyond me but I do agree that the way that movie was shot was not about the male gaze like so other movies
I think he’s wrong about WW. But I have to say that that is the most succinct and accurate summary of life under Trump that I’ve ever seen – “There’s nothing that he’s done since he took office that should surprise anyone, but it’s about as horrific as it can be. At a critical point in history when we should have been making progress, we’re going in the wrong direction. The toll in human misery in the future was going to be big anyway, and it’s now going to be greater.”
Telling other people what they should and should not like never ends well. Anyway, now the cinema world has Ellen Ripley and Sarah Connor and Wonder Woman and whoever else they want.
(Lady Eboshi in Princess Mononoke rules)
James is not my fave person but he’s totally right about WW. I walked out of the movie when WW didn’t know what snow was…like??? Im pretty sure you know hundreds of languages so you know what snow is …
WW is a step back because it’s “feminism” in a perfect, leggy, baby-loving, non confrontational package. I’m pretty pissed about it because the first 20 minutes of the movie showed so much promise. Once that boring Chris dude showed up the movie never recovered.
Ripley and Sarah Connor were the protagonists of their movies. WW is the object. For being such a douche, James Cameron understands real female characters.
Wonder Woman isn’t perfect, but Patty Jenkins also came late to the party and had to work with a script primarily written by men (and didn’t even get credit for her contributions, jfc). I would hope – and expect – improvement in the sequel. In the meanwhile, take a damn seat James Cameron. Your female characters haven’t exactly been paragons of feminist virtue, either.
I agree with him a little, in the sense that it’s a bit sickening that the industry itself seems to gloat at the fact they gave us one succesful female centered superhero movie. And then talked on and on about how inclusive we are getting! I get why this is news, but it shouldn’t be. The day we win is the day having a good female centric movie is not a reason to celebrate because it’s the norm. He’s also right about Wonder Woman not being a very complex character (yet). She’s a good character of course, but not very multidimensional. I hope that will change in future sequels, I understand the story was now her going out in the world and seeing things aren’t as rosy as she imagined them.
Superman isn’t a particularly complex character, either, but surprisingly, that doesn’t get mentioned by James Cameron. 9_9 Diana starts off as a naive but highly competent woman who determinedly follows a misguided goal. In the process, she’s forced to confront the difficulties of human character and reevaluate her personal motivations, ultimately having to accept the reality that sacrifice must be worthwhile because of the *potential* for human beings for good rather than their inherent virtue. That’s not exactly a terrible character arc for an introductory film.
He’s not. Actually I was going to mention Superman as a comparison, but then I decided not to, mostly because while not very good movies, Man of Steel and BvS (which are the movies in the same universe as WW) have fleshed him out a bit beyond the do gooder. In those he’s more conflicted and burdened by his own role in the world.
And I don’t disagree with you about WW, that’s why I said yet. But by complexity, he means a really flawed character that people can somewhat question. So far, Diana’s “flaws” are her naivete and that she sees everything in black and white. I think her character arc is appropriate for her origins movie, but I hope there will be more to her beyond that.
Something tells me that if Wonder Woman had stuck with the original Joss Whedon script, or if it had been directed by a male director and filled with the requisite glamour shots of Gal Godot’s legs/waist/butt/boobs (you know the ones, the slow creepy ones up her body), he wouldn’t have come out and said this stuff about it. And by the way, if people haven’t read Joss Whedon’s sh*tshow of a script, they have no right to insist that Patty Jenkin’s take on Wonder Woman is “sexist” or “objectification.”
There are literally tons and tons of objectifying media portrayals of women out there right now. Game of Thrones being the biggest. Where’s James Cameron’s outrage about that? When GoT came out, people couldn’t shut up about how it was “soooo empowering” because of how “complex the female characters were!!!!” Meanwhile, Sansa Stark, a fourteen year old in the first season, was enough for mostly male, mostly adult fans to fill up fan forums and comment sections about how much they hated her and wanted to see her die or raped or a combo of the two. I still remember the creepy excitement from mostly male fans when the actress turned 18 and could finally film nudity. Where’s James Cameron’s disdain for that? My guess is he’s a huge fan of Game of Thrones.
Every attractive person on film gets objectified–but women are so rarely allowed to transcend that. And when they do, they STILL get pigeon-holed into terrible caricatures of what women are thought to be like, courtesy of men. I love Ripley, but in my opinion, she hardly did much for the cause. In the time she came out, men flat out would not take you seriously as a person if you chose to wear a dress and lipstick. Ripley’s character only aggravated that perception, that women who can be taken “seriously” must all unequivocally be of the same mold. She wound up pigeon-holing women in her own way. Same deal with Joss Whedon and his “strong women characters.” They were all the exact SAME and they were all inexplicably one dimensional in the worst sorts of ways.
The problem isn’t the women. The problem is women as imagined by men. Men seem utterly incapable of writing women as anything except parodies of themselves as they are in real life. All James Cameron is doing is interchanging one parody that he considers “acceptable” for yet another. If a woman is smart, she can’t be good looking. If a woman is good looking, it’s “distracting” from her other qualities. If a woman is supposed to be a focused leader, she has to be serious and she has to be unlikeable and god forbid she be anything except a humourless b*tch. If she’s a weepy teenager, she’s not “mature” until she’s fed her enemies to the dogs, literally. If women are vulnerable emotionally, they’re weak, until they learn to ignore it, in which case they become strong, because women couldn’t possibly be both. But women can, above all, only be ONE thing, and that ONE thing is the ONE thing men think women are.
So f*ck James Cameron. I’m so tired. Men in the public eye who are supposed to be “feminists” are literally the worst, most toxic sorts of people for women. I can’t express just how disappointing it all is, but now I’m understanding that some sorts of men will try and mansplain everything they can to women–including what mansplaining is and feminism.
To be fair, the original Sarah Connor in the first and second Terminator was my idol growing up. And till this day Linda Hamilton is one of the most beautiful and sexy girls for me because of the character she created. I may not care much for Cameron and his films in general but you have to give it to him – Sarah Connor and Ripley in Alien are two iconic women protagonists out there and they were created at the time this whole discussion about femism was just in the embyo stage specifically in Hollywood. Just sayin…. and overall instead of shouting at Cameron because he is not exactly following the book of XXI century feminist maybe we should appreceate that a white, middle aged, priviliged man overall thinks about female characters and feminism at all. Because just by looking at him he may quite well be a pro-Trump, anti equal rights Hollywood royalty
Eh, don’t give him too much credit because he built two good films off of somebody else’s story work. I thought Avatar was pretty damn sexist and racist when I watched it, and those were made 20 years later. I’m not going to give him brownie points for exhibiting the basic decency of thinking women should be treated as human beings and equals.
Actually Sarah Connor is totally His création. He wrote the script of Terminator ( as he did for all His movies except Aliens of course). But as he was nobody then he sold the rights for one dollar.
Equating strong women with must be unattractive is so…whatever James. No one cares about your mansplaining. Women can look however we want and be strong. We don’t care about your opinion. Shut up and sit down. Want to be a feminist then do something, don’t just criticize.
I guess it’s just coincidence that all the superhero men are gorgeous? must be just coincidental casting.
also, he did just call Ripley unattractive? Cause like, boy is he wrong. Sigourney Weaver is drop dead beautiful. I love she is cast in The Defenders because 1) her acting 2) her voice!! 3) she’s beautiful.
Most 😉 Esp the old school ones – Superman, Batman, Tarzan
The deal with deadpool is that he’s supposed to be gross. Same with HellBoy. Punisher was never intended to be a hottie. Men have a bit more leeway in this regard and its in more recent comics you see this sort of representation. Prior to that its just generic white dudes with a ‘flaw’.
I mean, Peter Parker is nerdy, Doctor Strange is a pretentious twit, Prof X is partially paralyzed, the Beast is blue animalistic. Storm,Wonder Woman, Jean Grey, Invisible Girl, Dagger, Yellow Canary, they were all ‘sexy’ with not even a token ‘flaw’.
I also had that reaction about Ripley and Linda Hamilton. THose women were sexy and sex symbols.
I think we can agree that while very attractive, Sigourney Weaver is not conventionally beautiful. She has strong, angled features and a “masculine” energy (I say this in the best way possible, not calling her manly). Linda Hamilton had the same type of appeal. So I guess he meant that.
Didn’t she shave her head for one of the Alien films? That is actually a bold move because societal expectations are women having long hair. Realistically, if you are a warrior, you are probably not going to have long flowing hair that can be pulled and grabbed by the enemy.
Cameron is a douche, but he isn’t wrong on the character of WW. She is an acceptable female hero that still hits all the conventional points of femininity. Patty Jenkins did what she could, but once the movie moves off the Amazon island, it is same old same old.
I’m sorry, isn’t this the same jackass who called Kate Winslet ‘Kate Weighs-a-lot’ on the set of Titanic?
Said by the guy who made fun of Kate Winslet that she was still too chubby to be “Rose” during the making of Titanic to her face and to the entire crew! She also got sick from Hypothermia while doing the flooded ship sinking scenes. Also, Sigourney Weaver aka Ripley in Aliens and a ripped Linda Hamilton aka Sarah Conner, were just as attractive, had great bodies, in their own way as Gal Gadot kicking ass!
I actually agree with him, huh.
I think women can be beautiful and all those other things, but I wonder if she’d get to be an icon in the first place and then get to notice all those other qualities if she wasn’t beautiful. I suppose it’s a circular argument — I can see how both sides can be right.
Hmmm I wonder whether anyone feels that Salt carried feminist themes better than WW did or it was just ok? I thoroughly enjoyed Salt and most times did not even think of Salt as a female, just a person trying to survive and fight. I did not manage to catch WW…