Arthur Aringdale

Arthur Aringdale
Location
Loveland, Colorado, United States
Birthday
December 31
Bio
I write about movies and about the general goings-on of the industry that interest me. I will also try to provide as many links to movies that are free to watch online as I can.

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Salon.com
JULY 9, 2010 3:09PM

Can we all agree that women go to movies already?

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So they're making a movie based on the Vampire Academy novels you've seen with the 20% off stickers next to the checkout counter at the grocery store over the past couple years. Apparently the series is some kind of knockoff to Twilight and Harry Potter, following a vampire named Rose through her education at vampire school or some such nonsense. Sounds like Twilight's answer to Percy Jackson and the Olympians to me, but quality is really beside the point here.

What annoys me about the adaptation is that apparently the initial plan for the film was to turn Rose into a male character. The reasoning behind this was that it would give the movie a better chance to appeal to a mainstream audience. While this idea was thankfully scrapped, the attitude behind it is a dangerously pervasive one in Hollywood, and the misconceptions that drive it are insulting to just about everyone.

Now by "mainstream audience" they obviously meant "men," because as ludicrous as the reasoning behind this almost-decision and so many real decisions that are made in the movie business every day is, nobody is stupid enough to think that women would be turned off of a movie because it has a female protagonist. In describing the mainstream audience as being composed of men, you by default say that women do not see movies, or at least not nearly as much, and that's simply not true. Men and women go to movies in relatively equal numbers. They always have and they always will. Trend pieces that focus on the recent spate of female-targeted movies that have become massive blockbusters elucidate nothing but how out of touch the entertainment establishment is: it's not that women didn't go to the movies before, or that they constitute an inherently fractured audience (as so many people in the industry seem to believe), the Sex and the Citys and Twilights of the world make as much money as they do because studios have finally been willing to spend the kind of money to push them that they've been spending to sell to 13-year-old boys since the mid-70s. Advertising, not quality or quadrant appeal or anything else, is what sells tickets.

And while it's obvious why the concept of replacing a female hero of an apparently popular novel with a man is insulting to women, it's really pretty insulting to men as well. What are they trying to tell me? That I would be threatened or uninterested in a movie because it's about yucky girls? I can't connect to a character's journey because... what? Is it the vagina? You usually can't even see those in movies, and when you can, male interest tends to be piqued rather than diminished. I guarantee most of the people who decided to see Transformers 2 because of how prominently Megan Fox's crotch was displayed in the trailers were men, and I don't think a single one of them would have skipped the movie if it was about her instead of Shia.

So really, enough already with this kind of silliness. Everybody likes movies. Deal with it.

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