Consider the possibility you may be quite lost.
Clementine “the other gift that keeps on giving” Ford* has been given some more column space this week. It almost feels wrong to pick her thoughts to pieces as she makes it so easy for anyone with half an hour on Google and a semi-curious mind.
In fact, sometimes her arguments are so irrational, illogical, easily disproved and emotional that one wonders whether she’s Australia’s equivalent of Henry Root. If she isn’t a parody, what remains of the sub-editorship at the Sydney Morning Herald legacy press ™ should probably resign and find a profession in which they have some level of competence.
The word salad we’re amused by this week is here; the real problem with women in film.
As is her idiom, the argument meanders around a little, never quite lingering on a specific point long enough to find a kernel of fact or objective truth. Fortunately, we can complete the unfinished task for her.
The key issues she raises are the following;
- Women are underrepresented in the big budget, blockbuster films.
- When they are in these films, they are more likely to be scantily clad and not say much. They are certainly not going to be depicted as intellectuals in the STEM subjects.
- Disney movies have started to use titles that don’t have female names such as “Princess” even when the lead character is a Princess.
- The paying public prefer it that way. This is a bad thing.
Let’s be somewhat reductive for a moment and summarise what dear Clementine is (in the words of Cathy Newman) trying to say; “people prefer to watch films of which, for ideological reasons, I disapprove“.
Perhaps I’m guilty of building a strawman here, so let’s look at those key points again.
Imagine the negotiation between a couple with a disposable income large enough to allow them to pay a babysitter on Saturday night, head out for a bite to eat and catch a film at the cinema.
Let’s assume the wife is of La Ford’s Third Wave Feminism persuasion (statistically unlikely, by the way; only 23% of American women even identify as “feminist” and far fewer “radical“) and she would like to see the Oscar winning movie, A Fantastic Woman.
On the other hand, the husband has spent his working week risking his life in a blue collar job (males are privileged enough to suffer 93% of the deaths in the workplace), being hectored about the patriarchy and watching as Women In Leadership quotas are applied to the roles above him. His entire waking moments these days seems to consist of being blamed for all societal ills and told he is part of the problem due to three personal attributes completely beyond his control, namely; skin colour (white), gender (male) and sexuality (heterosexual).
It may be understandable if he chooses not to pay to watch a film about the dire life of a transgender man living in Santiago, Chile on his day off.
So they compromise and watch something with superheroes or a crime thriller.
La Ford’s issue with Disney films has a simple explanation too; in recent years, Disney has found that childrens’ films with female names in their titles don’t do so well. This can be tested as a hypothesis by taking the list here, sorting by gross revenue (adjusted for inflation) and rating. After the two 1950s classics, Cinderella and Snow White, the next female titled film is the still ambiguously-titled Beauty and the Beast at Position 15. Next is Pocahontas at Position 20 then Little Mermaid at 25.
Disney is a business. Calling a film “Princess Sparkle” sells fewer tickets. It’s almost as if, I dunno, a film branded as female is more attractive to half of the population than the other half.
Perhaps the claim that Hollywood sexualise female characters is the most amusing. Does this come as a surprise to anyone?
Since when has the entertainment industry not been about sexualising females? Read the lyrics of Coward’s Don’t put your daughter on the stage, Mrs. Worthington for a veiled reference as to the venality of the profession.
The British joke punchline, “…..said the actress to the bishop” hints at the perception of a continuum linking the professions of actress and whore.
The surprise is that anyone honestly believes Hollywood has any moral basis to its works and the industry has any incentive to depict women in ways that fit the narrative of Third Wave Feminists such as Clementine Ford.
A common mistake by those on the left is to confuse what they feel should be reality with what is actually the case.
People are voting with their wallets and this greatly disappoints Clementine Ford.
It gets worse however; the Oscars have been increasingly picking box office failures as their Best Film Winner.
Which may explain why the public have, in droves, stopped watching the Oscars ceremony.
They’re watching something but it isn’t the virtue signalling of the luvvies.
If Clementine Ford’s opinions were popular, she wouldn’t be writing unedited OpEds in a free to read legacy newspaper with declining readership and revenue.
To stay with the film references, The Sydney Morning Herald’s annual readership figures are one of the most rapidly declining series since the Police Academy sequels.
* Herpes is the original gift that keeps on giving. Draw your own conclusions.