A recent interview has Joss Whedon pointing out the cold, hard truth: The lack of women in comic book movies has sexism in the industry to blame. “It’s a phenomenon in the industry that we call ‘stupid people’,” he said. “There is genuine, recalcitrant, intractable sexism, and old-fashioned quiet misogyny that goes on.”
This isn’t the first time that the avid screenwriter has spoken out against sexism in the industry. During his acceptance speech at the Equality Now Awards, Whedon gave an example of the most popular questions he is asked in interviews, and the answer that, after mounting frustration, he finally gives:
‘So why do you create these strong women characters?’
How is it even possible that you’re asking me this… Why aren’t you asking a hundred other guys why they don’t?…
‘So why do you write these strong female characters?’
Because you’re still asking me that question.
Whedon is definitely right about his specific industry, but the producers and executives that bring us the Avengers and Spider Man movies aren’t the only ones guilty of the problem at hand. That ‘old-fashioned quiet misogyny’ is everywhere, and recent numbers show that there hasn’t been much of a change in the past years. Plus, women in the film biz (and not just actors) are still getting paid less than their male counterparts.
For the number of kickass woman actors we have out there, how is it that the ladies of Hollywood, fictional or otherwise, are still being primarily used for the purposes of a) love interest or b) sex appeal? There have been truly amazing roles played by women in films, from Martin Scorsese classics to Miyazaki’s animated genius. It’s high time that Hollywood execs recognize the power and potential in a female-forward film and start casting more leading roles for women.
Image via Wired