(Trigger Warning: Rape, sexual assault, torture, murder)
If there is one movie you should definitely avoid, it’s Girls Against Boys.
From what I can tell from the trailer a girl, we’ll call her Girl One, is sexually assaulted outside her apartment. Girl One meets another girl, that we’ll call Girl Two, that offers to kill Girl One’s rapist. It turns out that Girl Two “gets off” on killing people and particularly targets men who have done women wrong. The entire premise of the movie seems to be “girls get revenge on men who are assholes.”
Now, maybe you are wondering why I, a feminist, am telling you not to see this movie. I’m telling you not to go see this movie because based on the trailer it’s looks like a terribly sexist movie! And what’s worse, despite the fact that neither of the women identify as feminists, people are already calling this a feminist movie, feminist porn, and even worse, feminist torture porn.
Let me reiterate, this is not feminism! If the writers and directors of this movie think this is feminism then they are wrong–very, very, very wrong.
First, all the women in this movie are incredibly sexualized. It seems that this movie is yet another film masquerading as an empowering movie when really it is just an excuse to watch hot girls in short skirts kill something. That is not empowerment. It’s a lie that still fulfills every sexist stereotype in the book.
Second is the rampant gender stereotyping. All the women are portrayed as overly emotional and manipulative. It perpetuates the idea that women will shoot a man because he made a sexual comment and winked at her, or that women will use their bodies to manipulate and control men. Men are portrayed as being assholes that are only thinking of sex, which makes them stupid, thus allowing the women to easily manipulate them, and causing them to turn violent if the women then refuse them. Guys, you should be pissed about this movie too. It’s making fun of your gender just like it is mine.
Now, it’s true that these women wanting revenge on men that sexually assault them might not seem too bad to some people. I have know at least six people who were sexually assaulted (two men and four women) and I completely understand that they may want to punish their attacker. Hell, I can’t say I haven’t wanted to hurt the people that hurt my friends, especially when many of them were never brought to justice. And yes, other movies with male main characters, like Taken, all show gratuitous violence and torture in the name of revenge and these movies are praised as excellent thrillers (I should note that many people still had problems with the morals portrayed in Taken, however).
The difference here is my biggest and final problem with the movie. Whether the writers and director intended it to be or not, this movie is being called a “feminist movie,” when really, if it is intended to be a feminist movie, it is straw feminism at its worst. By showing these insane, hyper-sexualized women killing men, it demeans and belittles feminist issues. People will see this movie as say, “See, all these women are crazy.” It will make conversations about rape, sexual assault, rape culture, street harassment, sexual harassment, and many other important and serious feminist issues seem like something that the supposed “crazy angry feminist” has once again blown out of proportion.
If you skip one movie this year, please, let it be this one.