Feminism, Sexism, & Blurry Lines

While I was in Borden for my training, Zack Snyder’s Justice League was released for streaming. Being in Borden and not having access to a decent tv set up, I had to wait several months to view it.

Four hours is a bit of a haul for a movie, but to me it didn’t feel like it was four hours. After the first viewing, the post apocalyptic end scene is a bit of a struggle to get through, though that may also just be the fact that the last few times I watched it, it was late and I was eager to get to bed.

While I enjoyed the original Justice League movie, Zack Snyder’s version really is superior in just about every way. The only scene that I struggle with is the scene where the Amazons fight Steppenwolf; and it has nothing to do with movie.

When we first saw the Amazons in Wonder Woman, I thought it was amazing. Hollywood’s definition of female beauty, and women in general, has been pretty one dimensional, but when you got to see the Amazons training it felt (to me at least) that that definition suddenly expanded significantly. Many of them still looked quite similar, but that is primarily because a fit human body just looks a certain way. If you look closely though, sprinkled in are women that are FAR more muscular than Hollywood would traditionally find acceptable. There were women fighting with great skill, and several more mature women, still looking fit and powerful despite being older. It took Hollywood’s interpretation of femininity and stood it on its head. (Or maybe it was doing handstand push ups.)

Crossfitter & actress Brooke Ence as Penthiselea

It sounds cliche, and bandwagon-y, but I genuinely had a moment of “its about time!”

Which leads me to the scene in Zack Snyder’s Justice League. The scene where Steppenwolf attacked the Amazon’s with his Parademons and killed many of them, I found unpleasant, and it took me a while to realize it was because all the (human) fatalities were women.

I admit, it’s entirely possible that I’m desensitized to watching guys die in movies, and that I should have that kind of visceral reaction every time I watch that many people die, male or female.

I fully support gender equality, but it’s also possible that I’m a bit too old-fashioned, and my “y-chromosome” gets a bit uppity when I see women under threat. For whatever reason, the scene makes me uncomfortable; even after watching the movie several times now.

As a member of the Canadian Military, I am not unfamiliar with the idea of women under arms. I completed my basic training with some seriously badass women. My fireteam partner through the latter half of my training was a woman, close to 20yrs younger than me, literally a foot shorter than me, and she was a machine; but I had to make conscious effort to not assist her until she asked. It’s my nature to help, and to a certain extent, protect women, especially from physical harm. Not because I believe they are fragile, inferior, or incapable; but because I was taught growing up that acting that way toward women was a sign of respect.

As modern women expand their roles, and are given opportunities to show and prove they’re just as skilled, competent, and powerful as men in what would traditionally be considered male fields, I find myself more aware that my attitude could come across as sexist. Conversely, I have found myself in several situations where I may have come across as rude or indifferent to a woman’s situation because I waited a bit too long to offer assistance. Not because I didn’t care, but because I didn’t want to appear as though I thought they were incapable of saving themselves.

It was an odd feeling, watching that scene, where the whole building goes into the ocean taking dozens of trapped Amazons with it. It was an even more odd feeling, wondering if how I felt about the scene was appropriate or not…….

Feminism and sexism is a weird and blurry line sometimes.