Sexism in the Guardians of the Galaxy trailer, and discussion of womanism, feminism, and what the first, second, and third waves mean to us, as the recent Women’s March marches around.
Sam thinks this is probably fine. Jen does not. Here are the points they make. Watch the trailer below to see what we’re talking about
- First (before getting your panties in a twist) you should know that most film companies don’t cut their own trailers. That’s done by some marketing company that has nothing to do with the values of the actual creators involved in the film. Our film, because we are poor, will have a trailer cut by us, and rest assured that women will talk in it. It’s got tons of talking. So if you want to get mad about our trailer, definitely blame us, but don’t blame the studio for the GotG trailer.
- You can be strong without talking. Gamora doesn’t need to run her mouth to be a strong female character.
- A lot of story can be done with show rather than tell; the best actors can tell you a lot without opening their mouths. Zoe speaks through her facial reactions, and that’s okay. This is actually a problem with the Bechdel Test, in that it can’t really apply to a lot of short or silent films, in which ideas are not expressed via spoken words.
- Trailers don’t exist to develop characters or tell me a story. The purpose of a trailer is to get your attention and get your money. With a big blockbuster like this, you know it’s going to be worth seeing in a theatre. Indie films have to work harder to tell stories in trailers, because it’s harder to get people’s money if they don’t know you, but otherwise trailers don’t exist to tell a story. So we don’t need Zoe’s characterization. (It’s a trailer, people)
- Zoe Saldana doesn’t actually do anything important in the trailer. Is that fair? Literally every other character had more interesting lines: Rocket the Raccoon, StarLord, the freaking talking tree, and Drax. GRANTED, I watch Guardians of the Galaxy for Drax, because I love him, so I didn’t notice this the first time around, but on the second watch-through? Weak!
- Gamora is ONLY a romantic lead in the trailer. Someone said online–and it’s a good point–that it doesn’t even make sense for the strong silent assassin to talk, but quite frankly, we don’t even see her as the silent assassin. We see her do one back flip or something, but the majority of her screen time is spent being the shy silent love interest for some dude. I’m really tired of women being delegated only to the love interest role. Would it hurt to give her five more seconds so she can have a funny line, too?
- To me, trailers do exist to tell a story. I don’t care about a trailer if there isn’t a story involved. Even StarWars, which is so much the love of my life that it influenced my religion, can’t get me excited about trailers. But I loved the first Guardians of the Galaxy trailer because it did an efficient job of setting up the characters and establishing the conflict between them. It was the only trailer that’s ever gotten me excited about a movie I knew nothing about. I expected more from the second one.
— Katie Gibson (@Ktkeg) January 29, 2017
Womanism vs. Feminism
We discuss how some feminists have historically not been interested in the plight of women of color. Womanists, as self-defined, are supposed to be the new “pro-women” who are also interested in intersectional issues. Sam argues that it’s laughable that we’d try to splinter or obfuscate the issue with a new word. “That’s not how language works.” The solution is changing the term from within: Just as we influence feminism with movements like the HeforShe, to make it cool for men to be feminist, we should also influence feminism with movements towards celebrating women of color. There’s no need to create more division.
The Three Waves
How are you, a non-Muslim going to tell a Muslim that the reason she wears a hijab is because she’s forced to, then tell her to research it? pic.twitter.com/LtuqOGZ4yC
— Κιάιrα ♡ (@BlvckConscious) January 29, 2017