Generation Misogyny

Possibly triggering

Has anyone seen this movie? A friend of mine passed it on as something to maybe show in the Gender & Pop Culture class I’m teaching at Rutgers this semester, but I thought I’d see if any lovely Feministing readers could tell me more about it first. It seems like a combination of Killing Us Softly and Tough Guise – and those two filmmakers are featured in this clip. The short bit on hip hop gave me pause – I think Byron Hurt’s Beyond Beats and Rhymes is probably better for that subject. Any thoughts?

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13 Comments

  1. Jesse Dangerously
    Posted August 31, 2009 at 2:40 pm | Permalink

    This video is pretty useless. A few excellent, if well-worn, points are made clumsily and lumped into a package deal with imagery and rhetoric that belittles and underestimates women, not to mention (for some reason) black people.
    I don’t think the video serves as an adequate gateway into the topics it attempts to address, and I don’t think that anyone who is past the gateway is going to glean anything new or helpful from it.
    Flashcards of role models at their “sexiest,” to show what a bad influence they are? Pulling the audio quote “she’s such a slut?” A screensaver of women’s bruised faces as a backdrop to statistics? Grossly objectifying at every turn. Way to talk about chicks like they aren’t even in the room.
    Big-time fail. Do a different Ph.D., homie.

  2. Jesse Dangerously
    Posted August 31, 2009 at 2:45 pm | Permalink

    Ha ha I didn’t realize this was only a trailer. I thought it was pretty generous to call it a “movie.” My mistake! I still think it LOOKS like all those criticisms will apply, unless the trailer was edited together by someone who never met the film maker!
    …the film maker who stares deeply into your eyes right off the bat to ask you the challenging question of why he and only he dares to challenge the status quo.

  3. Zora
    Posted August 31, 2009 at 3:00 pm | Permalink

    Trailer was interesting, but there was a glaring issue here. Violent and/or misogynistic masculinity was depicted decidedly and solely by Black men – leaving the impression that only Black men are misogynistic or that Black more are more so than White men. Highly problematic and self serving for White men to reinforce this age-old racist paradigm. Notice how Eminem was mentioned, but all you saw were violent images of Black men. Highly problematic.

  4. hoolissa
    Posted August 31, 2009 at 3:02 pm | Permalink

    i agree with jesse. it definitely felt like he was being condescending. The trailer didn’t give women a voice at all, it made me feel bad for women! The slideshow of the battered women also made me very angry, it completely disempowered them! ew.

  5. Jrant
    Posted August 31, 2009 at 3:11 pm | Permalink

    I agree. Discussing misogyny is, in general, a good thing. But (based on the trailer) this movie doesn’t really say anything new: “Beauty magazines promote unrealistic standards and Hip Hop (read: black) music thrives on super-duper misogynistic themes.” These are ideas I think most Americans (assuming that’s the audience) already accept, it would be nice if the movie looked at areas that are NOT typically suspected of misogyny. For instances, ways in which rock, punk or alternative (read: white) music promotes misogyny. Or advertising campaigns that pay lip service to “promoting healthy norms” while reinforcing the current, harmful social norms (eg Dove’s “Campaign for Real Beauty.”) It would’ve been great if the film maker had addressed why it’s important for MEN to care about misogyny. In other words, don’t pat yourself on the back for being a super-insightful man who dares think about misogyny (as Jesse D. stated) but try to ENGAGE your audience.
    So all of this is based on the trailer. The director may very well have addressed all these issues within the film. (If that’s the case, I highly recommend the production staff cut a different trailer.) And sorry, Jessica. I know you wanted “have you seen this” responses, so mine doesn’t really contribute much. I was just so intensely underwhelmed, I wanted to say something.

  6. Shannon
    Posted August 31, 2009 at 3:20 pm | Permalink

    I think that this is a great video to show to in a class on gender and pop culture.
    I work in a Resource Center that lends out materials that pertain to domestic/sexual violence, as well as other women’s studies topics such as pornography, underserved populations etc. “Generation M” is one of our most requested dvds and comes highly recommended.
    I will agree that for someone who has a firm understanding of the exploitation of women within our society that this video may seem very “simple”, but for the purpose of exposing people to the misogyny in media and primary prevention of engraining traditional gender roles (and the violence and personal struggles that can come along with that), this video serves its purpose.
    And while it is very similar to “Killing Us Softly 1,2 and 3, Tough Guise, Wrestling with Manhood etc. (all of which we also own to lend out) it is different in terms of the types of media it targets (to some degree) and to what degree the effects, such as cosmetic surgery etc., are detailed.

  7. monkeyhaterobot
    Posted August 31, 2009 at 4:28 pm | Permalink

    You can actually watch the entire movie. The video is fixed at a small size and has an annoying “For Preview Only” watermark type thing over it:
    http://www.mediaed.org/cgi-bin/commerce.cgi?preadd=action&key=234&template=PDGCommTemplates/HTN/Item_Preview.html

  8. Hara
    Posted August 31, 2009 at 4:56 pm | Permalink

    I like that it’s made by men (for a change) same old info though- but then again, it still applies, so more power to any one who wants to stread the word.
    Re the men depicted- perhaps they should show the, mostly “white” fashion designers , MV producers and Directors, ad men, etc.

  9. Anonymous
    Posted August 31, 2009 at 4:59 pm | Permalink

    It may be “simple” but it rings true. And I’m female. And glad some guys seem to get it, even more than some women do, let’s face it. Also, Eminem is not black and he was referred to as well.

  10. HL Chilly
    Posted August 31, 2009 at 5:02 pm | Permalink

    I was floored to find that the very last image of an AFGHAN woman baring her shoulder, with the caption “1 in 6 American women will be victims of physical or sexual assault in their lifetimes,” is used in this movie trailer. This image is a COPYRIGHTED image OWNED by the Revolutionary Association of the Women of Afghanistan! It is part of their photo gallery at http://www.rawa.org/gallery.html and the actual context of the photograph is in its RAWA-written caption: “SELF-immolation among Afghan women.”
    I think it’s INCREDIBLE that an image of Afghan women’s self-harm was straight-up stolen to misrepresent American women’s victimization.

  11. sess
    Posted August 31, 2009 at 6:50 pm | Permalink

    I checked this out a few months ago from my university library. As some other posters have noted, it’s a decent intro for those unfamiliar with ideas of misogyny and/or sexism in pop culture; however, there’s nothing new or illuminating if you’re aware of these issues or have seen other docs like “Killing Me Softly,” “Dreamworlds,” etc.

  12. Jesse Dangerously
    Posted August 31, 2009 at 11:50 pm | Permalink

    That’s very upsetting; I had no idea of the image’s provenance, but when I saw it I did feel that the apparently amateur style stood in stark contrast to the staged model photos preceding it, and what I thought was, “Did the woman in this photo consent to have her image exploited in this fashion?”
    Knowing just how exploitative and just how nonconsensual the usage was makes it even worse. What a sickeningly careless move.

  13. cattrack2
    Posted September 1, 2009 at 12:35 am | Permalink

    Do you have some reason to believe the producers stole the image, other than the fact that they used it???

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