Feminism Friday: Movie Trailers from The Secret Life of Pets Showing

feminism friday

It’s summer, and there have been several kid-friendly movies that Voldemort has wanted to see. Which is cool – i like movies, popcorn is yummy, and of course I’m going to go see Finding Dory.

But I noticed something disturbing before Finding Dory started. I noticed the number of trailers for future movies that featured only or primarily male characters. I didn’t notice until halfway through the previews, but it bothered me enough to remember to pull out a small notebook last week when we went to see The Secret Life of Pets.

Just for my own information, I kept track of the name of the movie, the protagonist’s assumed gender*, and the number of assumed male and assumed female characters who spoke in the trailer.

This is ONLY for the movies previewed in front of The Secret Life of Pets. We’re hitting Ghostbusters on Tuesday, so that will an upcoming Feminism Friday

Like so:

The Secret Life of Pets
Main character: Male
Male speakers: 9
Female speakers: 3

I didn’t count the snakes, because they went by too fast.

Makes sense? Let’s go!


Monster Trucks
Main character: Male
Male speakers: 7 (counting the monster itself, which is referred to as “him”)
Female speakers: 3 (counting the radio announcer)


Nine Lives
Main character: Male
Male speakers: 3
Female speakers: 4


Ghostbusters
Main character: 4 badass ladies
Male speakers: 2 in the trailer I saw in the theater, 0 in this one
Female speakers: 4


Trolls
Main character: Male
Male speakers: 3
Female speakers: 1


Storks
Main character: Male
Male speakers: 12
Female speakers: 3

What even is going on here. 3 female speakers to 12 male. Wow.


Kubo and the Two Strings
Main character: Male
Male speakers: 3
Female speakers: 4


Sing
Main character: Male
Male speakers: 12
Female speakers: 7

Whew. My numbers might be off by one or two, but I got pretty close. I didn’t count any character who didn’t speak, except in the case of Sing, where I counted the characters who..sang.

Out of eight movie trailers, seven of those had main characters who were male. Only one had female main characters.

Out of eight movie trailers, a total of forty-nine male characters spoke, compared to only twenty-nine female characters.

Out of eight movie trailers, only three had close to equal the number of male and female speakers.

I don’t think I would’ve done more than roll my eyes if I had been in a different movie – a non-kid-friendly movie. But this is what our children are seeing. This is what is being advertised to MY CHILD as being what is normal – and sure, we’re talking about monsters in trucks and animated trolls, but kids pick this stuff up. They absorb it. And as they get older, it’s what they expect to see in their lives as well.

And this is just looking at gender. Tell me, where there any people of color in those trailers? I can think of two off the top of my head – possibly four if I’m counting correctly in Sing.

It’s time to do better, Hollywood. Seriously.

*as all characters in these movies are presented only as male or female, so assumptions have been made

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A (Lack) of Loneliness

lackofloneliness

Years ago, I was on a retreat with other high school kids from my church. We had a tradition of climbing to the top of the mountain to see the sunrise one morning, which necessitated waking up at a painfully early hour (most of us just didn’t ever go to bed the night before, tbh), driving a few miles to the bottom of the climb, then all spilling out and heading up to the top over twisty, narrow paths.

We would run back down, full tilt, after the sun came up.

My first year I made it to the top with the others. But while I started out running down, I got scared I would fall and I got out of breath. There were other kids behind me, so I stuck my hand out to grab a tree trunk, swung around it, and let people pass me.

I walked the rest of the way down. I couldn’t convince my legs to run anymore after not sleeping and then climbing a mountain.

And when I got to the bottom I was alone.

The van was gone.

I was alone in a parking lot at the bottom of a mountain two miles from the house, at six in the morning.

I stood and waited for a few minutes, thinking maybe that it was a joke. They were hiding, and would be pulling back in to pick me up to go for donuts in town and would tease me about being last.

But they never came back.

I cried as I walked the two miles back to the house on legs that were already aching and trembling.

That crushing feeling of being left behind is a type of loneliness I don’t know how to describe. It’s devastating and frightening and hard.

I cried a lot after asking b to leave. I cried more after telling him I wanted a divorce.

And I know it doesn’t make much sense to say that I felt abandoned, but I did. I felt that I was being left with my normal life..only with a giant hole where a partner should have fit.

I don’t feel like that anymore.

I’m not the awkward fifteen year old who didn’t fit in with her Back Home group and got left on the mountain while everyone else went to get donuts. I’m not the wife waiting for her husband to ask for help.

So I thought, maybe, that it was time to take a step out. Join okcupid. Try dating.

I tried. I chatted some. I even went on one date. He was nice, but..

I’m not even interested. Not in him. Not in anybody.

Maybe someday I will be. Maybe I won’t.

I’m not lonely right now. I’m ok on my own.

And that’s a good feeling.

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Storyteller

My grandfather is 98 years old.

My father is 70 years old.

My grandfather is stubborn and short tempered and mean, as he’s always been. Slower, skinnier, no longer living at home, declining, but still kicking.

My father is losing his memory.

My father tells stories about his father – all of which sound pretty far out there – grandaddy punched a nun, stole a bike, lost vision in one eye, married a saint – and I collect bits of stories about my father inside them.

My father now needs directions repeated multiple times while driving. Even when we’ve driven the same way four times and will be taking the same turns. He loses words, or uses the wrong one, calls me the wrong daughter’s name and doesn’t notice.

I feel like a hoarder, squirreling away bits of stories about my family. The ones about my grandfather are outrageous – I did mention he punched a nun – but my father is a quieter man. More reserved.

So I hold onto the story of my dad carrying my mom over his shoulder back to their hotel on their honeymoon after she’d had too much to drink. I hold onto the sound of him winding the grandfather clock when I was a child, and how I couldn’t go to sleep until I’d heard it. I hold onto the memory of how the dogs would come running when they heard him get the M&Ms because they knew he’d share.

And I look at my kid, and wonder how I’m going to be able to tell those stories of my father. And what stories my kid will tell of me.

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How to Follow a Recipe

For dinner tonight, I made this delicious Chicken and Rice Casserole, which I was excited to try because I love the Campbell’s Chicken and Rice bakes but I never have the Cream of Anything soups because I find them visually gross and off putting.

So this was perfect!

Only, of course, what I ended up making was in no way a Chicken and Rice Casserole.

For fun, I always read the comments on recipe posts, and they are usually variations on these themes:
1. Followed the recipe exactly! I loved it!
2. Followed the recipe exactly! It was awful!
3. I changed the asparagus to peas, heated it to 450, and burnt it to a crisp – perfect!
4. I added milk instead of water, cooked it in a waffle iron, and covered it in ketchup – worst chocolate cake ever!

I usually try to stick with theme 1. Tonight? Well…

My method to make Chicken and Rice Casserole (without Cream of Soup)
Step 1: Melt butter. I hate onions, so skip those. Add twice the amount of garlic called for.

Step 2: I can’t find the tablespoon..how much is 4 TBSPs? Maybe about 1/4 a cup? Works for me. 1/4 cup flour!

Step 3: I add dried milk because Voldemort drank the last of the fresh, a block and a half of chicken bullion because that’s all I have, and stop at 6 cups of water, because 7 just looks like it’s going to over flow the pan.

Step 4: Turn heat to high. Wait for bubbles. Swear at self after realizing the turkey is still in the freezer.

Step 5: Defrost turkey halfway. Forget about it and leave it in the microwave.

Step 6: Bubbles! Rice? No, I have Trader Joe’s Harvest Grain mix, which is DELICIOUS, so I shall be using that.

Step 7: Realize the amount of liquid in the recipe was because rice needs more water. Eyeball the harvest grains, shrug, and dump most of it in.

Step 8: Realize the timing of the boiling was for rice, which takes longer to cook. Decide to start with 10 minutes instead of 20.

Step 9: I have 2 unopened sleeves of Ritz crackers that I would rather eat as crackers. But I do have one sleeve with 4 crackers in it and half a package of stale pita chips, which is just going to have to work.

Step 10: Crush crackers. Frown when confronted with the fact that this does not add up to a sleeve of crushed Ritz. Add oat bran and wheat germ to bulk it up a little.

Step 11: Timer dings. Look for the turkey. Remember it’s still in the microwave. Chop and stir into sauce.

Step 12: Add frozen broccoli while I’m at it, because why not. We need a veggie.

Step 13: Dump whole mess into 9×13 pain. Add random cheeses because that last handful of motz needs to be used up before it gets gross. Top with crumbs of whatever.

Step 14: Bake until bubbly.

Step 15: Watch Voldemort lick spoon once and request an apple instead.

Step 16: Richly enjoy the deliciousness that is not Chicken and Rice Casserole.

I hope that this information was helpful in teaching you how to correctly follow a recipe! Remember, read all the directions and check your list of ingredients before beginning. You should listen to me – I’m a professional!

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February Blue

I don’t know what it is about February.

It’s such a short month, but there is something about it that makes it so much harder and longer than other months.

I’m so tired of February.

It’s the slow dark slide down into depression every year.

I’m ok. I’ll be ok. I’ll pull myself back up and make sure the kid gets to school and makes it to activities and skypes with the co-parent, and during the day, I can handle it.

But night is hard.

The kid is asleep, and the house is quiet. And I’m tired but I don’t want to go to bed, because when you go to bed, the next day comes.

And I’ve cleaned and I’ve baked and that held it back for a while, but now here it is. Hovering over me again.

I know that going to work keeps me distracted – I don’t have much time to start the twin wheels of anxiety and depression that sit in my head when I’m dealing with ridiculous teacher drama – but the very idea of going to work makes me want to hide in my bed and sleep.

It’s just depression, and depression lies.

I just have to keep going.

March will be here soon.

Posted in anxiety, depression | 1 Comment