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April 26, 2012

Movie Review Misogyny

Being a gamer, I know that women who show themselves online, broadcasting the fact that they are female, can bring a lot of hate, or at least just lewd come-ons.

However, you would think movie reviewing would be safe from that.

You would be wrong, at least depending on what kind of movie the woman is reviewing.

I'm greatly looking forward to the new Avengers movie that's coming out next Friday. Everything I've seen of it points to it being a kick-ass movie with lots of action and it has Joss Whedon writing and directing, so the dialogue should be great too. Basically, it's a comic book fan's dream come true in movie form.

I do realize, however, that not everybody will share that opinion. Most critics who have already seen it, however, do share it. They give the movie very good reviews.

With one exception.

Reviewer Amy Nicholson gave the movie a mediocre review, 3-stars, with some complaints about it. They certainly could be valid, though I may not agree with them after I've seen the movie. I've never read any of her reviews before, so I don't know anything about her reviewing style or anything like that. There are definitely errors pointed out in the comments, such as calling the Nick Fury character "Nick Frost" (maybe she's a Simon Pegg movie fan? And apparently she's edited the review now to correct that mistake), so there may be a reason to avoid her reviews.

Why am I bringing this up?

Because she's getting slammed for it. And many of the slams are because she's a woman. (h/t: my good friend Engima667 on Twitter)

Some of the comments are pretty vile.

DVDA says:
"See internet, this is what happens when you give your PA the change to write reviews because it's cheaper than hiring a proper male writer."

3490314 says:
"She asked her boyfriend what score she should give. Just stick to rom-coms, bitch."

and the same person also says:
"Her boss/lover says it's better than having her make the coffee and answering phones and besides what else was she going to do with that creative writing degree daddy paid for?"

Movie2012 says:
"I know the first bad review was gonna come from a woman ....."

You get the idea.

Now many of the other comments talk about her reviews as a whole, or talk about her accuracy and proofreading. Maybe she does have the history that they claim that she has, regarding inconsistency in her reviews as an attempt to garner hits to the web site. All of that, if true, would be really bad. So I'm not defending her or her review.

What I am doing is calling out those who would go the whole sexism route. Why can't you just slam her for the quality of her reviews rather than making a comment about "getting coffee for the boss" or making cracks about her boyfriend telling her what to give the movie?

Women should be open to criticism for the job they are doing, just as men should. So why does gender have to be the issue?

I think some guys (despite what Melissa Silverstein says in her post, none of the obviously female commenters that I saw on there actually made any misogynistic statements) just have trouble dealing with any woman who dares set foot in the domain that they firmly feel should be a man's. That's why they get obnoxious and rude to female gamers, and that's why whenever a woman pisses them off in regards to a comic book movie, they get their backs up.

I only have this one example to go by. Amy says that this has happened to some of her other reviews, and to other reviewers as well, both men and women (though she says "...though men get more death threats while women get more poetry like, 'Whose $%#@ did you suck to get your job?'"

Is this really necessary, people?

C'mon, it's just a movie. Misogyny is ugly no matter what form it takes.


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