Violence against male adults by any other name is
ITEM A Coke ad shows a man wttng to "go for the Coke” at the nsk of a
shark’s fin slicing through his testicles as it simulates a buzz saw.
Coca-Cola knew that only a man’s life was worth, well, a little bit less than a Coke!
The average American child watches more than 40,000 people killed on TV prior to high school graduation – before the age of consent.36 Of those killed on TV entertainment programs, about 97 percent are men.37 Yet the feminist slogan is “There is nei>er an excuse for violence against women.”
Why does the percentage of men killed seem a little exaggerated? In pan, because when almost 100 percent men are killed in westerns and war movies, we don’t call westerns violence against men – we call them entertainment. And in pan because entire programs often focus on a woman’s life being in jeopardy, leaving us with the emotional impression of violence against her.
When a woman Is so much as wounded, as in the 1992 western Unforgiven, the entire film focuses on punishing those who hurt her. About a dozen men are killed in the process of teaching two men that a woman had better not be hurt. (Notice I said "about a dozen” – the men who died were less visible than the one woman hurt.) In woman-in-jeopardy films, the woman is typically saved while many men die saving her. A man who puts a woman in jeopardy is Unforgiven. Because a woman in jeopardy is unforgotten. The men dead from attempting to save her are forgotten. So the 97 percent of men killed are invisible.
Do American films exploit violence against women?
It is tempting to answer, “No, American films exploit violence against both sexes," but that’s not quite fair. What is fair is that while our attention has been called to violence against women in film, approximately 95 percent of those killed in movies are men.38 As with TV, not only are the westerns and war movies virtually orgies of men killing other men, but so are murder mysteries and women-in-jeopardy films. And think of who gets killed in Goodfellas, West Side Story, Boyz n the Hood, Hoffa, or in any film on the mob or on gangs. All six of these film types persist because we repeatedly pay to watch men murder men – and even boys murder boys.
In contrast, the unwritten, unconscious rule of thumb in the movie industry is that innocent women don’t get killed after their third appearance. Here’s how the rule works. (But beware, once you read this, you will be able to predict the outcome of almost any fictional woman-in-jeopardy movie.)
As a rule, a woman will not be killed unless:
► It is a horror movie (killing a man is not horrible enough to make it a horror movie).
► She is shown to not be a "real woman," thereby undoing her special right as a woman to protection. That is, she is an alien (e. g., Aliens, Bladerunner)-, she has all the negative characteristics of a man (Aliens), or she is an out-and-out protagonist who is clearly crazy and a murderer (e. g., Misery, Fatal Attraction).
► She threatens the life of an innocent woman (Shining Through, Fatal Attraction, and Total Recall).
► She has been seen in no more than three scenes (we have not gotten to know her – she is not a "real woman" to us).
► The rest of the movie is focused on avenging her death (Death Wish), making it, in essence, a morality film showing us that a woman killed leads to a man killed
In contrast, in the woman-in-jeopardy movie, it is not just the life of the man who puts the woman in jeopardy that is expendable, it is also the lives of innocent men. For example, in Silence of the Lambs, the fact that a man had killed women off screen and there was the possibility of a woman being killed on screen created the excuse to have us watch on screen the murder of many innocent men (the prison guards), but no women.
The innocent prison guards were not just mutilated heartlessly and thoroughly, they were murdered incidentally. Their mutilation was a plot additive – as invisible as salt, serving only as spice for the main dish of concern for Jodie Foster. Were innocent women prison guards murdered, it would never have been as a plot additive. Only the murder of men can be as invisible as salt. Had this unspoken rule been broken and innocent women been killed as an additive, we can predict that the outrage would have made the film so politically incorrect as to prevent it from making a sweep of the Academy Awards.
Overall, then, women-in-jeopardy movies are often an excuse for kill-the – man movies.
What happens if a novel violates the "innocent women don’t get killed after their third appearance" rule of thumb? We can predict two things: (1) the novel will not be made into a film and (2) if any violence is protested, only the violence against women will be protested. For example, the novel American l*sycbo involved the graphic murder of men, women, and a boy (it featured the deaths of eight men and a little boy, including the actual murder of three of those men and the little boy).*9 Hundreds of nationwide protests and articles focused only on its violence agaiast women. We can predict the novel will not be made into a major American film, much less be eligible for Academy Awards.
Women-in-jeopardy movies are, in essence, the updated versions of men dying to save the princess from the dragon to earn her love. They are modern-day training films for teaching women to select the best protectors while weeding out the rest. And then we call the woman “victim” and the man "powerful."