Violence against men as women’s liberation
Thelma and Louise was widely touted as a film of women’s liberation. (It was, for example the only film celebrated by the National Organization for Women at its twenty-fifth convention.) Never in American history have two men been celebrated as heroes of men s liberation after they deserted their wives, met one female jerk after another, and then killed one woman and left another woman stuffed in a trunk in 120-degree desert heat. Male serial billers are condemned – not celebrated – at men s liberation conventions. The moment a men’s movement calls it a sign of empowerment or brotherhood when men kill women is the moment I will protest it as fascism.
When men protested, the common reaction was, "Isn’t it interesting that when men kill, no one protests, but now that women kill, there’s a protest?" Which, of course, missed the point of the protest. Men kill men in gang movies, cop movies, mob films, westerns, murder mysteries, and war movies; if a man kills a woman, he is killed by other men. Men frequently die protecting women, women almost never die to protea a man. In contrast, Thelma and Louise did not show any women trying to apprehend the two women who killed the men; it did not show any women trying to kill any other women, it did not show any woman dying to protea a man.
The "shoot о man, find a human” school of film
In the 1990s, the killing of men in films reached a new level: it is not called violence against men, it is called male self-help.
In Regarding Henry, brain damage from bulla wounds "kills" an arrogant attorney and transforms him into a caring attorney, in Doctor, cancer "kills" the arrogant doaor and transforms him into a caring doaor; in Doc Hollywood, а саг accident "kills" Doc Hollywood and transforms him into Doc Sensitive; in Defending Your Life and Switch, it took death itself to transform insensitive executive-type men into caring executive types; in Robin Hood, it takes war and a mutilated dad hanging from a rope to "kill" Robin’s spoiled-nobleman past and transform him into a hero of the poor.
Taken togaher, two doaors, a lawyer, an executive, and a nobleman symbolize the feeling that the only man worth preserving is the man who emerges as he is dying. If a spate of films suggested that when a black, a woman, or a jew is dying, something worth preserving finally emerges. . .