gender inequality makes it difficult for men and women to be friends with each other, for men to be friends with men, and for women to be friends with each other. Regarding the latter, I argue that, in a society that values men and masculinity over women and femininity, everyone values men’s opinions more than women’s. Inevitably, then, women are placed into competition with one another for attention from men. Meanwhile, women’s opinions of them have less value and can’t substitute for men’s, so women can’t hold each other up; they must all turn to men for self-esteem.
So we have an obvious truism — that women are often in competition with each other for male attention, and that women are often pitted against each other generally — being pointed out, which is a good first step. Figuring out why that might be so — and why that obvious truism is of feminist concern — is the logical next step which is, unfortunately, never taken. In other words, so what?
Today, Dr. Caroline Heldman writes for Sociological Images that Hollywood execs are missing out on revenues because Hollywood continues to depict female action heroes as “Fighting Fuck Toys” (FFT) which are not believable or compelling protagonists. She notes that the recent blockbuster “The Hunger Games” has been a box office success, despite its heroine being a “believable, reluctant hero” who “isn’t objectified once.” Heldman, who is a regular political commentator for Fox News, Fox Business News, RT America, and Al Jazeera English, seems genuinely confused as to why Hollywood so routinely spits out box office flops like Elektra, Catwoman, and Sucker Punch portraying hypersexualized female protagonists when the FFT action heroine-genre doesn’t seem to be particularly lucrative.
Could it be that money really isn’t the point? And, are we completely sure that the female protagonist in “The Hunger Games” is not objectified?