As cinema studies persists in becoming a viable college major (though we all know there’s nothing more viable than “business” or “marketing” in this post-collegiate life), history has consistently shown that male viewers tend to either balk at or simply lose interest in a female protagonist carrying a major (or even minor) film.
And this trend is, of course, not lost on the ever-bookish and learned Emma Watson, who recently put the male lack of “cross-gender empathy” on blast in an interview with Marie Claire (ahem, Marie Claire Australia). Commenting on the reasons why it’s so difficult to get Hollywood to back a female-starring vehicle, Watson offered, “Anything that deviates from the norm is difficult to accept. I think if you’ve been used to watching characters that look like, sound like, think like you, and then you see someone [unexpected] up on the screen, you go, ‘Well, that’s a girl, she doesn’t look like me. I want it to look like me so that I can project myself onto the character.’”
The last thing a straight male can project themselves onto is a female–even though straight men of now are so effete. In spite of man’s evolution into perhaps gradually understanding that women run the world (just as Beyoncé declared in 2011), it doesn’t mean they’re any closer to letting go of the clout they have with the film industry’s desire to appeal to the “mainstream.” This remains an evident fact in upcoming releases like King Arthur: Legend of the Sword (how phallic, Mr. Ciccone), Spider-Man: Homecoming, Baywatch (gross) and Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales. The only bright spot in the roster of summer releases being Wonder Woman is telling of life under a Trump regime, and of just how much progress is yet to be made.
Watson is herself helping to spur the change that will create a long-lasting alteration to how women are seen onscreen, as evidenced by her recent portrayal of Belle in Beauty and the Beast showcasing a female’s independent sense of self and zero tolerance for fuckboys policy. Yet Watson can’t be relied upon to change everything, for fuck’s sake (literacy included). In order to truly invoke the about-face required to see more female heroines in cinema on the regular, it isn’t the celebrities that need to change, but the so-called “upper management” of the industry, still guarded with a vise grip of control by men at all levels of the greenlighting process.
Nonetheless, even that wouldn’t alter things right away (like how you would need to assassinate roughly fifteen people after Trump to see a viable regime deflection). Because it would also take the acclimation of the modern man to this notion of seeing a woman inhabiting a primary role on the silver screen consistently for them to be deprogrammed. Thus, it’s sort of an evolutionary viewing experience. Watson added, “[Women] see whoever is onscreen and recognize the human qualities in the man that we relate to, and there’s not such a gap. But for some reason, there’s some kind of barrier there where [men] are like, ‘I don’t want to relate to a girl.’ I think it is inherently part of the problem.” So basically, once we mass pull a ghost in the shell on all men by putting women brains into their robot bodies, we’re likely to be saddled with a lot of cock at the theater for a while.