Cultural Whores No More … Chick Flick Power Arise!

I don’t know about you but I am bored out of my mind with the images we get fed from movies and television. I am bored looking at hardware chases, sweaty male faces and guns spewing forth bullets, (hardly ever hitting their target, except the end), running around trying to SAVE the world from other males who are equally out of control. Die Harder, Rambo 7, Lethal Weapon 5, and its spawn ad nausea. Interchangeable movies with each other drone on. Clearly Hollywood loves males with a passion, treats females as marginal, and treats female writers/directors with exclusion and contempt.

Why is it that male executives who make programming decisions want purposefully to make movies for other men rather than women??? Because they don’t have to. They say “women go see anything” with a date. In other words women are cultural whores. We sit through, bored, or are insulted by the content, we allow the movies to portray us as marginal humans (one female part to ten male roles ), we pay our good chick dollars , hold our noses and go see movies that we just don’t like at all because we are women, we go with the male tide. Who me? Am I to complain about no entertainment for more then half of humanity? No problem as long as we are on a date. This is how we are seen. Powerless cultural whores who will see any crap the males churn out. I want to change that within my lifetime.

Chick Flicks Versus Dick Flicks

Supposedly males will not go see the ‘chick flicks.’ On a date somehow they will resist going to see a movie where feelings are featured, women’s feelings especially. Chick flicks are defined as having to do with feelings and relationships, maybe even a little crying is involved. Supporting women to get their movies on screen is not likely ever to come from men. They would rather put gay males into their dick flicks. The new dick flicks go as far as showing males pissing in stalls , we have to watch them do the little after ‘shake’ and see them not washing their hands afterwards. Is this culture??? Just a second while I throw up.

When a so called ‘chick flick’ makes a ton of money, most often they do, it’s termed as ‘a fluke’. Let’s just list a few flukes who either won an Oscar or were nominated for writing.

E.T.
Thelma and Louise
Howard’s End
The Remains of the Day
The Piano
Sleepless in Seattle
Heavenly Creatures
Il Postino
Sense and Sensibility
Wag the Dog
Primary Colors
Erin Brokovich
The Lord of the Rings
My Big Fat Greek Wedding

These are the ‘flukes’ men like to call not profitable, yet they all were!!! Lies! They are flukes all right, because against all odds, somehow they got made.

I am a professional writer and I also dream about writing movies that sell and get made. So far I have written 10 books (in print) 3 screenplays, with 2 more in mind, 2 sitcoms, and the ideas keep coming. Each time I feel the spirit fill me with new work, I look at my professional field, and all the excellent screenwriter women who live and work in Hollywood. They have agents and connections, and yet NOT ONE sold an original screenplay last year (2002) Not once did we break through the male celluloid wall. How can I then dream of selling a property without an agent, without connections, to even have a chance of a snowball in hell?

Then I have compared this dismal situation to what was there 3o years ago. It is the same! In many ways its worse. Back then when we first fought for women’s culture .we really thought our efforts will succeed in time.(we were told over and over again to be patient.) After all women have gained many rights since, but Not on the cultural field. We can have a legal abortion but not a good flick to see with our girlfriends. I am not even asking for good lesbian movies. Just something with some imagination and entertainment value for women.

Its is said that if a woman director gets a hit movie made she will not work for ten years. If a male gets a hit movie made, he will work for ten years more. This is so unfair to woman artists that it chokes me with tears. The male justification is once more :women will see anything. Anything. No need to fear our demands. Chick dollars will be spent every weekend on dick flicks.

Let’s Give Them Bad Blockbuster Weekends

Chick dollars withheld from the box office is LONG overdue. Somehow we never quite believed how bad it is being excluded from our times’ culture, marginalized like a minority, when we are majority. Get it through your head! Women are most of the human beings on earth. We buy most of the books, we read more then men, most of the movie goers are female. And we don’t need a date to catch a flick.

Being culturally marginalized is to accept second rate citizenship. Just because women have been too NICE and go to all the male crap they call movies, dick flicks. We are being punished for our writers and directors having a vagina, having excess to their feelings and liking to entertain thoughts other than killing people as problem solving devise.

How do we do this?

Hollywood depends heavily on their weekend intake on any new release. This is where they want to see their money returned to them. If women don’t go to Dick Flicks they will feel our financial sting. Hollywood respects financial power. Let’s give them Bad Blockbuster Weekends.

The definition for dick flicks is this:

  1. When you see the advertising/promo, do you see mostly males on it and just one female on the poster? Unless the woman is the lead character it’s a Dick flick. Avoid it, the woman is not you, she is just a prop to assure you subliminally that these guys are still heterosexual. She probably has five minutes airtime, tops. All of that as a sex object or grieving for her man. Whichever male character has a girl usually dies in dick flicks.
  2. Rule number two: The savior theme, males saving the world without women. This is the prototype of the dick flick, they get a male star to carry the movie (to bring in the women who are enamored with male stars and please tell me why ), sell it as adventure, but it’s just a lot of hardware stuff, special effects and debris flying through the air. Millions of bullets are fired, never once hitting the dick heroes. Cost tons of money, all the males involved make out with fat checks, it’s a dick fest. Avoid this kind of movie, and if your date wants to see it, let him go alone. You are no longer a cultural whore.
  3. People of color in dick flicks without the women are still just crap. It doesn’t matter if we now replace white dicks with black dicks, it’s still not going to entertain feelings, create an emotional effect, not even good fantasy. Believe me you have eaten this cultural food before, and it left you empty and unappreciated. Boycott it.
  4. War movies. No matter which war it’s about, it’s a dick flick. Glorifying senseless violence and manhood in time of crisis. You have seen this movie thousands of times . Don’t buy that ticket no matter who is the good looking guy in it. It’s against your values as a woman, and you are excluded. They made this movie for males.
  5. Sports movies with all male cast. Dick flick. You know what to do.

Imaging, creating movies, giving communal dreams to the people is a privilege.The people is mostly women. It’s the best work in the world. Pays outrageously well when it pays. Men like it and want to keep it amongst males. We all sit there in the dark experiencing together something where humanity is grappling with some problem, feelings of all kinds, the pangs of love. It’s not only business it’s a commitment to be entertaining and to cater to women who are most of the movie goers.

It’s rare that movie directing falls into a women’s hands, unless she finances it herself and gets it done in Europe. Or she is a famous star and agrees to do a small budget movie which then gets the proverbial ‘fluke’ success and makes a lot of money.

Hollywood argues women are not good enough to write good scripts, yet when they buy a script from a man, it’s women they hire to ‘fix’ it. To do the pages. The same important pages they claim are all that matters to them. These women writers in the backrooms never get their name amongst the credits, and hence they are not paid the same nor respected.

Unless women become conscious of their own cultural demands, us, the female writers and directors and actors will not get hired.You would for ever watch dick flicks in the movies and on the small screen. Rambo clone after Rambo clone . Now a whole generation later, it is time to pay attention how we spend our entertainment dollars. Keep those chick dollars in your pocket on blockbuster weekends.

Women must show their demand that hits Hollywood in the pocketbook. We have to stay home, on big blockbuster weekends nationally (you can do videos). We are not culture whores. We want our own sex to have access to the creative tools of the dream makers. We want our own sex to dream up some entertainment for us. We want our own sex to give us stuff to laugh about, TV sitcoms and movies, breakthroughs in programming. Let women make fun for us, let them bake their excellent cultural feasts, let our sex play and write, direct and produce. With a majority of females in the world, and the majority of movie goers women, demand some better, higher FUN.

Z Budapest, BWH October 2003

(Bored With Hollywood)

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4 thoughts on “Cultural Whores No More … Chick Flick Power Arise!”

  1. Wonderful article Z!

    Whenever I hear the term “chick flick” I always think of film that of focuses on female characters but in a rather shallow way. They are usually preoccupied with getting a boyfriend, a husband, or fashion, hell bent on destroying another female or playing out some sick obsession over a guy —or all of the above. Movies for womyn are movies that depict ‘real women’ who have actually experienced what life is such as “Waiting to Exhale” or “How Stella Got Her Groove Back”–these movies were based around the lives of minority wimmin who either struggle with their lives and/or lost everything and yet, they did NOT lose themselves! (They were block busters by the way) They didn’t need Rambo coming to their rescue because each womyn invoked her own Amazon. Rambo just can’t compete with that! If we are going to go for the dramatic, I’d like to see womyn portrayed in a manner more like this. Show these womyn as their own saviors, invoking their own true Amazonian selves, celebrate them, honor them. Oh and lest not forget to show movies with the “older womyn”! Where the hell are they now a days? Replaced by younger womyn, yet the older guys are still workin’ hollywood raw. To me, this just shows the contempt Hollywood has for womyn period…So yeah, No more “chick dollars” from me on the “dick flick”!!

    Blessings,
    Aura

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  2. Cultural Whore AKA woman with most economic power AKA consumer!!! I am a woman who wields her economic clout being NOT a consumer— by choice. No TV, don’t go to movies, read library books. Don’t even rent films. Borrow movies from friends. However, the day YOUR screenplay gets directed and produced by you and other powerful, FUN women, I WILL PAY TO GO SEE IT!!!!

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  3. Dearest Z,

    Brilliant posting! I´m so thrilled about your screenplays!
    I couldn´t agree more with you here: “Being culturally marginalized is to accept second rate citizenship.” Wimmin are the culture around the World! Our acts should be always foward Feminist Attitudes, as you (Z) well said: “Women must show their demand that hits Hollywood in the pocketbook.”
    We mustn´t support all these stupid things called dick flick movies which belittle Wimmin´s Worth! We are the culture, so we have the power to change all this patriarchal situation. We have the Female´s Power to switch all this situation to a Matriarchal Society!

    Also Bored with Hollywood

    )O( Aphrodisiastes )O(

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  4. Great post! We were talking about this very subject on another feminist forum.

    Unfortunately, many of the “chick flicks” tend to underscore typical gender roles, as well. How many times have I seen a movie about women that did not involve them talking almost exclusively about men and relationships with men? It seems to be pretty rare…to the point now where I just avoid “chick flicks” altogether. Many of the chick flicks, I believe, make it to the theaters only after they have been whitewashed and given the blessing of the patriarchy, to show women how they “should” act (usually being preoccupied with “romance” and eventually giving in to the “romantic hero”, no matter how idiotic he may be). Or, if they do assert themselves, they never wind up happy or alive (e.g., “Thelma and Louise”). The women I know in real life tend to talk about and concern themselves with a variety of things that have NOTHING to do with their men.

    The older I get, the more fascinating I find women to be…and they get more interesting as they get older! But where are all the older actresses? Starring in corny “Hallmark” or “Lifetime” movies-for-TV, whereas the older actors are still box-office draws with female co-stars half their age (think: Sean Connery, Harrison Ford, etc). Are we so afraid, as Rush Limbaugh declared when Hillary Clinton was running for president, to see a woman age in front of our eyes? Most of the women I know gain layers of beauty and wisdom as they age…and they don’t need viagra to perform in bed, either! If anyone needs to be matched with a co-star half her age, it would be a mature woman who is confident in her sexuality and comfortable in her body.

    Although I get bored of some of the “shoot em up” movies, many of our female deities are also goddess of war and destruction. One of the best female-centered, popular films I have seen was “Private Benjamin”, which was about female soldiering…Goldie Hawn actually ended the film happy and alone, having walked out on her jerky fiance on their wedding day. I would personally LOVE to see a feature length film about the Celtic warrior queen Boudica…I don’t know if it has ever been done, but there’s an idea for you! Unfortunately, not a happy ending, but boy, what a ride!

    There’s a whole generation of young girls out there who need to see strong female characters–ones who break gender stereotypes and who are more than supporting characters. I’ve had enough of women being supporting characters in their own LIVES–we need to show women that they are the MAIN characters–in their lives, in their literature, in their movies! Heck, we make up more than 50% of the world…if WE aren’t the main characters, who are?

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