How many SJWs have recited the “Threatened By Women” chant in response to criticism of The Last Jedi? Probably more than we care to count.
Kate Erbland of Indiwire reports:
“As he prepares to reenter the “Star Wars” universe with his upcoming (and still-untitled) Episode IX, “Force Awakens” filmmaker J.J. Abrams is unbothered by the recent backlash to the diversity of “Star Wars: The Last Jedi.” Asked by IndieWire about pushback from “Star Wars” fans who decried Rian Johnson’s film for its focus on more female-centric stories (bolstered by the edition of franchise newbies like Laura Dern and Kelly Marie Tran), Abrams was clear: “Their problem isn’t ‘Star Wars,’ their problem is being threatened.”
“In December, an alt-right group claimed responsibility for lowering the film’s Rotten Tomatoes scores, claiming that its issues with the film partially stemmed from “introducing more female characters into the franchise’s universe.”
Rotten Tomatoes has confirmed that no one was hacking the audience score for The Last Jedi.
“If you are someone who feels threatened by women and needs to lash out against them, you can probably find an enemy in ‘Star Wars.’ You can probably look at the first movie that George [Lucas] did [‘Star Wars: A New Hope’] and say that Leia was too outspoken, or she was too tough. Anyone who wants to find a problem with anything can find the problem. The internet seems to be made for that.”
Except that no one was lashing out against women, who have had a prominent role in Star Wars for 4 decades, as I wrote about here. Rather, what people are lashing out against instead, is the moronic feminist politics, which I’ve written about here and here. Here’s a video that Abrams desperately needs to watch:
But understanding the criticism of The Last Jedi requires understanding the distinction and difference between feminist ideology and the female gender, which are separate things now, in a modern age in which men can and do routinely claim to be feminists. Even JJ Abrams himself, a man, has won an award from the feminist Athena Film Festival. So criticism of feminist ideology does not automatically translate into criticism of women. Nor does criticism of feminist ideology automatically constitute a War on Women™. Caitlin Busch of inverse.com explains this distinction in the context of the Star Wars universe:
“Side note: feminism isn’t just about people who identify as women. The film’s main male characters — Finn, Poe Dameron, Kylo Ren, and Luke Skywalker — were all allowed their own room to grow and change and feel their feelings, which is a subject that more male-focused feminism often looks at. In our world, men are often told time and time again that they’re not allowed to feel emotion; the guys in The Last Jedi were not only allowed to feel emotion but encouraged to, and that’s lovely.”
But for anyone worrying that the backlash against The Last Jedi might cause some course correction, fear not. JJ Abrams is digging his feet in, and warning movie goers that this train doesn’t stop:
No one is complaining that there are too many women. Rather, they are complaining about too much feminism instead. Again, understand the distinction.
This comment runs in stark contrast to bold statements from online feminists, who wrote:
“In many ways the female power of The Last Jedi feels like a fitting tribute to the late Fisher, the fearless and unapologetically feminist Force of Star Wars. It may have taken four decades, and one infamous gold bikini, but women are finally running the galaxy far, far away.”
Indeed, even Kathleen Kennedy has expressed that she didn’t feel the need to cater to male fans. And remember, the Force is now exclusively female, gender equality and equal representation be damned. What is that, if not taking away the male point of view or male artistry?
I would very much like Mr. Abrams to explain to Star Wars fans how his incredibly stupid statements apply to real world women, who are also complaining about The Last Jedi. Are those women also threatened by women?
Why would fans who have watched strong females in Star Wars for 40 years in the way of Leia and Amidala, and indeed Rey in his own Force Awakens, suddenly feel threatened by women now?
Is Abrams not aware, that a big portion of the criticism for The Last Jedi involves not following through on mysteries he set up in The Force Awakens? Is he aware that many complain about the lack of screen time and dialogue given to Captain Phasma; a strong female character? Why didn’t JJ step aside when Kathleen Kennedy approached him to direct The Force Awakens, so that a woman could direct instead? Is he some kind of bigot for not doing so? We already had 5 Episodes directed by white males. Why did we need a 7th? What about fairness?
Abrams like many others forget the meaning of the word “war” in Star Wars. Star Wars was never about equality in the galaxy. It was never about a slice of life as depicted by some galactic census bureau. Star Wars was about wars being fought in the stars; hence the word “war” in Star Wars. Wars are inherently unequal and unfair, as they are predominately fought by men. When women start signing up for Selective Service, then maybe Abrams will have some ground to stand on when he prattles about fairness.
That’s not to say that women should not appear in Star Wars. They can and have for 40 years. And I’ve written here about how genuinely interesting female characters could be portrayed in the Star Wars scenario. But perfect equal representation just isn’t applicable to wartime settings, and feminists tend to agree. War is one of the primary things that feminists like JJ Abrams say is an expression of toxic masculinity. Although, maybe the goal of these Disney films is to imbue women with the toxic masculinity that manifests itself as war.
What this is really about, is pandering to the small minded political fashions of the moment, which will serve only to severely date the Disney films. I also think he may be pre-fabricating an excuse for the potential box office disaster of Episode IX, if this backlash were to grow.
But Abrams is right in that this doesn’t qualify as oppression, as long as customers are not forced to consume this product, and are free to take their money elsewhere. I’m sure that attacking a sizable portion of the fanbase with bogus insults will do wonders for Episode IX ticket sales. Good luck, chap.