The thing about sexism is that it’s so socially ingrained that we hardly even notice it. It’s just a given, we expect it, we’re even entertained by it. Some people claim that sexism isn’t a problem anymore (those people are just adorable, don’t you think?).
So no matter how blatant sexism is, it goes unnoticed, unacknowledged, especially when it comes to our entertainment. It’s just a movie, after all; it’s not hurting anyone, right?
Wrong. Somebody sound the buzzer.
Not only does entertainment – books, film, TV – reflect what the audience wants, what it relates to, it also provides a platform for acceptable behavior. Whatever the hero/heroine does, it follows that those are the behaviors we should adopt as well, because it’s what the good guy does. The problem is that these supposed good guys aren’t immune by social construction, and so what they say and do isn’t as much of “The Right Thing” as it’s presented to be.
Keeping that in mind, let’s go destroy some much-beloved movies, shall we?
10. 10 Things I Hate About You
“Just ’cause you’re beautiful, that doesn’t mean that you can treat people like they don’t matter.”
So the picture doesn’t match the quote, but the point’s the same: Nobody’s denying that Bianca is initially the stereotypical spoiled rich girl. Does that mean that Cameron can make this assumption – that she thinks she’s above treating others decently just because she looks good doing it? Talk about a misinterpretation of character. It’s pretty obvious that the only reason Cameron does this in the first place is because he saw Joey put his arm around Bianca at that party.
So to sum this up: Cameron is upset because Bianca doesn’t seem to like him, even though he “learned French for [her].” As if a foreign language is an all-access pass to a girl’s pants. Looks like we’ve located the origin of Nice Guy Syndrome.
This article was first posted on June 21, 2013