The other day I was wandering around YouTube, as you do, and I stumbled across a page of trailers. Now I love movie trailers, in fact as a kid I always wanted to be the person who made them. Cutting together the next brilliant movie to tease people to watch. The thrill of a good trailer is often wasted on some of the worst movies. I won’t even get started with the ones where they put the best jokes in the trailer.
Anyway, I was looking at the page and something struck me. As I scrolled and scrolled there was a pattern to the images. I have captured 45 video links below. See if yo can spot the theme?
Out of the 45 images the majority are women and they are either being tortured, zombies or trying to be sexy. I mean out of the random selection
- 2 images are of women in the bath,
- 3 kissing what appear to be other women (although one is a trans lady),
- 8 are in their pants or bikinis
- 3 there are clear acts of violence against women.
- There is even one which looks to imply oral sex is or will take place.
For me it’s clear these are all aimed at the male gaze. Women as a sexual object from the “sexy” bikini pics to suggestions of nudity in the bath to a gun used as a crude metaphor for a penis. the use of a gun as a penis is very troubling to me. I am sure there are studies on the similarities in media between guns (the best I could find was an USA Today article). Which leads on to violence in the images.
Here things get a little tricky. As YouTube is a US site it sticks to the US methodology that violence is fine but sexuality, apart from to sell is bad. I mean a trailer is just a fancy name for an advert for a movie. So using sex and violence makes sense to encourage US movie goers to see their product. Although here in Europe I suspect the majority will go straight to DVD/digital download.
I also suspect that none of this will come of a surprise to many of you dear readers. I mean every day sexism is not just a phrase and I kind of feel like this is not something I am qualified to write about. Yet when I saw the page I knew I had to write something even if it is a little ham-fisted and disjointed. I would also be interested in your comments on this subject. Finally, if you want to see the page for yourself from YouTube it’s right here.