Think about the last time you watched a comedy like Project X, The Hangover or The Inbetweeners. If you’ve seen the movies, you probably didn’t even notice it the first time you watched them, but they actually sexually objectify women – subtle as it may be.
“Sexual objectification!” you exclaim. “What sexual objectification?!”
Don’t get us wrong – those party-culture, comedy movies are hilarious, but it’s the underlying sexual objectification of women in these movies that is not so funny. You’ll probably agree with us after reading these mini reviews:
1. Project X (2012)
Project X summarises the idea of the male gaze into ninety minutes of a film about an out of control party. Apart from the textbook ‘good girl’ in the film, all of the women exist purely for the pleasure of male viewers: think up-skirt shots and exposed breasts. Watch the trailer below and try to spot a woman not being treated as a sexual object (hint – it’s nearly impossible). The sexual objectification presented in Project X can have a dangerous impact on the mental health and body image of young women, as well as negatively influencing the behaviour of young men towards women.
2. The Hangover (2009)
The Hangover is based around a bachelor party (defined by alcohol, drugs, gambling and the sex industry) in Las Vegas and the lack of memory which results for the male characters the morning after. The majority of the women in the film – girlfriends and wives – are portrayed as disposable, unopinionated and accomodating of all behaviour. The only character who offers any critique, or pretty much has an opinion, is Stu’s girlfriend, although she is portrayed as controlling, crazy and unsympathetic. This is an objectifying, poor representation of women, concocting certain stereotypes which may pose as harmful to both male and female viewers.
3. The Inbetweeners Movie (2011)
The Inbetweeners Movie follows four socially troubled 18-year-olds from the south of England go on holiday by themselves for the first time to Malia. Although many female characters appear in the film as crushes and girlfriends, they also appear as siblings and mothers. Regardless, all female characters are judged on their appearance and often referred to by slang terms for their body parts such as ‘gash’, ‘clunge’ and ‘jugs’ to cite a few. The sexual objectification of women in a comedy movie like The Inbetweeners is actually more harmful than you might think. Because the movie is marketed towards a young adult audience, the viewer is encouraged to share the viewing perspective of the male characters: risking young women becoming sexually objectified subjects, purely existing as recipients of the male gaze.
Have you seen any of these movies? Do you agree with any of the above mini reviews?
Let us know what you think in the comments down below!
– S x