Garbage Feminism and Television

At 59 years of age my entertainment tastes have always held up until maybe 3 years ago, when men and women started to be depicted in ways that seem to be false to me. The era of the “kickass” woman started and Hollywood has never looked back. Problem is, in order for her to be strong, the men she fights have to be weak. Juxtapose this with the #metoo onslaught (which is the greatest display of female weakness ever) and movies and tv become propaganda organs with no basis in reality. So to restate: If you’re writing a story that you think is a good story and you want it to be taken as such and respected as such, why create characters whose only purpose is to further a political agenda that may be off-putting for your target audience? This trend of writing is what I like to call Garbage Feminism because it has become the female counterpart to toxic masculinity.

Shows like Magnum PI, SWAT, MacGyver and now Walker Texas Ranger were originally male-centric shows whose audience was men who liked things manly. That being the case, what’s the point of rebooting these shows with added empowered female characters who are all too often depicted as tougher than the men they fight (ie the new Higgins in Magnum PI is now a woman who is often written to defeat larger men in combat)? What message does that send to your male audience? And why send that message via a reboot of a show that mostly men watched? Another problem with these characters is the strain on credibility; why would these soldiers and henchmen be hired to fight if they cant even beat a woman half their size? Aren’t those the men you DON’T want working as a soldier for your organization?

That said, my problem is not with women, it’s with the political placement of these women and the message it sends to men who might otherwise want to see the story you’ve written. As a writer NOT specifically writing fantasy fiction but instead writing real-world crime stories for television, why would I need to misrepresent the strengths and weaknesses of my characters along gender lines? These empowerment characters feel like they’re all written from the standpoint of being male characters portrayed by women — not real women at all.

In fact it’s the difference you feel between Wonder Woman and Captain Marvel; one is feminine and powerful, the other is masculine and falsely powerful. There’s no indication that Captain Marvel ever felt what a woman feels (or even that she ever went through female puberty and its awakening trials) and that absence of human feeling makes her impossible to relate to as a woman. Wonder Woman is exactly the opposite —feminine and beautiful and loving of all people, not just women. Similarly, in the original Walker , it was HIS story (hence the title) and he had a very lovely lady friend who was a DA and very feminine yet powerful; in the reboot he has a partner that is a character who once would have been male but is now female. You don’t need to steal the title Walker Texas Ranger to tell that story; it could be any male/female cop story but with texas rangers. Calling it that means you want to attract the audience that show used to have, which was men 18–34, and that bait-and-switch is what I hate. Female empowerment is being depicted as male characters portrayed by female actors.

Why am i upset that today’s storytelling industry reflects these changes?
Because i still exist, and because men and women still relate the same way they did when The Godfather was the 4-star movie that all other movies wanted to be. In fact, by this new leftist thinking most movies that were ever considered great or classic must now be discarded because times have changed. Yet they are still celebrated the world over!

OK for the record, my favorite genres are action, mystery, horror, sci-fi — i’m more plot oriented than character oriented. And I understand that there are tough female soldiers and cops and FBI agents etc, but none of that convinces me that anyone in the action industry is hiring men who can’t outfight a similarly skilled woman; the biology doesn’t support it. So while these scenes may look great on film, they don’t track logically.

What also doesn’t track is the rebooting of shows that were made for a male audience and trying to attract women with them. That doesn’t happen in the reverse so it feels kind of divisive. No one is rebooting Sex in the City and making two of the female characters male because times have changed. They definitely could, but they’re not.

As for this movement being the answer to decades of misogyny, it seems to me that the Feminist Agenda is giving birth to its own brand of misogyny (whether intentionally or inadvertently I can't say) because it’s the natural outcome of a medium that takes a male IP and trojan horses anti-male sentiment into it! There is no movement that causes tv producers to create shows where men are constantly seen to beat up women, yet every sci-fi/action/adventure/crime show comes replete with scene after scene of women beating up men, women surviving after all the male characters have been killed off, women verbally bullying men. Other aspects of The Feminist Agenda for television include:

1 — the stories have only daughters, no sons;
2 — only the female characters have super powers (Marvel’s Agents of SHIELD and Marvel’s Runaways), or if real-life drama there is a woman at the top of every hierarchy;
3 — the female lead character has only female family and a lesbian lover but not a boyfriend;

To continue, there are essentially five “female-style” networks:

ABC likes the successful and powerful woman who’s free of male interference and rarely has any substantial male associates; she has empowered her sex and has agency in all things;

CW loves the teen woman and empowering her above men either with the supernatural or with super powers. I watched a few of their male-led shows before I realized that the male leading characters (Arrow and Flash) were always being written to fail or to make horrible mistakes and were constantly surrounded by powerful women who would also gain powers and skills that would sometimes trump the hero;

SYFY likes to put matriarchy in all of their shows, so it feels like they just write all male characters and cast most of those as female. So when I say a TV show or channel hates me, that would be SYFY because, while there are male characters, they’re always written to be weaker than the females (though they did surprise me with season one of Krypton). But they “course-corrected” with season two and every week saw the two Zod women abusing or killing a whole bunch of male soldiers, so I had to stop watching. And actually the same thing happened with Van Helsing whereby the first season was accessible to male viewers but in season two the matriarchal world-building started and the males from season one all started being compromised by the writing;

Lifetime Movie Network is all about women but apparently secretly hates them — in a fun way! Their women are powerful, crazy, evil — but still feminine. And they beat up on each other; that’s extremely rare in action shows because it’s the norm has become woman vs men. I really enjoy their stories because they have so much fun with it;

Hallmark (no doubt because it sells a lot of greeting cards to every strata of society) loves women but also loves the men women love and is especially fond of fathers and actual families. This is the world that I belong to.

Look, I’m not a new viewer so i can remember a time when television was fun and entertaining and never wanted to offend anyone, so I KNOW that there’s a difference! There were standards and practices in place to prevent anything distancing from reaching the airwaves and while those may still exist they offer no protections for male character portrayals. And the onslaught shows no signs of stopping; still to come are female versions of The Equalizer and Kung-Fu. It has become the standard to see cross-gender violence with the female always dominant because in some misguided way someone thinks that it is empowering, but it’s not. Ask yourself if you’d be ok with a show where female characters are introduced and then routinely killed of (while males are not), or a show where men fight women and the women are demolished. If not, then you should be able to understand my complaints.



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