This poster for “The Hobbit” is all over downtown San Francisco where I just was with my 9 year old daughter and her entire class on a field trip. What’s missing here?
I know, I know, it’s not Hollywood’s fault. I should blame J. R. R. Tolkein instead. He created the series around mostly male characters. But before I go into Tolkein, I want to know: Have you ever seen an ad for a major motion picture featuring 13 female characters? Ever? Do you think all the other people passing by noticed that this poster is all male? Or is it so similar to all of the other all male, mostly male, front-and center male posters that no one notices that females go missing? It’s just a “normal” annihilation, kind of like a board room meeting at Facebook.
Here’s why J. R. R. Tolkein can’t shoulder the responsibility of sexism in 2012 USA:
(1) The gender imbalance is not just this movie, it is representative of a pattern, a gender matrix that Hollywood rarely breaks out of.
(2) Everything is derivative. Are we going to be reproducing sexism thousands of years from now because the Bible, the Greek myths, the classics, and DC comics are narratives created by men?
(3) Even when Hollywood makes a movie from a spin off of a character in a classic, time and time again, a male is picked as the new main character i.e. “Shrek 3” led to “Puss In Boots.” The latest?
“Oz The Great and Powerful.” The life story of Oz, the fake ruler, the imposter. He gets his own movie. I’m sure it humanizes him very nicely.
The real ruler of Oz? That would be Ozma. When I was a kid, she was my favorite character in the L. Frank Baum series, because she was the real ruler of Oz, the rightful ruler, and also because she had dark hair like me.
Anyone ever heard of her? Do your children know who she is? There is a book about her. Where is her movie? I didn’t see the preview.