Set in the early 19th century, Alejandro González Iñárritu‘s The Revenant looks like a violent, masculine hellride of a film. I do not say masculine because the film is aimed at a male audience, or that women will be unable to enjoy it; I say masculine because it deals with rugged looking men, in traditionally male gender roles, fighting each other to solve their problems.
Starring a grizzled Leonardo DiCaprio and a rugged Tom Hardy, the film follows two men trapped in a cycle of violence and revenge across the American frontier. One film critic, Jeffrey Wells, recently made the unfortunate mistake of tweeting a particularly unfortunate message after seeing an advanced screening of the film. Wells runs a particularly inauspicious little blog called Hollywood Elsewhere, which he uses to voice his opinion and thoughts on film and television. The unfortunate message previously mentioned was tweeted from the blogs twitter, and you can read it below:
"The Revenant" is an unflinchingly brutal, you-are-there, raw-element immersion like something you've never seen. Forget women seeing this.
— Hollywood Elsewhere (@wellshwood) November 24, 2015
Yep, it’s pretty terrible; casual misogyny in full force. As most films follow the male gaze, women have been forced to identify with male protagonists for a long time now, this is not a problem; the issue with Wells‘ tweet is the presupposition that women cannot handle violence, gore, or action based narratives, because they’re full of sugar and pink balloons and have never had to deal with such issues in their domesticated, less-authentic lives I guess. Whatever the reasoning, it was a pretty stupid thing to say, and Twitter had something to say about it. Here are but a few of the responses:
.@wellshwood you mean a raw-element immersion like childbirth?
— soniasaraiya ✍ (@soniasaraiya) November 24, 2015
@wellshwood ha! What women? Like the dainty vagina you came from that gave you life, and the brain for dumb sexist tweets?
— Daniella Pineda (@Maniella) November 24, 2015
.@wellshwood Will I be able to handle it if my tree-chopping, car-building, gym trainer boyfriend is there or should I grow a dick instead?
— Nina Corcoran (@Nina_Corcoran) November 25, 2015
And one of my particular favourites:
.@wellshwood Dude, you don't have to adopt the sexism of the period the film is portraying when writing a review of it.
— Tom (@thomasjohnd) November 24, 2015
The worse thing is, after the tirade of tweets letting Wells know he’d offended about half of the world’s population, he took to his blog to defend his actions, stating “I’m not stupid, and I know that generalizations always get you into trouble“. This isn’t generalisation I’m afraid, this is sexism; repressed, unfounded, damaging sexism, and now you need to reassess how you look at film, women, and the world at large. The Revenant will be released in the UK on January 15, 2016.