Monday, July 07, 2008

Pop Culture

I saw two movies over the weekend, which is slightly unusual for me. And more oddly still, I had a moment of yeah, that’s happened to me in each of them.

The first one was Get Smart, which I saw with Max Friday night. There’s a scene where Agent 99, played by Anne Hathaway, is tied up in the back seat of a car during a high-speed chase. The car is being driven by her former lover, who’s a double agent. He’s going to kill her and set off a bomb, but they get sidetracked into sniping at each other, in a manner typical of ex-lovers.

Stung by a jab of Anne’s, he yells back at her, “Well, some men like women who are feminine!”

Anne rears up in outrage and screeches, “Are you calling me unfeminine?” And, while still tied up, kicks him in the face – hard.

Which to me does not seem like a completely unreasonable response in that circumstance. I have never actually kicked someone in the face, but I myself have been called unfeminine, and at the time it I got rather annoyed by it. I knew, intellectually, that what it meant was “You scare me. Women aren’t supposed to scare men. Therefore you are not acting like a woman.” I would imagine pretty much any woman who’s strong-minded, independent, and direct about what she wants, in bed and out of it, gets this at least once in her life, if not more. It’s one of those put-downs that utterly reveals the insecurities of person who says it.

But still – at the time, it pissed me off. So I thought, “Yeah, you just go, girl. Show his ass unfeminine.”

Then on Saturday night, Monk and I went to see Wanted, with Angelina Jolie. It was what he and I call a Gun-Porn movie - meaning a movie in which sexy people with really BIG guns shoot each other over and over.

In this movie, Angelina and James McAvoy are professional assassins. There’s a scene in which the two of them are crouched in hiding, waiting to spring out and kill someone. James turns to Angelina and says, “Do you ever think about being… some other way?” When she displays confusion, he says, “You know, like not doing this. Like just being…normal?”

Angelina looks at him like he’s crazy. “No.”

And then they leap out to kill someone. Which again, I have never done, and don’t plan on doing. But still – I have had people indicate to me that my life wasn’t what they considered normal. It wasn’t a compliment. Some of them had a mistaken idea that I would change it to suit them. My solution was to invite them to not participate in it.

I really want that short white leather jacket Agent 99 was wearing for a chunk of the movie, and if anyone calls me unfeminine while I’m in it, well, there’s just no telling what I might do. Because I’m really not interested in being someone else’s idea of normal.

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