Mystique Apocalypse choke scene

This blog argued on May 21st that modern feminism “is a congeries of contradictory rules and regulations, which allow elites to wallow in self-congratulation for behavior that would earn others condemnation.” Activist and actress Rose McGowan has lent credence to the claim less than two weeks later by accusing 20th Century Fox of encouraging “casual violence against women.” Her reasoning: An X-Men Apocalypse billboard showed the blue mutant villain choking the blue mutant hero tasked with stopping him from destroying civilization. Fox responded within days with an apology.

Here is what Ms. Mcgowan said June 2 to The Hollywood Reporter:

“There is a major problem when the men and women at 20th Century Fox think casual violence against women is the way to market a film. There is no context in the ad, just a woman getting strangled. The fact that no one flagged this is offensive and frankly, stupid. The geniuses behind this, and I use that term lightly, need to to take a long hard look at the mirror and see how they are contributing to society. Imagine if it were a black man being strangled by a white man, or a gay male being strangled by a hetero? The outcry would be enormous. So let’s right this wrong. 20th Century Fox, since you can’t manage to put any women directors on your slate for the next two years, how about you at least replace your ad?”

Activists like Rose McGowan demand “strong” women who literally knock out hulking men with a single elbow blow to the face — just like Jennifer Lawrence’s character in X-Men: Apocalypse. When they get exactly what they want, they still complain.

Jennifer Lawrence Raven

Jennifer Lawrence has punched and kicked her way through a gauntlet of evil men — often with a single well-placed shot — for three X-Men movies in a row.

Nightcrawler Raven

Now, however, activists like Rose McGowan are upset because a mutant on the verge of a world-wide holocaust had the nerve to choke his adversary. In the mind of Rose McGowan, normal Americans walking down the street are inclined to look at X-Men: Apocalypse ads and think, “Next time my wife gets out of line, I’m going to go full-En Sabah Nur on her because … 20th Century Fox.”

Sadly, the studio gave those fishing for an apology exactly what they wanted:

“In our enthusiasm to show the villainy of the character Apocalypse we didn’t immediately recognize the upsetting connotation of this image in print form. Once we realized how insensitive it was, we quickly took steps to remove those materials. We apologize for our actions and would never condone violence against women.”

Reasonable people know that 20th Century Fox is not condoning violence against women, but activists like Rose McGowan are not reasonable. Hence, the apology was unnecessary and unproductive. The swarm of perpetually offended bees will now move on to another target with increased drive and motivation.

X-Men Apocalypse choke Mystique

Tens-of-millions of people watched the various trailers for X-Men: Apocalypse. They witnessed female characters like Jean Grey, Storm, and Psylocke dish out plenty of punishment, and they watched a man like Charles Xavier get tossed around his own mansion like a rag doll.

Million of people saw the movie in theaters and watched Jean Grey deliver the death blow to Apocalypse. They saw Havok selflessly sacrifice himself for men and (gasp!) women.

Professor X

The point is this: Activists like Rose McGowan claim to be strong, but their actions prove otherwise. Worse, they think people are so stupid that they will equate blue mutants fighting one another in a superhero movie to surreptitious approval of spousal abuse, etc.

Do not apologize to them. Do not placate them. Activists who find reasons to complain after all their demands are met (e.g., Make more action movies where 90-pound women knock out burly men with a single punch to the face) should not be taken seriously. Tell them to take a hike and they will move on to another target. To do otherwise only fuels their madness.

Advertisements

About the Author Douglas Ernst

I'm a former Army guy who believes success comes through hard work, honesty, optimism, and perseverance. I believe seeing yourself as a victim creates a self-fulfilling prophecy. I believe in God. I'm a USC Trojan with an MA in Political Science from American University.

15 comments

  1. Demand equal treatment of women.
    Whine when a female character in a superhero movie faces peril.
    ???????
    Profit

    This bodes ill for the ‘women in front-line combat’ narrative.

    1. “Doesn’t Rose McGowan’s TV character eat brains?”

      I’m not sure what she did on “Charmed” or “Nip/Tuck.” If she was on another noteworthy show, then I’m not aware of it.

  2. “Doesn’t Rose McGowan’s TV character eat brains?”

    You’re thinking Rose McIver from “IZombie.”

    1. Yeah how dare you! Rose McIver is a doll and totally awesome!

      Anyone not watching iZombie is a fool! (it’s so much better than it should be – like an adult MLP:FiM)

  3. Which is funny because
    1) That is the ONLY time Apocalypse attacked another mutant (something which I think is key to understanding the movie)
    2) AND this was shortly after Mystique tried to slice his head off with a sword so like… the context in movie is one of self-defense which… doesn’t bode well for feminism’s usual dealings with that topic.

    Yeah I thought the movie was pretty good. Not as great as “Days of Future…” but a very decent capstone to the latest Xmen trilogy.

    1. “Which is funny because […] this was shortly after Mystique tried to slice his head off with a sword so like… the context in movie is one of self-defense which… doesn’t bode well for feminism’s usual dealings with that topic.”

      I’m not sure why he needed the “Four Horseman” when he was obviously powerful enough to do it on his own. He could have turned Mystique into sand if he wanted with a blink of an eye, but yet he’d rather take a chance with her duking it out with Psylocke? Okay…

    2. 1) I will agree his powers are ill defined which is a fault on the movie, but it does seem to be demonstrated that he can’t turn anyone into sand, only use sand as a weapon.

      2) This is where I think the movie may secretly be brilliant, but I believe he uses the 4 horsemen (besides the fact that he did in the comic so… you know, “faithfulness”) because he absolutely refuses to directly harm other mutants (until… well, taking them over). So he has the 4 to do it for him if need be. Whether its because of his extremist mutant view or his obsession with being seen as a loving father and “god” to them all is something I wish the movie made a bit clearer but it is at least shown and not just told to us in the film.

    3. “being seen as a loving father and “god” to them”

      And that is exactly why that choke-scene is needed in the movie. During the entire movie apocalypse tries to sell himself as a loving father, right until Mystique comes along.

      He tries to kill her not because she tried to kill him (others have tried), but because she is revered by mutantkind and in the world of Apocalypse the only being allowed worshipped is himself.

      The intent of the chokehold is to show him for what he is, a selfish being only interested in himself.

      The fun thing is that that visual also lead to his demise. Because he tries to kill Mystique, Storm turns against him, blocking of his escape.

      The fact is there are rules and guidelines on what is and isn’t okay when it comes to male to female violence and visa versa, but even saying that there are rules is against the rules, because all people want is that males and females are being treated as equals, so there are no guidelines, except there are…

    4. “The fun thing is that that visual also lead to his demise. Because he tries to kill Mystique, Storm turns against him, blocking of his escape.”

      Good point!

  4. I said it on Twitter, and it bears repeating: by the same logic, every episode of Charmed promoted violence against women. Funny how Rose didn’t find the time to complain despite being on that show for several years. I guess she didn’t want it to get in the way of her own paycheck. That’s another problem with feminism and activism these days: the rampant and convenient hypocrisy. 20th Century Fox is truly pathetic for caving into such clownishness.

    If anything, the real problem with Mystique in these movies is how she always kicks butt. Aside from Wolverine stabbing her in the first movie and getting shot in Days of Future Past, Mystique regularly comes out on top whenever she’s in a fight and never seems to even sweat it. That’s rather boring to me. Wolverine always wins, too, but it at least looks like he’s struggling a lot of the time.

    1. “I said it on Twitter, and it bears repeating: by the same logic, every episode of Charmed promoted violence against women. Funny how Rose didn’t find the time to complain despite being on that show for several years.”

      It’s funny how a steady paycheck has a way of zipping certain activists’ lips. 😉

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s