Violence as the Motivator for Women

I don’t think any rational person would argue that there has been a history of sexism, chauvinism, and even misogyny in the motion picture industry. Thankfully that seems to be going out of vogue these days, although it does still happen. Was I SPIT ON YOUR GRAVE pure exploitation, as many have claimed, or a feminist empowerment movie, as a few have countered? A little bit of both, maybe? A whole lot more of one but a little bit of the other? I’ll let you all argue over that one. In the same vein, do slasher movies reinforce misogynistic stereotypes?

What got me to thinking about this is THE NIGHTINGALE, the new movie from Jennifer Kent, creator of THE BABBADOOK. It is touted as a revenge thriller featuring a female protagonist. Actresses like Jessica Chastain of the forthcoming IT have complained about the trope of violence committed against a woman serving as the catalyst to motivate her. Certainly this happens in a lot of movies, and more in Horror movies than elsewhere. On the other hand, it’s true that violence committed against a male character frequently serves as the catalyst to motivate *him* throughout the remainder of the movie. Is this a problem in movies today, or a case of looking for problems where they don’t really exist?

By The Evil Cheezman

WAYNE MILLER is the owner and creative director of EVIL CHEEZ PRODUCTIONS (,, specializing in theatrical performances and haunted attractions. He has written, produced and directed (and occasionally acted in) over a dozen plays, most of them in the Horror and Crime genres. His first novel, THE CONFESSIONS OF SAINT CHRISTOPHER: WEREWOLF, is available for purchase at


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