Gender goes to the movies


When I was working on BEAUTIFUL MUSIC FOR UGLY CHILDREN, I did a *lot* of studying about gender and how it’s expressed in our culture, especially as it relates to trans individuals. What a wild subject! You’ve got to add up brain structure, chromosomes, hormones, cultural messages, and messages from family, and after you have a total, you throw it in the air and see what happens. Complicated.

But how does this relate to TRANSFORMERS movies? Many ways. This summer our Transformers movie option is TRANSFORMERS 3: DARK OF THE MOON. As you know, women are *not* the target audience for this film. Here’s my 13-year-old son and his buddies talking about it:

Kid 1: going to see DARK OF THE MOON?

Kid 2: probably not

Kid 3: It doesn’t have Megan Fox.

Kid 2: yeah, who wants to see it if it doesn’t have Megan Fox?

Kid 1: Yeah. She’s way hot.

And, here’s me talking about the first TRANSFORMERS movie (while watching on TV):

K: Isn’t Bumblebee a sweet transformer? Look at his face–he’s just sweet. Kind. It’s the eyes.

(I swear to you I said this. So weird. “Sweet”?)

Two unscripted ideas about Transformers. Or was the scripts written for us by the list of stuff up above? You decide. But you would NEVER want someone like me promoting a film about robots that are also vehicles who can destroy or save the planet, not when I call them “sweet” and “kind”.

(Gender is weird but fun. And look at Bumblebee’s eyes. Doesn’t he have kind eyes?)

(I still want a muscle car. But that’s another post.)

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