Tuesday, August 26, 1997
1:00 AM

I went to see a film this evening
A common occurrence recently
I live to far away from any other social activity
I am left with antisocial entertainment
But that is besides the point

The film I saw was a horrible sci-fi/horror piece
No, not Event Horizon
I went to see Mimic
Besides the horrible plot
The thousands of holes in the story
And the blatant disregard for science
Something else made me detest this film

Hollywood has never been fair to women
That is just the way it has been
But this film went the extra mile
They took the initiative to bend the laws of science to belittle women
Let's ignore their treatment of the main character
The beautiful scientist that plays with the icky bugs
The one that is hopelessly lost without her boyfriend
The one that can not think for herself
The one who can not solve a problem without getting advice from her "wiser" male counterpart?
This is standard Hollywood fair
I have to ask who writes this crap,
But it is to be expected for our typical bad scare flic
I'll get over this
But what these writers did can not be forgiven
Let me explain

I am an amateur entomologist
More precisely I study myrmecology
The science of ants
I have a collection of the works of Barry Bolton, Bert Holldobler, & Edward O. Wilson
They are the greats
I am passionate about these social insects
It's why I loved the Alien film series
An unstoppable army in which every soldier is expendable
All these troops are female
They protect the most important member of the hive
Her heiness the queen
Their world revolves around female power
The only time the males exist are to impregnate the queen
This only happens once in her life
A life that could be up to 20 years
Maybe more
Males are useless in their world
They live for a very short time
Only raised for their sperm
They die quick once their job is done

This fact of science our filmmakers chose to ignore
They invented a king
They made the male the central figure
Without him the fabricated insect species could not survive


Is our society so twisted that we must distort science to appease the masses?
Such a subtle change
To say he instead of she
But what is the deeper message here?
Are women so weak that even in imaginary worlds they can not be dominant?
Do men fear their power that much?
I am ashamed that I paid money to support such a message

Now I will play devil's advocate
The local paper carries a section called Television Week
It gives the TV listings and has a few short articles about the world of entertainment
This weeks issue has an article that caught my eye
"Cartoons reinforce sexism, some say" by Bill Hendrick of Cox News Service
The article is about a speech given at the annual meeting of the American Psychological Association
The presenters were Drs. Mary Hudak and Cynthia Spicher of Allegheny College
Two women who take themselves a little too seriously
Their studies showed that most cartoon characters are male
They compare the blandness of female characters to Lime Jell-O
An attack on all cartoons as women hating propaganda
They tell their cohorts that cartoons must be changed to give young women good role models

Their observations are true
Male characters dominate most cartoons
Their conclusions on the other hand are narrowly skewed
Their vision must be blurred by their own perceived oppression
I will not claim it does not exist
I have shown it here
What I do claim is that these women have taken something out of context to achieve their goals
That is a crime as unforgivable as that committed by the makers of Mimic

Being an artist
And a lover of the moving image
I am familiar with animation
I want to make cartoons myself at some point
Not the Saturday morning type
But cartoons none-the-less
My experience has taught me something about this industry
Something these esteemed doctors chose to neglect
The people that make the cartoons are mostly men
Yes grown MEN make children's cartoons
But of course you knew that

This fact all comes back to what drives me to make Silicon Dominion
You can only create from what you know
Men can only create male characters
The women must be based on the only women they know with any intimacy
Mothers, Wives, Girlfriends, Sisters and Daughters
All supporting characters
Can they be expected to create a toon based on a self-sufficient female businesswoman?
If they did would she be interesting?
I doubt it
How could they know what she would be like?

Instead of professing the evils of this industry
Demanding change
Wasting time and money
Would it not be better to approach the young girls
The ones that everyone is so "concerned" about protecting
And sew the seeds of creativity
Nurture their desires to create cartoons of their own?
Create a female animator's scholarship

Our society is so quick to condemn
When solutions are so obvious
So easy to implement