Wednesday, August 12, 2015

The Feminist Critique

A blog I follow, Overthinking It, recently had a post criticizing the new movie Trainwreck. The post's writer, Molly Brenner, doesn't like that Amy Schumer's character's growth involves ending her slutty ways. In her criticism, we see that modern feminism has just become militant licentiousness.

Brenner doesn't like that Amy evidently includes her casual sex in the character traits that must be fixed for her to stop being "broken." Brenner says this takes the film from "sex-positive to slut-shaming." She wishes Trainwreck did "not require the protagonist tone down her sexuality in order to end up happy."

Let's assume that Schumer is some mix of artist and businesswoman. The film she wrote is either trying to convey a message she feels helps inform the human condition (the artist part of her) or it is trying to get butts in theater seats (the businesswoman part of her). I don't know the ratio of these aspects of Schumer's soul--it could be 1:1 or it could be 2:0 in either direction. My point is that it doesn't matter, because whatever the ratio, it is bad news for Brenner's wistful sex-positivism.

Either Schumer has the Amy character* give up casual sex to help heal her psyche because Schumer feels this is a true component of psychological healing (Schumer the artist) or because Schumer thinks a larger audience will find the movie more enjoyable this way (Schumer the businesswoman). And if it's true that a larger audience agrees that casual sex is a fun but immature practice, could it be because many of them have found this true in their own lives?

If Brenner is right, if casual sex is only positives and never a negative, then the movie should fail when audience members stay away from its harsh portrayal of outdated sexual mores. Amy Schumer, evidently, is a prude**, or at least she plays one on the big screen for monetary considerations. Brenner can't have either be true, but what other explanation is there for the plot of Trainwreck?

Ultimately, the problem is modern feminism. It tells girls to slut it up and when they find themselves unhappy, modern feminism tells them to just slut harder. "Your problem is that you didn't slut enough!" This is why the "pro-choice" crowd (or, as it's more-truthfully known, the "pro-baby-murder" crowd) can't possibly sanction the separation of Planned Parenthood's socially-acceptable practices from their infant-dismemberment practices. Because nothing can be more important than "sex now, sex tomorrow, sex forever." When practice leads most people to believe that at least some rules governing sex are warranted, modern feminism has to fight against this reality. Their wonderful theory is so dear that it must be protected from heartless reality and the realists who aren't toeing the party line on sex-positivism.

* = Why do comedians play roles named after themselves so much? And why do they do it with a fake last name? I remember finding it stupid as a child when I watched Gimme a Break! and age hasn't changed my opinion. "See, Ray Romano is a comedian/actor, but Ray Barone is a humorous Everyman!" Are comedians too stupid to respond to character names that aren't their own, like when the Federal Witness Protection Program tries to change Homer Simpson's name to Homer Thompson? One of the best aspects of Seinfeld was that Jerry Seinfeld played Jerry Seinfeld, not Jerry Mouskowitz.

** = My Straussian reading of Inside Amy Schumer is that she's lampooning (huh-huh, I said "poon") the modern liberal-arts sorority sister who embraced modern feminism's sexual revolution and doesn't understand why it leaves her unfulfilled and disrespected.

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