9 Classic, Sexist Rom-Coms Every Feminist Hates To Love

9 Classic, Sexist Rom-Coms Every Feminist Hates To Love

The depiction of female characters in rom-coms is often sexist.
487
views

I'm a huge fan of cheesy rom-coms, but I recently realized they're incredibly sexist. Although I'm a feminist, this doesn't dull my love for rom-coms simply because they're not an accurate representation of reality. Romantic comedies are (or were) popular because people watch them to escape the realities of their life. As long as women are aware that romance shouldn't be their only aspiration (or be an aspiration at all!), most vibrant, feel-good movies can be embraced.


1. "The Notebook"

This is probably one of my favorite movies of all time, but Noah convinced Allie to go on a date with him by threatening to jump off the Ferris Wheel! Although Allie thought his persistence was sweet, this would be considered creepy today because no means no in our Nicholas Sparks-less world.

2. "Clueless"

Cher is an icon, but she gave Tai, the new girl, a makeover (consisting of cringeful miniskirts and uncomfortable heels) in hopes of attracting the attention of a guy who later turned out to be a douchebag. Constantly seeking male validation and succumbing to societal standards of beauty are big no-nos today!

3. "Cruel Intentions"

Reese Witherspoon is my favorite actress, but this movie was arguably the most problematic. Sebastian sexually assaulted the innocent Cecile despite the blurred lines of consent. Women like Kathryn and Cecile were shamed for promiscuity, but Sebastian was praised for documenting his sexual exploits. On the other hand, Annette slept with her pressuring boyfriend in spite of her moral beliefs. Double standards, the objectification of women and incest are unacceptable.

4. "10 Things I Hate About You"

Kat was a badass feminist, but Cameron was infatuated with Bianca, Kat's sister, and he went to ridiculous lengths in order to date her (i.e. playing the "nice guy"). When he saw Bianca with Joey (another tool), he became upset. It's important to know that a woman is not obligated to return a man's affections regardless of how "nice" he is. She should not feel guilty for rejecting a delusional man who believes that she owes him a relationship.

5. "13 Going on 30"

Jennifer Garner killed it in "13 Going on 30," but the "mean girls" plot is overdone. Women need to support each other at work instead of pitting other women against each other. After Jenna's birthday party, she wished to be 30 years old and be accepted by the "six chicks". Her dream came true when she became an editor at a popular fashion magazine. However, she became miserable and married her male best friend. This movie warns high-powered women who have chosen their career "over family." It emphasizes that a successful career will make women miserable, encouraging women not to defy gender roles. In other words, women need to turn to domesticity for happiness.

6. "Pretty Woman"

Julia Roberts played a hooker with a heart of gold who was "rescued" by a business tycoon or the "white knight." In order to have a perfect partner, the materialistic business tycoon, Edward, showers Vivian with gifts to mold her into a woman worthy of his love and power. The movie sends a wrong message: women can be bought. "Pretty Woman" perpetuates gender stereotypes in which the man is more superior and powerful than the sweet, submissive woman.

7. "She's All That"

Zach gives Laney a makeover in order to fit his ideals of beauty and win a bet. Way to be original! A woman should never change herself, whether it's her appearance or goals, to please any man.

8. "Grease"

Sandy changed her appearance to date Danny. Moreover, characters like Rizzo and Jan desperately wanted a boyfriend. Grease reinforced the idea that women need men to be happy. If they are independent, they will remain unhappy. Again, women should not seek validation from men!

9. "Sixteen Candles"

Jake allowed his friend Ted to date rape his girlfriend Caroline. Jake also violated his drunk girlfriend Caroline, but she didn't even get angry let alone press charges. Despite all this, Jake still ends up with Sam AKA the "girl next door." This movie promoted rape culture and the objectification of women by having frequent "locker room" conversations.

Cover Image Credit: Flickr

Popular Right Now

31 Reasons Why I Would NEVER Watch Season 2 Of '13 Reasons Why'

It does not effectively address mental illness, which is a major factor in suicide.
131779
views

When I first started watching "13 Reasons Why" I was excited. I had struggled with depression and suicidal thoughts for a long time and thought this show would be bringing light to those issues. Instead, it triggered my feelings that I had suppressed.

With season two coming out soon, I have made up my mind that I am NEVER watching it, and here is why:

1. This show simplifies suicide as being a result of bullying, sexual assault, etc. when the issue is extremely more complex.

2. It does not effectively address mental illness, which is a major factor in suicide.

3. The American Foundation of Suicide Prevention has guidelines on how to portray suicides in TV shows and movies without causing more suicides.

"13 Reasons Why" disregarded those guidelines by graphically showing Hannah slitting her wrists.

4. It is triggering to those who have tried to commit suicide in the past or that struggle with mental illness.

5. It glorifies suicide.

6. It does not offer healthy coping solutions with trauma and bullying.

The only "solution" offered is suicide, which as mentioned above, is glorified by the show.

7. This show portrays Hannah as dramatic and attention-seeking, which creates the stereotype that people with suicidal thoughts are dramatic and seeking attention.

8. Hannah makes Clay and other people feel guilty for her death, which is inconsiderate and rude and NOT something most people who commit suicide would actually do.

9. This show treats suicide as revenge.

In reality, suicide is the feeling of hopelessness and depression, and it's a personal decision.

10. Hannah blames everyone but herself for her death, but suicide is a choice made by people who commit it.

Yes, sexual assault and bullying can be a factor in suicidal thoughts, but committing suicide is completely in the hands of the individual.

11. Skye justifies self-harm by saying, "It's what you do instead of killing yourself."

12. Hannah's school counselor disregards the clear signs of her being suicidal, which is against the law and not something any professional would do.

13. The show is not realistic.

14. To be honest, I didn't even enjoy the acting.

15. The characters are underdeveloped.

16. "13 Reasons Why" alludes that Clay's love could have saved Hannah, which is also unrealistic.

17. There are unnecessary plot lines that don't even advance the main plot.

18. No one in the show deals with their problems.

They all push them off onto other people (which, by the way, is NOT HEALTHY!!!).

19. There is not at any point in the show encouragement that life after high school is better.

20. I find the show offensive to not only me, but also to everyone who has struggled with suicidal thoughts.

21. The show is gory and violent, and I don't like that kind of thing.

22. By watching the show, you basically get a step-by-step guide on how to commit suicide.

Which, again, is against guidelines set by The American Foundation of Suicide Prevention.

23. The show offers no resources for those who have similar issues to Hannah.

24. It is not healthy for me or anyone else to watch "13 Reasons Why."

25. Not only does the show glorify suicide, but it also glorifies self-harm as an alternative to suicide.

26. Other characters don't help Hannah when she reaches out to them, which could discourage viewers from reaching out.

27. Hannah doesn't leave a tape for her parents, and even though the tapes were mostly bad, I still think the show's writers should have included a goodbye to her parents.

28. It simplifies suicide.

29. The show is tactless, in my opinion.

30. I feel like the show writers did not do any research on the topic of suicide or mental illness, and "13 Reasons Why" suffered because of lack of research.

31. I will not be watching season two mostly because I am bitter about the tastelessness.

And I do not want there to be enough views for them to make a season three and impact even more people in a negative way.

If you or someone you know is contemplating suicide, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-8255.
Cover Image Credit: Netflix

Related Content

Connect with a generation
of new voices.

We are students, thinkers, influencers, and communities sharing our ideas with the world. Join our platform to create and discover content that actually matters to you.

Learn more Start Creating

Educate Yourself And Don’t Waste Your Time Watching Season 2 Of '13 Reasons Why'

It’s Mental Health Awareness Month and there’s so much more you could be doing instead of watching Season 2.
143
views

Last year in March, the first season of “13 Reasons Why” was released on Netflix. It was based on the book by the same title written by Jay Asher. There was so much controversy surrounding the episodes that told the tale of Hannah Baker’s struggle with relationships, friendships, mental health, and life in general.

Eventually, Hannah chose to commit suicide and leave behind 13 tapes for the people that impacted her life. A few weeks after the show was released, there was talk about a season two and after taking in the whole season, I knew that wouldn’t be a good idea.

I watched this series last year probably a week after it came out and after I had seen how much buzz was coming from it. I was aware it focused on suicide, a topic that can be extremely triggering for some individuals.

I’m attending college to be a social worker and I know that talking about suicide doesn’t automatically mean others will try to replicate the situation depicted on the show, but I was still nervous. So going into it, I was very wary of the series. I knew there was a book, that was written 10 years prior, that it was based on and I hoped that the directors and author had created something that would spark a much-needed conversation about mental health.

Instead, I watched a show unfold that glamorized suicide and depression and made 11 students feel personally responsible for a choice Hannah made.

In a world where students are told to #WalkUpNotOut and feel unnecessarily responsible for their classmates’ mental health, seeing a show that supports that narrative is dangerous.

Hannah listing her old friends as reasons for her death isn’t constructive. Displaying this for the watchers of the show isn’t healthy either.

This coming season is going to focus more on the aftermath of Hannah’s death and all the smaller stories from each person that was on the tapes. Hannah’s parents are fighting for justice for their daughter and there will be new characters as well as many legal proceedings.

This season isn’t based on a book and no one knows what to expect. And in my opinion, the show didn’t need a second season. At this point, the show is just looking for views and will probably end up doing more harm than good.

The first season of “13 Reasons Why” had disclaimers and hotline numbers at the beginning of the episodes, as well as a debriefing episode with the actors, directors, and other important people involved in the show. These things were appreciated from my standpoint, but I’m sure a lot of people didn’t even notice them.

A lot of the individuals that I have talked to have said that they were interested in the show for the drama, and who wouldn’t be? It was 13 episodes long, had suspense, pretty Hollywood actors and actresses, and it was focused on a topic that has been talked about in the media a lot lately.

But what you get from people not seeing the glaring problems with this show and storyline are fake woke individuals preaching about suicide and mental health.

For a few weeks after the show aired, everyone on social media was talking about mental health and how Clay could have saved Hannah and how people need to look out for everyone’s mental health. After a few months, the hype died down and no one was talking about the show or the real problems acted out. I have a feeling this will all start again in a couple weeks.

The second season was released this past Friday on Netflix but it won’t be worth your time. If you want to actually do something for the people struggling with mental health, support organizations that distribute resources and information about counseling/therapy, medication coverage, as well as just spreading awareness.

May is Mental Health Awareness Month and there is so much to be done to help, educate, and destigmatize mental health.

If you’re looking for referrals to mental health or health resources and services, call 211. If you need to talk to someone right now and are worried you might turn to suicide, call the National Suicide Prevention Number 1-800-273-8255.

Cover Image Credit: 13 Reasons Why LA

Related Content

Facebook Comments