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» Hatrack River Forum » Active Forums » Books, Films, Food and Culture » Women don't like super-heroes, apparently.

   
Author Topic: Women don't like super-heroes, apparently.
Puffy Treat
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Go back to the kitchen and make the men snacks, girls.

So, the only reason a woman ever watches anything super-hero, fantasy, SF, or horror is if their boyfriend drags them along, or because they think the guys in it are hot.

Also, Wonder Woman is the only female super-hero character anyone cares about, because she has the all-important male fan-base. Newer characters like Buffy and Kim Possible, despite being incredibly popular female super-heroes don't count. Because they just don't. [Roll Eyes]

Guess someone should tell current Wonder Woman writer Gail Simone to quit her fan-favorite run. Unless she turns out to be secretly British. He allows that UK female super-hero fans exist. [Wink]

Now, I'm aware that there are plenty of women who care nothing for such things.

I also know there are many who do, for reasons that have nothing to do with playing along with their boyfriend or crushing on a male actor.

Then again, this is the same Josh Tyler who claimed any movie critic who -dared- to not like The Dark Knight was evil and stupid, so that shows how in touch he is. [Smile]

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Teshi
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So, basically, this is just some dude with an idiotic opinion and is not worth our time to discuss except for the fact that someone gave him a job.

EDIT: The way he reacts to comments demonstrates that he not only has a stupid opinion, he's also a jerk.

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mr_porteiro_head
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His main point seems to be
quote:
[Women] are not and never will be the primary audience for those films.
Which, except for his prognostication on which I will make no comment, doesn't seem that crazy to me.
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Christine
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What an idiot.

Men read comic books more often than women because men tend to be visually stimulated and women tend to be stimulated through their auditory senses. Men go to comic book based superhero movies more often than women because they have fond memories of said comic books. There have been few superheroes in novel format. When superheroes are put on the screen and well done, there is a lot of overlap between male and female viewers -- especially when they create new heroes for the screen and don't rely on boyhood memories.

I, for one, can't stand reading comic books. I have enjoyed some of the recent trend of superhero movies -- the ones that didn't require me to have read the comic books to enjoy and the ones that had a genuine human element to them and weren't just about action and eye candy.

And for the record, I dream about being a superhero.

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Jeorge
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I didn't read too many of his comments, but I guess I missed the reactions that prove he's a jerk.

When someone posted a comment that showed they really don't understand what a generalization is, or anything about statistics, I know a lot of bloggers would have used that as an excuse to be sarcastic and vitriolic. I suppose it might be viewed as slightly sarcastic to give her the definition of "generality", but since she clearly didn't understand what a generalization is, he really needed to do that.

The fact that he disagrees with his readers doesn't automatically mean that he is a jerk for disagreeing with them. In fact, I did see some rather courteous compliments like "well thought out," etc. for comments he disagreed with.

But maybe he gets really mean-spirited later on - I didn't read all of the comments.

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Raia
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I love super-heroes!

And I am, decidedly, a girl.

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Puffy Treat
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quote:
Originally posted by mr_porteiro_head:
Which, except for his prognostication on which I will make no comment, doesn't seem that crazy to me.

The thing is, I know far too many women who willingly go to such super-hero movies and crave to see more with strong female characters to buy it.
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Puffy Treat
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quote:
Originally posted by Jeorge:
I didn't read too many of his comments, but I guess I missed the reactions that prove he's a jerk.


I don't think he's a jerk, but I do think he's being clueless.

Reading further down the comments, he does get a bit nasty, but so do the people who disagree with him. Especially when certain modern female super-heroes who do have a large female fanbase are mentioned.

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The Rabbit
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I think he has a very limited idea about what one could do with a Super-hero movie. I think its fair to say that women are generally less likely than men to be interested in movies that are all action, eye candy and special effects with no human interest or well scripted and delivered dialogue. But there is no reason that Super-hero movies need to be like that.
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Bella Bee
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quote:
He allows that UK female super-hero fans exist.
Well, that was lucky.

What this guy doesn't comment on is that while, his basic (very basic) argument is that men like superhero movies where stuff blows up, and women will only watch relationship drama - most successful superhero movies have included both.
Superman, Spiderman, Batman, even The Hulk, while all male heroes, have devoted large portions of the story to romance.
While it may be the case that the male hero spends most of his time saving the non-superpowered woman, this relationship will often be shown to be the driving force behind many of his actions - sometimes to the detriment of his sanity or vocation.
Plus, the strong yet somewhat tortured man with noble intentions who sweeps a woman off her feet has been a constant staple of romantic fiction.

The love story is at the heart (sorry) of the superhero genre.

Even from his stereotypical view of male and female story preferences, he is missing some vital elements of the movies he professes to admire.
Maybe thatís what happens when youíre only waiting for the next lot of stuff to go boom.

I also strongly disagree with the notion that an ambition for heroism and courageousness is something that most women would not aspire to, identify with or understand.

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Sterling
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quote:
Originally posted by The Rabbit:
But there is no reason that Super-hero movies need to be like that.

And we seem to be on a trend towards them not being like that. Which would be a good thing, to my mind.

He's almost on to one thing, though: the ham-fisted way one envisions some studio executives trying to make a "superhero movie that appeals to women" is enough to bring horrors to mind.

I can't help but think about what I remember hearing about Kathleen Turner's struggling to keep "V.I. Warshawski" closer to the author's vision. One version of the script apparently had a hunky guy show up to pull her out when she fell into water, for example.

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kwsni
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News to me. I guess I'll have to stop dragging my boyfriend to all of these superhero movies then.

Ni!

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Jeorge
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You know, even if every female here posts a message saying "I love superhero movies," that doesn't go very far toward disproving the guy's idea - he would probably reply, "The set of women who post on a science-fiction author's community forum is not really a good sampling when it comes to liking superhero movies."

And I would be hard pressed to argue with him on that.

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Saephon
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I think this guy's article would have been more accurate a decade or more ago. Surely Hatrack isn't a great argument to disprove his position, but I genuinely believe that movie-going demographics are much more blurred now than ever, especially when it comes to romance and "nerdy" things like Sci-fi or fantasy.

I believe the Lord of the Rings movies were when I realized that finally men and women of various ages and interests were enjoying a lot of the same things. I know it's only anecdotal, but the vast majority of females I know liked LotR, Iron Man, and The Dark Knight, and they cited the love stories as having very little, if any, importance.

Yes, there are still movies that clearly more women like, or more men like...the old chick flick vs action blockbuster. But I would make the claim that that matters very little, because those movies typically aren't good films in the first place. They are meant to cater to a specific audience. Lately, Superhero and fantasy movies have been getting better. If a movie is a great film, PERIOD, I think you'll find the gender gap disappears. That's what counts to me.

[ January 10, 2009, 07:48 PM: Message edited by: Saephon ]

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Christine
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quote:
Originally posted by Jeorge:
You know, even if every female here posts a message saying "I love superhero movies," that doesn't go very far toward disproving the guy's idea - he would probably reply, "The set of women who post on a science-fiction author's community forum is not really a good sampling when it comes to liking superhero movies."

And I would be hard pressed to argue with him on that.

I don't feel like the burden of proof is on me. It's on him. I question his assertion that women don't watch superhero movies. Now, show me a statistic to the effect that women do not go to such movies or that they only go at their significant other's behest.

After that, do the statistics again -- this time separate out the movies that clearly have no appeal save live action from the ones that have some kind of humanity in them.

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Jeorge
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To be clear: I'm not saying that anyone has to prove anything. I'm simply saying that nothing is being proved.

You can believe his theory or not. Makes no difference to me. [Smile]

Edit to add - although, if you don't have ANY burden of proof, I'm not really sure why he has any more burden than you.

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lem
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quote:
I think this guy's article would have been more accurate a decade or more ago. Surely Hatrack isn't a great argument to disprove his position, but I genuinely believe that movie-going demographics are much more blurred now than ever, especially when it comes to romance and "nerdy" things like Sci-fi or fantasy.

I would like to see a demographic breakdown of the different superhero movies. That would break down whether he has a point.

Of course women love super hero movies. Of course it is ridiculous to pretend to know why the guys who love super her movies do so. However, I would not be surprised if the demographics of The Dark Knight vs Mama Mia show a general gender preference.

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Vadon
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Here's a few recent movie demographic breakdowns based off of male and female.

Spider Man
Spider Man 2
Spider Man 3
Hulk (2003)
The Incredible Hulk (2008)
Batman Begins
The Dark Knight
Iron Man
Superman Returns
X-Men
X2
X3

I notice that men and women generally have the same opinion on how good the super-hero movie was. But a big difference is in how many men and women saw it. So it doesn't help that much in figuring out if there's a difference with men and women in general.

But these were all big-name heroes. What about movies of lesser known heroes?
Punisher
Spawn
Ghost Rider

The only difference I notice, really, is that there is a bigger gap between how many men and women see the 'lesser-known' hero movies. It seemed like roughly 1/8 of the ratings were from women in the 'big' movies and it's closer to 1/12 with the smaller-scale movies.

But one more check I want to do... are there just more men who rate movies on IMDB?

Some movies which are arguably chick-flicks.
Chocolat
The Notebook
Steel Magnolias
Uptown Girls
Failure to Launch

Huh, interesting. Even with 'chick-flicks' the men out-rate the women 2-1.

I find this idea fascinating, but even with my limited education in Statistics, I recognize that these samples are not very reliable. It would be interesting to see a better breakdown on this idea.

ETA: Another 'chick-flick' which is closer than others, but still with more men. Sex and the City

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Elmer's Glue
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So that settles it.
Women hate movies.

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Orincoro
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quote:
Originally posted by Christine:
I don't feel like the burden of proof is on me. It's on him. I question his assertion that women don't watch superhero movies. Now, show me a statistic to the effect that women do not go to such movies or that they only go at their significant other's behest.

After that, do the statistics again -- this time separate out the movies that clearly have no appeal save live action from the ones that have some kind of humanity in them.

Never mind all that Christine, just go get me a soda. I've got a movie to watch.
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Christine
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I'm afraid the IMDB user ratings aren't relevant. I've just checked out a few of my favorite classic chick flicks and every last one of them have more votes by men than by women. All that says to me is that for some reason, men are more inclined to voice their opinion on IMDB.
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lem
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This thread got me curious, so I did a little reading on the demographics of The Dark Knight's audience make up.

quote:
The conventional wisdom about superhero movies, to be sure, is that they attract teenage male nerds and older male nerds who think they're still teenage nerds. But a reported 48 percent of The Dark Knight's audience was female, and that number probably would have been even higher had so many women not flocked to Mamma Mia!

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Vadon
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quote:
Originally posted by Christine:
I'm afraid the IMDB user ratings aren't relevant. I've just checked out a few of my favorite classic chick flicks and every last one of them have more votes by men than by women. All that says to me is that for some reason, men are more inclined to voice their opinion on IMDB.

That's why I did the 'chick-flick' search to check if there was just a heavy male bias on IMDB. Even with 'chick-flicks' men outnumbered women, so I concluded the same thing. [Smile]
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erosomniac
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quote:
Originally posted by Puffy Treat:
The thing is, I know far too many women who willingly go to such super-hero movies and crave to see more with strong female characters to buy it.

And you really think these will outnumber any other demographic to become the primary one?
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Nighthawk
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quote:
Originally posted by Vadon:
quote:
Originally posted by Christine:
I'm afraid the IMDB user ratings aren't relevant. I've just checked out a few of my favorite classic chick flicks and every last one of them have more votes by men than by women. All that says to me is that for some reason, men are more inclined to voice their opinion on IMDB.

That's why I did the 'chick-flick' search to check if there was just a heavy male bias on IMDB. Even with 'chick-flicks' men outnumbered women, so I concluded the same thing. [Smile]
Have you looked at IMDB's listing for the "Top 100" as chosen by females? There isn't a single "chick flick" in the top 30 (unless you count Gone With the Wind and The Pianist. And La Vita Ť bella isn't in English, so cut me some slack there). The Notebook comes in at #31.

The Dark Knight is #2.

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Vadon
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Great points. [Smile]
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Orincoro
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Well, women are as aware as men that "chick flicks" just like guy action movies, are not exactly top 30 material most of the time- with some exceptions. On the other hand, super-hero movies of late have gone for more sweep, which would bump them up into the universally appreciable level of great films. There's a massive departure from the Original Superman to Dark Knight, and it owes something to a generation of 90's anti-hero movies that weren't as popular, but influenced the most recent generation, making them finally capable of universal appeal.
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Tante Shvester
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quote:
Originally posted by Raia:
And I am, decidedly, a girl.

How did you decide that?
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erosomniac
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quote:
Originally posted by Nighthawk:
Have you looked at IMDB's listing for the "Top 100" as chosen by females? There isn't a single "chick flick" in the top 30 [...] The Dark Knight is #2.

I don't think this is relevant, since the argument isn't "women think chick flicks are the best movies."
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Orincoro
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quote:
Originally posted by Tante Shvester:
quote:
Originally posted by Raia:
And I am, decidedly, a girl.

How did you decide that?
Isn't it done by committee?
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Nighthawk
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You didn't get the memo?
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Synesthesia
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Hmm
That article was rather stupid and used way too many generalizations (sp?)
What about women like me who like a super hero movie as long as it's good and doesn't have cruddy stupid dialogue and also likes Sex in the City because it really was a not so bad movie.

And there are kung fu and samurai movies to consider.
I'm really just interested in well-written, exciting movies that have a good plot, good acting and a decent story.
Sadly too many super hero movies do not have that. Dark Knight did though and it was filled with satisfying action and things blowing up.

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