La oss danse på gentlemanens grav!

Gentlemanen er erklært død, men hva med det misforståtte gentlemansidealet?

I Bergensavisen 18. november skriver Aina Fladset om en mann som ikke lot henne ta det eneste ledige setet på Bybanen kun fordi hun er kvinne. Denne hendelsen får Fladset til å stille spørsmål rundt hva som egentlig har skjedd med den såkalte ridderligheten, før hun på akkurat passe tabloid vis erklærer “den norske gentlemannen” for død. Faen meg på tide, spør du meg. For gentlemen er noe av det verste jeg vet.

For det første, når det gjelder det med å tilby andre seter på offentlig transport: For et par måneder siden var jeg på vei hjem fra jobb, på tuben i London. Jeg gikk nedover midtgangen for å se om det var noe sted å sitte, men det var det selvfølgelig ikke midt i ettermiddagsrushet. En mann omtrent på min egen alder la merke til at jeg saumfarte benkeradene, og reiste seg sporenstreks opp fra sitt sete og sa “her, du ser ut som du trenger det mer enn jeg gjør”. La meg bare love deg at akkurat dét føltes ikke noe bedre enn bare å bli stående…

Men nok om det. For Fladset ble Bybane-hendelsen (er det for tidlig å kalle det Bybane-gate?) som sagt en indikator på at ridderligheten og gentlemans-oppførselen er død en gang for alle. Hadde jeg, for ikke å snakke om alle tidligere generasjoner av feminister, bare visst at det var så lite som skulle til! Da hadde saker og ting fått fart på seg. Det som imidlertid stadig vekk overrasker meg, er at folk syns konseptet gentleman er noe å strebe etter, at det er et ideal som menn bør strekke seg etter og kvinner bør hylle og dyrke fram i mennene rundt seg.

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BFI London Film Festival 2015: A Preview

This year I am attending the BFI London Film Festival for the very first time and am of course duly excited. The programme looks absolutely amazing, and what’s more, female directors are fairly well represented – as are so-called “women’s films”, ie. films that deal with women’s issues and so on. I have a highly ambivalent relationship to that term personally, but it is a handy enough way to refer to a number of different types of films (different genres, different nationalities, different eras, etc.) that despite everything have just that one thing in common: they deal with issues that are traditionally important to the experience of being a woman, and in some cases even with women’s history. So I think that for now, or at least for the duration of this post, I will stick with the term and even use it without the quotation marks I used above: Women’s films. There.

BFI has declared the 2015 edition of the festival “the year of the strong woman”, a term I certainly do not have an easy time using. If you’re wondering why that might be, I recommend you take a minute to watch this video. However, all semantics aside, the festival programme this year is truly leading by example in terms of including women’s films in a big, mainstream, commercial event. Well done, BFI! With this post, I mean to go through a few of the things I am looking forward to the most over the course of the festival (though I am sadly missing the last few days of it).

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A Trainwreck of a Movie

Last weekend I went to the cinema with my good friends James and Emma (hello!). I was visiting with them for the weekend, and we decided to go watch the new Amy Schumer film, Trainwreck, in the cinema. We were quite excited about it, because we’d all heard that this would be a kind of sassy feminist take on the modern romcom. Boy, were we let down.

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Terrible Articles That Can’t Actually Article

A couple of days ago, the Taste of Cinema list 20 Famous Hollywood Actresses Who Can’t Actually Act popped up in my Facebook newsfeed. The list or “article” was apparently published in May last year, so it can only be some kind of good karma that means I have been blissfully unware of it until now. The premise for this “article”? A “professional mobile app developer” who is totally “a huge movie-buff as well and likes to write about films online decided to sit down and “list out some really pretty actresses, who, sadly, are deficient in the acting department” (all the above quotes are from the byline on the last page of the article). And also, apparently, completely neglect to understand a lot of very basic truths about Hollywood and filmmaking.

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Female Representation at the Berlinale 2015

In 2015 I paid my first visit to the International Film Festival in Berlin, known as the Berlinale. One of the things I looked at while I was there was the representation of female directors in the festival programme.

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Fronting female directors is something that I work with in other settings as well, not least through the (Norwegian language only) feminist film website Filmamasoner. However, as it was my first visit to an event of this size and which has such a massive influence on the international film business, it was very interesting for me to look at the issue of representation from a new, or least much wider, angle than I normally do. One of my driving forces behind doing work like this is that I believe we need to keep pushing films by female directors until we no longer feel the need to use terms like “women’s films” at all – but just see them as films.

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Magda, du bedåre

For noen år tilbake fikk rollegalleriet i Torbjørn Liens tegneserie Kollektivet et nytt tillegg: Mounirs kollega Magda. Magda er gæren etter Mounir, som til vanlig ikke har så stort hell med damene – men det at Magda vil ha han, er visst enda verre enn alternativet. Magda er nemlig langt fra de Ellos-modellene og gasellene som Mounir vanligvis drømmer om; hun er tjukk med små pupper, bruker briller (som Mounir selv) midt i sitt kulerunde ansikt, og begår dødssynden det er for en kvinne å kombinere et “mindre heldig” utseende (i følge Mounir og gutta) med en aktiv seksuell appetitt. Tenk dét!

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