I generally try and avoid political commentary on this blog, but this is one of those rare occasions so facepalm-worthy that I feel the need to break that tradition.
A few days ago, Rose McGowan and the political correctness brigade began raising a stink about a billboard advertising the recently released movie X-Men: Apocalypse, where the eponymous villain is seen strangling Mystique.
The inevitable result of this brouhaha, following amplification by an enablist mainstream media whose representatives had nothing better to do that day, was a swift apology by 20th Century Fox and appeasement of the lunatic moralist pounding on their proverbial door.
So, what can we learn from all this? Well, ignoring the fact that choking has a fine tradition of usage by movie villains to illustrate just how gosh darn evil they are…
…the take home lesson from all this is whether or not intergender choking is sexist and promotes or normalizes gendered violence is entirely dependent upon the sexes of the choker and the chokee. How did I arrive at this conclusion? Simple.
Mystique’s been choking male victims with her hands, feet, and legs in X-Men movies for 16 years now, and no one’s ever complained about that. Hell, the power dynamic’s even the same in both situations, as Mystique’s as far above ordinary humans as Apocalypse is above her.
The critics are right about one thing, though: someone is being sexist here.
It just doesn’t happen to be the people they think.