Do people only give bad movies the SJW label?

Tools    





There's been a lot of talk about how the SJW movement has diminished movies on here, but it seems that people only assign this label to a movie if it's a bad or no more than mediocre movie. When a good movie comes out that may have a female lead or a non-white lead in it, or a non-heterosexual protagonist, than people don't give it the label.

So I was wondering, are people only assigning that label if the movie is bad, but not if it's good? Therefore, maybe the bad movies are to blame for being bad, and not any SJW movement itself?



"Money won is twice as sweet as money earned."



What is SJW?
__________________
Iím here only on Mondays, Wednesdays & Fridays. Thatís why Iím here now.



Sorry for not explaining, it's just a term that has been going around on the net lately, when it comes to movies.



Social Justices Whiner...as in whiners who complain if something isn't 'in line' with current social trends. Think of how kids were in high school with their social cliques, that's what a SJW is, only they live on internet boards and not high school halls.



I just want to hug (your FACE)!
I remember I was in a conversation with my uncle talking about Fox News or something, and he said "I know how you S-J-Ws think, and bla bla bla" I had no idea what an SJW was. Weeks later I finally remembered to look it up and laughed. I don't consider myself that at all. If anything, I'm more of a Devil's Advocate kinda guy for or against whatEVER the argument at hand is. Usually.

I don't think a movie is necessarily bad for having progressive social themes, but I can see why people would personally think a movie is bad for it. I mean, it kind of rocks the viewer's bubble, depending on where they are on whatever spectrum for acceptance or dismissal. That kind of brings up the question, "What are movies for: entertainment or political/social vanguards?" Depending on who you ask, that answer may greatly shape their sensitivities and reactions to such themes. Also, I think there is a fine line between exploring progressive ideas for purposes such as debate, recognition, or anything positively-intended result, and say stirring a pot for publicity's sake.

A movie can be bad while at the same time promoting more progressive ideals. So can conservative movies, containing the opposite. And both can be good, with the same efforts if the movies are good. I think it mostly comes down to which echo chamber you're listening to and whether you can parse out the average between the them all for a more informed opinion to judge a movie.
__________________
"My Dionne Warwick understanding of your dream indicates that you are ambivalent on how you want life to eventually screw you."
- Joel

"Ever try to forcibly pin down a house cat? It's not easy."
- Captain Steel



Sorry for not explaining, it's just a term that has been going around on the net lately, when it comes to movies.
Never heard it before.



Well it's just that people label movies like the Ghostbusters remake or Captain Marvel SJW movies, because they are trying to promote a strong female protagonists. These movies aren't good in my opinion, but then a good movie like Widows (2018), has strong female characters, and no one labels it a SJW movie.

So it makes me wonder if they are just giving this label to movies that aren't that good perhaps.



We've gone on holiday by mistake
Perhaps there's a little truth in that, but you could ask "do movies become bad when SJW issues are forced upon them?".
__________________



I guess that could be case, that the SJW issues are forced upon them compared to a movie where the issue naturally plays into the story?



Ami-Scythe's Avatar
A bucket of anxiety
I don't think it's the fact that it's there, it's the fact that it's forced to be there, as The Doors Album Cover (ynwtf) suggested, "stirring a pot for publicity's sake." It's the fact that it's being used for show as opposed to actually saying something of importance, because let's be real, there is not an issue of there being "not enough female protagonists," it's just people making noise to get attention and that's what's annoying.
But as an answer to your question, the annoyance of SJW madness isn't THE PROBLEM with today's bad movies. It's more like, the movies of today are bad or mediocre for their own set of reasons, including the unnecessary promotion of a movement that we don't need. I believe the reason why this very specific issue is in the spotlight of so many modern film complaints is because it tends to be the cause of other issues in said films. The Force Awakens for example. The problem audiences had with Rei wasn't that she was a female. It was that she was bland and didn't have to do anything to gain her abilities, which you could draw a line back to the decision to make a female antagonist. You can tell that the only thing that was written for her was, "girl." You can argue that Rei was written to be as impressive and as flawless as possible to promote the agenda of having more females as leads instead of more females as entertaining characters.
And the observation of SJW complaints not affecting the reviews of good movies is evidence of it just being one of many flaws in today's cinema, because while a film can have a female lead specifically to appeal to the SJW crowd..well, the film is a good movie. Someone behind the scenes knew better than to let the "message" drive the project and as a result, you get a movie with SJW stuff that can be overlooked or just ignored. And in some cases, in good movies especially, there really is no agenda. The lead is just a female. In an original work like Widows, the characters being female are essential to the story. Or a work like Coraline, You can tell that Coraline is a girl because that's what the writer wanted. She was written to be a character and is so unique that you can barely imagine her as a boy.
A force of an agenda is like, Ghostbusters, where for as much as they sold the movie on the fact that they were all ladies, them being ladies didn't impact the story at all and nothing new was done with them. Or inserting more female characters who have no role and don't do anything, or what I just mentioned was wrong with Rei. So yeah.
__________________
|>
|
Ami-Scythe



But are the people making noise, the moviemakers, or moviegoers, who the filmmakers then cater to as a result?



Ami-Scythe's Avatar
A bucket of anxiety
But are the people making noise, the moviemakers, or moviegoers, who the filmmakers then cater to as a result?
People are making noise, catching the attention of marketers who want filmmakers to write around a "trend" they want to put into a movie for profit.



Welcome to the human race...
A big problem is how the term "social justice warrior" originally referred to people who got needlessly militant even by the standards of other people who were concerned about social justice (a good example being the guy who decided to count how much dialogue Margot Robbie got in Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, which was rightly mocked on all sides) but now it's been co-opted as a catch-all term for dismissing anyone who might be pushing for any kind of social justice as being some kind of petulant whiner (as seen in the posts by Citizen Sucks). To this end, it is hard to tell the difference between those who would invoke the word as part of a nuanced criticism of how an entity (be it film or filmmaker) goes about handling concepts and themes related to social justice and those who invoke it out of knee-jerk disagreement, yet it seems like the latter are far more likely to use the actual acronym as part of their arguing. As such, it's become such an overused term as to become virtually meaningless so if I see anyone using it I will definitely take their arguments with a grain of salt (especially if something as basic as casting a female protagonist without having some big justification for differing from the male default is automatically assumed to be "catering to the SJW crowd"). Also, for all the talk of "forced agendas", maybe consider the possibility that a prevalence of white male characters over the entire course of cinematic history is in itself a forced agenda and that people who aren't being catered to by that long-standing default are not being whiners for having a problem with that.

I think horseshoe theory definitely applies here, especially if it's a question of how one's attitude towards social justice impacts their ability to interpret and criticise films - I can definitely contest the idea that Widows has "no agenda" just because it contrives a plot that demands female leads (never mind how its whole plot is rooted in social justice talking points like political corruption, capitalist greed, and gender inequality) as opposed to something like The Force Awakens arbitrarily casting a female lead in a franchise that hasn't always done right by its female characters (and there is a lot I could say about how Rey is more complex that Ami-Scythe seems to think). It really is a question of how deeply you're willing to engage on either side.
__________________
Way too much stupid talk on the forum. Iroquois, Iím thinking about you.



Perhaps there's a little truth in that, but you could ask "do movies become bad when SJW issues are forced upon them?".
I would say quality wise it becomes an issue when films look to fall back to quite tokenistic pandering as their main selling point.The Ghostbusters remake for example was basically "ghostbusters but their women", its not really a film that offers much substance on such issues. That's very different to say something like Fury Road in which the gender politics play a significant role in the plot of the film.

I mean I wouldn't say that a non white male blockbuster lead needs to be justified by some kind of political depth relating to that characters gender/race/etc(Rogue One for example has a female lead of depth without her gender being much of an issue) BUT there has been a tendency recently for Hollywood to look to use rather cheap tokenism to sell its product.

It also tends to be those kinds of films that make headlines as the marketing of them tends to try and turn the film into a political issue.



Ami-Scythe's Avatar
A bucket of anxiety
A big problem is how the term "social justice warrior" originally referred to people who got needlessly militant even by the standards of other people who were concerned about social justice
As time goes on, things change, including speech. The "SJW" term is not being used as a way to describe a person pushing for social justice. It's to describe a person who places social justice or whatever they think social justice is in places it doesn't belong...such as the film industry. As I said before, there is no problem concerning female roles. You can name countless films with likable, memorable, and strong female characters in all roles. Leads, second leads, supporting casts, villains. We're talking about the people who look at this fact and say, "Well, there's (x) or (y) film that has one lady in it and she doesn't have that many lines so that means, ALL film is flawed and ALL of it needs to be modified to be 'all inclusive.'" That is what we call the SJW.
It is also being used ironically, for the person in question is usually in a place where there is nothing to be solved such as a white man saying the word, "black," and the person in question calling them racist so in the same way someone would call a person who has done something dumb a "genius" ironically, we're calling this type of person a "warrior" ironically.


(especially if something as basic as casting a female protagonist without having some big justification for differing from the male default is automatically assumed to be "catering to the SJW crowd").
And in some cases, in good movies especially, there really is no agenda. The lead is just a female.

...Or a work like Coraline, You can tell that Coraline is a girl because that's what the writer wanted. She was written to be a character and is so unique that you can barely imagine her as a boy.
I put an emphasis on the Ghostbusters cast not putting an impact on the story because as MoreOrLess said, it's the marketing. The selling point was that the cast was female and in the long run, nothing else was written for them. I admittedly didn't see Widows, but what I was saying was that if the selling point is going to be that the cast is all female, then it should've been essential to the story or at the very least, it could've given us something new, even if the new material had nothing to do with the gender. As a matter of fact, in that section of the comment, I was trying to say that not all female roles automatically constitute as SJW pandering but I guess that's just the result of 9pm speech writing. It becomes pandering when the gender swap or inclusion is the selling point or is randomly in the focus of the movie but has no impact on the story. Again, the impact doesn't have to have anything to do with the gender, but they should at least be a likable character. Sure, people like who and what they like and that's completely fine, but I'm personally seeing that the characters that were promoted as double X chromosomes and muscles have no personality past those two traits. This, "strong female lead" thing has affected many characters in the past but audiences are noticing it more because of the subject's popularity.

Also, for all the talk of "forced agendas", maybe consider the possibility that a prevalence of white male characters over the entire course of cinematic history is in itself a forced agenda and that people who aren't being catered to by that long-standing default are not being whiners for having a problem with that.
This is an interesting argument. I'm guessing you're talking about the agenda of men having to be big, strong, misogynistic, emotionless, sexy, white heroes. And while this clearly isn't correct, this is also a stereotype that's been corrected. We've been getting movies with male protagonists of color, with flaws, weaknesses, emotions, charisma, development and partners they love and respect. The same progression has happened with the females characters yesterday. Instead of them being cooking, cleaning sex objects, they've been the loving, supporting, witty and charming partners or leads that keeps everyone and everything in place. And I believe that the problem with the new female agenda is that instead of pushing a positive message about the capabilities of women, it is repeating the mistakes of the past. The agenda that is being pushed is for females to be big, strong, misogynistic, emotionless, sexy, white heroes. It's moving backwards.

I think horseshoe theory definitely applies here, especially if it's a question of how one's attitude towards social justice impacts their ability to interpret and criticize films
I guess it depends on the review. As I said, the "SJW" complaints, or least what I've seen just have a place in a film that had many problems, that's just one of them.



As time goes on, things change, including speech. The "SJW" term is not being used as a way to describe a person pushing for social justice. It's to describe a person who places social justice or whatever they think social justice is in places it doesn't belong...such as the film industry.
I agree with what you wrote there. In a 'perfect world' the term SJW would mean someone who tries to bring social justice through blogs, posts and tweets. In a 'perfect world' a SJW would be an intelligent, thoughtful & kind person who through their actions on the internet & social media would try to bring the world together. BUT my experience with SJW types, is that they are lonely, sad people, who use the current trends of social correctness to draw attention to themselves by being obstinate, deflective, dismissive and condescending. In other words, the typical internet SJWs are usually losers who spout off to troll people. Sadly they make more racial strife in the world with their misguided actions. If they actually believed in what they purport, they would be trying to heal the racial and gender tensions that seem to be growing in the last few years.

That video I posted is pretty damn accurate in the way a real SJW behaves on the internet. SJWs don't really care about anything, they just want to whine about everything.



The thing isolated becomes incomprehensible
Nobody has a problem with female leads that actually make sense. The problem with the SJW movement is that options are made for reasons that are not artistic. And that is a corruption of what Cinema should be.
__________________
Top 100 here

Reviews thread here!



This is an interesting argument. I'm guessing you're talking about the agenda of men having to be big, strong, misogynistic, emotionless, sexy, white heroes. And while this clearly isn't correct, this is also a stereotype that's been corrected. We've been getting movies with male protagonists of color, with flaws, weaknesses, emotions, charisma, development and partners they love and respect. The same progression has happened with the females characters yesterday. Instead of them being cooking, cleaning sex objects, they've been the loving, supporting, witty and charming partners or leads that keeps everyone and everything in place. And I believe that the problem with the new female agenda is that instead of pushing a positive message about the capabilities of women, it is repeating the mistakes of the past. The agenda that is being pushed is for females to be big, strong, misogynistic, emotionless, sexy, white heroes. It's moving backwards.
That's I'd say an argument that extends far beyond cinema into how gender equality should be dealt with as a whole, the promotion of traditionally masculine values in women balanced with the promotion of traditionally feminine values over society as a whole.

Tied into that I'v always kind of suspected that the introduction of female leads in blockbusters was actually not only driven by a desire for greater representation but actually a dramatic choice. These are films that tend towards having to work in dramatic short hand and aim for a very wide audience to the degree I would argue that female characters make it easier to have a large dramatic range. I mean you look at the likes of Ripley, Sarah Conor, Princess Leia or recently Jyn Erso, Furiosa, etc and I think you see characters with a large emotional range, who can be both credible action heroes but also show extreme emotional vulnerability in a fashion that would be harder to sell to audiences with a male character.

It was I'd say partly a push back against the kind of hardass anti hero we've seen so much of in the 60's and 70's played by the likes of Eastwood. You could maybe argue that having younger male characters such as say Luke in Starwars or even more Elliot in E.T. was a similar kind of choice.