Sex in San Diego: Women in Movies

Angelina Jolie

Double Standard:  Women on screen are always required to look their sultry, sexy best.  Not so for their male counterparts.

Over the weekend I caught the movie X-men on TV and I have to say that women are really starting to get on my nerves. For those who are unfamiliar with the story (is that possible?), X-men is an action adventure about love, revenge, super human capabilities, violence and acceptance. And lots and lots of sex.

The characters don’t actually have sex in the film. In fact, there’s only one scene where you think it might happen, but no, it’s just a steamy kiss that’s been a long time coming.

So why am I all bent out of shape about that? I’m not. What gets me is that in the movie the male characters are fully clothed and dressed how you’d expect any evil-fighting hero to be – loose-fitting Calvin Klein-type attire that just oozes money, respect and the suggestion of an incredibly sexy body underneath.

Not so much for the female characters, though. Let’s take Emma Frost for example, a mentalist who can change into the most boobalicious diamond form you ever did see. When she’s not a firm-bodied diamond, she’s dressed in skin-tight white leather pants and matching top that is zipped down so far you spend most of the time hoping for a wardrobe malfunction.

When you happen to remember that she has a face — say, during the occasional line — you look back up into a face that screams “Come to bed. Now.” It’s obvious that the potential destruction of humankind leaves her in a constant state of arousal.

X-Men's Emma Frost

Listen, I’m not a prude and I know Ms. Frost the actress is staying true to Ms. Frost the Marvel Comic design, but I’m getting really tired of watching movies where the male character gets all bloodied and bruised and the female character – who’s been right beside him the whole time — looks like she just walked out of a MAC store. It’s unrealistic and insulting. I spend most of the movie yelling at the TV for the girl to “Do something! Shoot the bastard!” Anything but that useless pouty screaming.

So why are an overwhelming majority of female characters portrayed as prostitutes in training? Gaping of mouth? Check. Biting of lower lip? Check. Arching of back? Check. Purring of lines? Double check. You know, because when I’m stressed out and in fear for my life, I put on stiletto heels and my voice gets totally husky. It’s like they know me.

This type of over-the-top sex appeal is universal throughout the genres — just a couple examples are Uma Thurman in Kill Bill, or Megan Fox and Hotter-Than-Fox in the Transformer series. Oh, and anything with Angelina Jolie in it.

Courtney Stodden and Doug Hutchison

So why do women, time and time again, take these types of roles? Is that really all that’s being offered? Speaking of Angelina Jolie, I once read an article where she said she did all her sexy action movies so that she could make enough money to do the movies that meant something to her — like the Changeling.

But what frustrates me the most is that I see the effect this uber-sexiness is having on every day women. Now, instead of going to Target in jeans and a t-shirt, women are wearing minidresses and six-inch pumps like they were headed to the club but got lost. It’s 1 p.m. on a Saturday, ladies — there’s no talent scout hiding in the linen aisle. It’s OK to look natural.


Annie Lane

Annie Lane

“If you don't feel it, flee from it. Go where you are celebrated, not merely tolerated.” - Paul F. Davis
Annie Lane


  1. avatar says

    Good job, Annie. That photo of Doug Hutchinson and the barbie doll next to him says it all. And btw, we’re all not X-Men fans, so your intro was helpful. Could be a generational thing.

  2. avatarmichelle says

    I completely agree with you on the issue of hypersexual images of women in movies and T.V, It’s unimaginative and restrictive. However, when you go on to criticize what women wear to Target…. One thing about being a feminist is that you believe women should be able to dress as they please and present themselves to the world in a way that makes them comfortable. Without derogatory labels. If homegirl wants to visit Target in stripper heels thats her prerogative. Just because some people don’t understand a certain aesthetic, doesn’t been others don’t find it empowering.

    • avatarAnnie says

      Thanks for your comment, Michelle.

      If being a feminist means dressing like a stripper to go to Target because “homegirl wants to,” then feminism needs to be redefined. To me, feminism is a movement that pushes for political, economical and social equality. I would hesitate to say any of that is being acheived by Courtney Stodden’s (above) choice of attire.

      I believe there’s a time and place for everything. If dressing like a sex-pot to do the most mundane of chores empowers someone, I would ask them why. My experience has been that the most overtly sexual people are those who also have some notable insecurities they’re trying to overcome. Not always, of course, but often enough.

      • avatarmichelle says

        I don’t think that’s what feminism means exclusively, but if thats what it means to others, I don’t think its any ones place to say thats not acceptable. Regardless of whether or not it makes you uncomfortable. Being a feminist can mean many different things to different people, that’s what I was trying to express. Also I think starting a dialogue with someone about what makes them tick is always fascinating…As long as you don’t make it obvious that you think their sartorial choices are indicative of deep seeded insecurities. That would be insulting. Owning one’s own sexuality is powerful. Obviously, Courtney Stodden is a very extreme case and I don’t think she should be made the poster child(emphasis on child) of the topic we are discussing.

        • avatarAnnie says

          I don’t think it’s insulting at all … hypothetically, of course. Interesting and insightful, yes.

          Just curious – Are you saying that when a woman dresses like what is commonly accepted as a hoochie she is not trying to get attention? That she is simply dressing in the way she feels most comfortable and empowered?

          I find that fascinating in the same way that I find it funny when a woman with ginormous breast implants gets upset when you stare at them.

          I wish I could go through life thinking things are just as they seem. My hubby probably wishes that, too. :) But I’ve always been a fan of psychology and a believer in deeper meaning.

          I really do get where you’re coming from, though. I just think I disagree.

  3. avatarAndy Cohen says

    Courtney Stodden might not be the best example. After all, we’re talking about a 17 year old girl who married a fifty-something actor……the guy who played Percy in “The Green Mile” no less, which tells me that Hutchison might actually be a lot like his character in the movie. And that’s not a good thing. Hell, the guy’s old enough to be her father (daddy issues, anyone?).

    Bottom line: That chick has MAJOR issues.