The gender violence in ‘Don’t Worry Baby’ lacks a point


Drawing by Olivia Abita / Northwestern

Content Warning: The next section refers to suicide and gender-based violence, which can be disturbing.

This has spoilers for do not worry my love. If you’re particularly keen on watching a blank white feminist version of Truman ShowGo ahead and hit the local theater and come back to read this.

When I walked into The New 400 theater on September 23 to see do not worry my loveAnd the My expectations were really low. Like, my mental health is once a week, four of a quarter hits, low. It was mostly due to the exciting press tour of the movie Addresses Ranging from specific rumors to controversial interview responses to the alleged spit being watched around the world. The other part of my doubts was reinforced by the latent memory of Harry Styles in suspenders and a wide-brimmed hat… How can I take the movie seriously with this? Photo Floating around my subconscious mind?

With my expectations down to earth, it was hard for me to anticipate the “evolution” of the big movie: that idyllic 1950s suburb of Victory is a virtual reality where men love Jack (Harry Styles) Their partners, like Alice (Florence Bio).

The male characters in the movie are portrayed as feeling vulnerable by their real-world partners, and then seduced by the rhetoric that they adopt. Frank (Chris Pine) via podcast. Then they disrupt their female partners, hook them up and force their subconscious into the virtual reality that Frank has built.

While the actual story of the film has been overshadowed by the bad press, Cameron Chang, a sophomore from Northwestern School of Communication, says the hypothesis is actually unfounded.

“I think what the movie says is true,” Zhang said. “A lot of men really want to control the women in their lives, in a way, if they don’t get what they want or aren’t the breadwinners in their home or relationship.”

The film seems to make the same proposition: the men of victory all report to Frank and submit to him as their leader. This streak of respect continues in the domestic sphere where the women of victory are expected to support the men with warm food, kind words and comforting hugs.

I tried my best not to yawn in the theater as the premise of the film became clear. It is about women and men, who are white and supposedly interdependent, and their positions within the patriarchy. Fabulous. It’s like I’ve never seen anything like this before.

Declan Franny, a sophomore in the College of Communication, added that this is not the case do not worry my love Lacking nuances, it’s the number of times he’s seen the same Echo of Messages in other movies.

“This has been a topic for many years and definitely feels like a conversation that has taken place a lot,” Franny said. “So he’s kind of like, why did he make this? What does it add to the conversation?”

Case in point: In public conversation recently it was Hulu The Handmaid’s Tale (2017), based on the original novel by Margaret Atwood, set in a miserable society where women are forced to live at home reproductive alternatives They are stripped of their agency completely. The series was initially met with criticism for its focus on white women as victims of the system of sexual violence to which women of color have been subjected in real life for decades.

Hierarchies and power dynamics do not worry my love Don’t examine the nuances of the intersection between race and gender. The majority of Victory’s wives are white women. There are exceptions, such as Margaret (Kiki Lane), who found out she was in custody early in the film and died by suicide in a bloody series of stills.

The stage turned quiet as laughter about Harry Styles’ acting was suddenly sucked out of the room within seconds. Margaret’s body was exhumed by men in red, and she was never seen again. My chest warmed when I realized that her death had relegated to the point of a plot to develop Alice’s character – and later escape – from both Jack and the virtual world of victory.

My reaction to this horrific scene was not unique. Sophomore Communications School Elshadai Aberra said that Margaret’s death upset them and their friends.

“The way they executed that plot line, I feel it was violent,” Abra says. “She was the neglected victim.”

The assumption that intense misogyny and gender-based violence are linked exclusively to whites ignores the idea that anyone can be affected, according to Dr. Said Hill. Hill is a counseling psychologist and assistant director of prevention and male engagement at the Center for Outreach, Response, and Education (CARE) on campus.

“I’ve had students come to me and say it’s hard to address these issues within our district [Northwestern] community, because it feels like a lot of people treat it as a white issue or a white community issue,” Hill said. “We kind of have this idea of ​​what a victim is, what it looks like. Or what the survivor looks like, or what the perpetrator and the communities they belong to look like.”

stories like The Handmaid’s Tale And the do not worry my love Trying to make a statement about patriarchy, but that statement is only superficial. Yes, some men resort to extremes to calm feelings of fertility. And yes, these ideas reinforce the larger and more comprehensive structure of patriarchy. But in the United States, paternalism is closely intertwined with and reinforces racism.

Olivia Wilde, Director do not worry my love , She said she sought to create a film that revolved around “Prepare to blow up the system that serves you.How can I blow up a system that bury me? Is the movie’s true message that I, a black woman, must accept my fate as a sacrificial lamb used to light the fires of a white woman, ready to set fire to patriarchy? And how will I know that my story and those of other women of color won’t turn to ashes either?


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