On Saturday I was watching a movie, “Afternoon Delight” and wondering how in 2020, we still see these heteronormative sexist cliche scenes: the men hang out and play poker and have no idea what their partners are doing or thinking or how they’re feeling, and the women gather at someone’s house, drink wine and get drunk and say crazy sometimes too honest ugly things.
How many times have you seen such scenes? I recently watched Pretty Little Liars and there was a lot of separateness between the cis males and cis females.
While I was watching the movie Afternoon Delight, I saw in the “trivia” Amazon Video provides on the left side of your screen, that it was Quentin Tarantino’s favorite movie of 2013. Funny that he made a movie that year, Django Unchanged, which was not bad, but certainly focused on the usual male characters and actors. I just looked through a list of 50 best movies of 2013 and Afternoon Delight was not listed. It’s fun to watch but super annoying. It’s sexist, classist and probably microagression level racist in some way.
I was focused mainly on the sexism, the way couples are still portrayed in this way that seems so stale and so insulting. The characters arent’ people. They are tropes. The middle aged married mom who is bored with her life so she gets obsessed with a stripper, who of course, is young, beautiful, etc. The only real person in the movie happens to be her because she isn’t chasing some kind of “happiness” and is authentic and actually likes herself. As much as a mainstream movie can do, it portrays her as someone who sees sex work as a job. It’s the main character and her friends who are judgmental or turn her into a fetish. The main issue in the movie about the mid life crisis of the main character is that she can’t deal with her life but also seems to miss being young and sleeping with lots of people in college. There is an allusion to a possible date rape but the focus seems to be of her fascination with this stripper/sex worker, both judging her and fetishizing her.
Anyway it was very sexist except at lest showing that there are sex workers who just see sex work as a job and have clients the way lawyers and therapists and other careers involve clients. The other women are shocked that Rachel would hire her as a baby-sitter because they assume it means the husband would want to sleep with her or be distracted by her, thus demonstrating that these women are the cliche of the older mother who feels she is no longer attractive. In the movie the main character doens’t see herself as beautiful or desirable.
Anyway it’s not even worth talking more about. There are just too many shows and movies out there that have this sexist narrowminded view of relationships, and most of all of women. Quentin Tarantino himself doesn’t have a great record with his protrayal of women in movies so it’s not surprising he loved this movie.