Sunday, 12 December 2010

When life gives you lemons in the form of made-for-TV Lifetime movies about marriage proposals, you have to make gender-stereotype lemonade

Sometimes you have to take one for the team, and apparently that's what I'm doing tonight, because my mother wanted me to watch the Lucy Liu Lifetime vehicle "Marry Me" with her, and so here I am.  Yes, this is what it has come to: I am watching a made-for-TV movie about how much every girl wants to get married.

So... pretty much my feminist nightmare incarnate.

1. The overriding one: the meaning of every woman's life is to get married.  Not to be married, but to GET married. 
2. And its necessary corollary: the meaning of  man's life is the opposite.  

... I've actually pretty much summed up the movie.

3. "Men have something to teach us: you don't have to have emotions for everything."  MEN ARE ROBOTS WOMEN ARE DELICATE FLOWERS.
4. If the man is rich, that makes up for a MULTITUDE of sins.  
5. Women should withhold sex until they receive jewelry.
6. Even if you come from a broken home, you still believe in the traditional heteronormative suburban family American Dream.
7. Nice guys always finish last, because they are kind of losers.  Women find it much more romantic to be insulted a lot by sleazy dudes than to be treated well by someone who isn't portrayed as an "alpha dog".
8. You can know someone is "the one" either by seeing them for the first time or within the first few minutes of meeting them.  Learning about someone's personality can come LATER.
9. "Boring men are reliable.  Romantic men cheat."  Also: all men except our hero need to be given ultimatums in order to give out proposals.
10. Calling a man while he is on a business trip is similar to telling him that your biological clock is ticking.
11. If a woman says "I love you first" it is the worst tactical error OF ALL TIME and all your friends will scream in horror if the witness it.  EVEN TEENAGE GIRLS KNOW THIS.  Actually I think teenage girls are the only ones who are supposed to "know" this.
12. All babies are delivered in hospitals where the walls alternate pink and blue.  If I'm ever in labor, and someone takes me to a hospital to have the baby, and the walls look like that gendered NIGHTMARE, I will go outside and have the baby in a fucking taxi.

OK END PART 1.  No, really, this movie is To Be Continued.

Can I just add that the viewer is supposed to sympathize with the heroine when she breaks up with a guy because he takes her out for a dinner where she expects to be proposed to and instead he tells her that he just got a major grant to take photographs of frogs around the world?  And then everyone makes fun of him for being "frog guy".  I feel like I'm actually kind of "frog guy" in real life and that there's a very real chance I could be dumped for being "tephra girl" so I was really identifying with him.

A side discussion led me to do some internet research on being left at the altar.  I maintained that this could never happen as often as it seems to in the movies, where its prevalence as a deux ex machina must be statistically out of hand.  The resulting internet search revealed that only women are left at the altar, only men end engagements, and women are always blindsided by it.  I'm not sure what to make of this but it is an interesting note.

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