Saturday, February 7, 2009

Any tool is a good one if you know how to use it

In the wee hours of the morning Renee put a post about a film that covers the Montreal Massacre that occurred on Dec. 6, 1989. The film does not cover the perspective of the 14 women who were killed but instead it comes from the angle of a group of men were forced out of a classroom by the gunman, allowing him to "fight feminism" by shooting all nine of the women in the classroom, killing six. After the initial attack he proceeded to go through other areas of the school killing eight more women in the process. In the end he turned the gun on himself.

And it would seem that Renee (and many of her regulars) are not happy about this. Now at first I thought they were mad because they thought the intent of the movie was to outright say that the perspective of the women that died really wasn't important in comparison to the "real victims" or some shit like that. But after talking to some of the folks over there with mixed reaction (ranging from actual conversation to being told to write in my own blog to an invitation to "fuck off", need as Cara exactly how one does that). Well I already intended to write something over here about it but I don't think it would have been right to just go off on them without at least talking to them. And despite some of them being more concerned with zingers than anything else I'm glad I did.

The comments got me thinking, "Okay I don't fully understand their anger. Why would they be upset over a relatively small bit of coverage about the male survivors?" I know they (well at least Renee anyway) would not be mad over something like survivors getting their perspective told. So I reread the post and notice this:
I am in no way denying that the men who witnessed this event were traumatized however, the first time that this story is told on the big screen should not be from the male perspective.

Could the source of the anger here be the format of the telling of their perspective and the exposure associated with that format? "Oh heavens no that can't be it" I tell myself. "Who cares about the format? This is apparently the first time their perspective has been covered so its not like this one telling is going to override the 20 odd years of remembrance for those 14 women right?" Then it hits me.

Media is used to distribute information and movie/tv is one of the most widespread. Not only is it widespread but its also highly influential.

So you have a movie about an event from the perspective of the male survivors and not that of the 14 women that were killed. For many people (myself included) will be learning about this for the first time from this movie. At this point I will invoke one of my favorite tools, The Test.

The Test is a tool I use to get an understanding of someone else's feelings, perspective, etc... Today's incarnation of The Test will be:

"Danny how would you feel if the first widespread telling of an tragedy in which only men were killed was presented from the perspective of women survivors?"

Thinking about it like this I would have to say that honestly my reaction would probably be something akin to Renee's. Mind you I wouldn't call it a piece of shit from the get go but I would be left wondering why the first widespread telling of a tragedy in which only men were killed was told from the woman's perspective.

Yes I'm sure there are people out there (and possibly reading this) that are calling me ever name in the book and making up a few new ones. Big Fucking Deal. I'm working my way through this at my pace and no amount childish name calling is gonna change that.

1 comment:

elementary_watson said...

The gender-switched analogy would probably be "They dance alone" by Sting, which focuses, if I remeber correctly, on the women who prote4sted against the murders of their husbands, fathers, sons.