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Expendable Smurfette

On Twitter today Briony Kidd queries the Smurfette Principle in Expendables 3:

The “Smurfette Principle” references the Smurfs, a multimedia franchise about a village of blue guys who – eventually – have one girl. ONE GIRL. in the entire village. According to TV Tropes, the “Smurfette Principle”

…is the tendency for works of fiction to have exactly one female amongst an ensemble of male characters, in spite of the fact that roughly half of the human race is female.

I just had to see the Expendables 3 poster.
Expendables 3 poster
I confess I saw Expendables 1; I am the Muggins who wrote the review. ‘MTS’ is ‘My (formerly) Teenage Son’. Although I heard that Expendables 2 was an improvement over 1, I figured it’d have to be magnitudes of ‘better’ to be worth my while watching it. I think I’d heard whispers of E3 but… well… who cares?

Until now.

Notice the poster.

Notice the FOURTEEN characters in the poster.

Notice the ONE AND ONLY FEMALE in the poster.

Notice the ONE AND ONLY FEMALE gets far less clothing that EVERY MALE CHARACTER in the poster.

She’s obviously there for eye candy.

The slogan of the movie “Never send a boy to do a man’s job” sums up the testosterone-fuelled casual sexism in one sentence. What, there aren’t a few more women in Hollywood who could play a part in this movie? Are the writers, producers and directors assuming women are incapable of doing “a man’s job”?

Dayum, I just love Betty White’s (misattributed) comment about balls vs vaginas:

“Why do people say “grow some balls”? Balls are weak and sensitive. If you wanna be tough, grow a vagina. Those things can take a pounding.”

Expendables dudes, take note. There’s a whole ‘nother audience out there, including but not limited to girlfriends, who’d be more interested in this movie if there were awesome female characters treated as more than sex objects for male gratification. Just sayin’.

I keep typing “Expandable Smurfette” instead of “Expendable Smurfette”; I’m not sure what this means…

Nalini is an award-winning writer and artist as well as managing editor of Dark Matter Zine.


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