LETTER- Film review cast wide stereotype
I found part of Steve Warren's review of The Hurt Locker to be highly offensive [August 13 capsule reviews].
He writes, "You'd never guess a woman directed The Hurt Locker from the evidence on the screen. Kathryn Bigelow adds neither 'women's touches'– there's very little talk about the men's feelings– nor..."
Besides Warren's implicit prejudice that male directors are the only ones able to successfully represent war on screen (he certainly could have found a less backward way to compliment Bigelow), the phrase "women's touches" is particularly reductive and essentialist, recalling a time when women ornamented their husband's homes with frilly pink curtains and warm apple crisps. Warren makes it worse by qualifying that phrase with his "evidence," viz, "there's very little talk about the men's feelings," –as if we expect the sole, obvious mark of a woman's touch in a movie to be scenes of characters all sitting around the kitchen table, gushing about their pre-menstrual feelings and weeping into their aprons.
Not to mention that men are some of the most emotive and affective creatures I know, it's insulting to characterize women (and their purported 'touches') so broadly and so stereotypically these days.
It's 2009, Steve. Get with the program.