In this rousing edition of, “What is Fox News Inexplicably Angry At This Week?” “Fox and Friends” host Steve Doocy caused not only feminists, but also anyone who values common sense, to audibly groan.
The Feb. 4 edition of the morning show featured a segment that questioned the intentions of the smash-hit animated film, “Frozen,” released in November 2013. When it was released, the film was celebrated and praised for centering its storyline around two sisters, rather than a romantic relationship between a woman and man. The film also noticeably does not use the “damsel-in-distress” trope, as its female characters end up beating the bad guys using their own intelligence and love for each other.
Well, you may as well be burning bras, because according to Doocy, this is all way too insulting to men. He asked, “Are movies like the Disney smash hit about an ice queen and her sister empowering girls by turning our men into fools and villains?”
Doocy was joined later in the segment by Penny Young Nance, the president and CEO of Concerned Women for America, an organization whose mission is, according to its website, to “protect and promote Biblical values among all citizens — first through prayer, then education and finally by influencing our society — thereby reversing the decline in moral values in our nation.”
Nance criticized mainstream Hollywood-generated movies in general, stating, “Hollywood in general has often sent the message that men are superfluous, that they’re stupid, that they’re in the way, that if they contribute anything to a family, it’s a paycheck.”
Doocy agreed with Nance, suggesting that “it would be nice for Hollywood to have more male figures in those kinds of movies.”
Doocy and Nance, however, seem to conveniently overlook how women are usually portrayed in film compared to how men are portrayed. In an infographic constructed by the New York Film Academy in 2013, it was revealed that 30.8 percent of speaking characters are women, roughly a third of women in movies are either partially nude or wear sexually revealing clothing and that the average ratio of male actors to female actors is 2.25 to 1. And that doesn’t even account for behind the screen.
In Academy Awards history, a woman has been nominated for best director four times, and only once (Kathryn Bigelow for “The Hurt Locker” in 2010) has one won. During the 85th Academy Awards, there were 140 men nominated across the board, while there were 35 women, the infographic stated. This gap in award show representation could be partially due to the fact that 77 percent of Oscar voters are male.
Okay, I’ll stop spitting facts and numbers out, but every time I read them, I become more disgusted. And I’m not saying “Frozen” is a faultless, perfect, feminist movie. In all honesty, if someone sings or asks me if I “wanna build a snowman” one more time, I might lose it. However, women have been experiencing lack of recognition and representation in film and other media for years. It’s a constant battle, and it should be noted that the numbers mentioned above don’t even include racial battles or challenges facing women of color in the industry. If Steve Doocy and Penny Young Nance want to see men represented more positively in films, all they need to do is watch the majority of films ever made, and they’ll get their fill.
I do have hope, though, that in upcoming years, as feminism becomes harder to avoid, women will be able to watch movies and see realistic emotional and physical depictions of themselves on the big screen. And when that day comes, Steve Doocy and Concerned Women for America are going to have to just “Let it Go.”