So I was thinking about what to write and I’ve decided to talk about Suicide Squad today. Which was actually a movie I liked…but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t have short comings.Well, the reality is that the movie has good and bad to it. I would say it’s better than Batman Vs. Superman. Which isn’t setting the bar that high. But there’s a lot of reason for controversy. And a lot of it is engrained in tackling the Harley Quinn character. I’ll try to keep spoilers to the minimum.
Let’s get the good out of the way, since that’s way easier to list. Suicide Squad is a fun movie because it’s got some light humor and some crazy characters. Will Smith did a wonderful job as Deadshot and made a character that is somewhat minor and make him not only likable, but also very interesting. His struggle over his daughter and balancing his criminal tendencies with his sense of honor created a character that was very human, much like an evil Batman. Margot Robbie, as well, did a great job in her role. And while there is a lot of negative to point out, the movie gave her quite a bit of positive. The sanity barrier, the playful and evil, yet somehow sweet line is really hard to tread, and she does it very well.
Which of course leads to the bad. Because Harley’s character does what every girl wants and doesn’t want (but Cassady, that makes no sense). Hear me out. Harley is self confident, she does what she wants, she’s not afraid to be an individual but she also is really dedicated to being with her man. She’s capable of making friends. That’s all great, right? But she also is objectified by not only the characters in the movie, but also the entire crew and audience. Seriously. Did we have to have her bend over to get that bag? Did we have to have a camera angle that shows her thong dead on? Did she have to be super sexual with the one creep guard? I mean, I guess it makes sense to corrupt him so the Joker could talk to her, but I’m sure that could have been written in differently. Why not just have the Joker higher someone? He’s a crime prince with a lot of power. It’s doable. He already knows about the super secret location.
The rant could continue on Harley, but the reality is that her lack of attention to these aspects means she’s capable of surviving in that kind of environment. Which leads to an almost acceptance of that sexism being ok, which it’s not. It’s the kind of thing that promote rape culture. Absolutely, people need to be in control of themselves, but people learn through example. It’s how we learn to speak, to walk, and often times how we learn our morals. If the examples from these character that young developing people look up to, like, say, my little brother who just turned thirteen, then suddenly it becomes something that they imitate. Which is not good. The real answer to succeeding in this equality movement is shifting more than just how women see themselves, because that’s something that can shift from hyper sexual to hyper conservative and in each case be acceptable. It also needs to shift from the people looking onto these things. Women are not objects. And while women are learning to not act like them as much, the rest of society needs to learn to treat them like humans.