I’m making my way to Toronto for RvB:TO this weekend, so once again my Dark Knight Rises review is delayed. It is coming, but it’ll probably be next week. However, something about that night has been bothered me. For the record, anything after the jump has spoilers. If you still haven’t seen the movie, go watch it and then come back and read it.
So here’s the story. We were sitting near a large group of younger people. Actually about 20 people in our section were recent high school graduates … I know that because they kept talking about how they were going to rock college and go be stars or something. So during the movie, we got to the part where Catwoman brings Batman down to Bane’s hideout and surprise, she lured him into a trap. It was shocking to me at the time (maybe her playful banter tricked me) but as soon as she said why, I understood it. She been put into an eat or be eaten situation and she chose survival. To me that’s one of the great things about this version of her – she’s not a wilting flower but there’s a reason behind the things she does and they’re often out of necessity.
So right after Catwoman explains herself, the entire theater is quiet except for one of the guys next to me who comments, “Bitch.”
Yeah, that perked my ears, but I tried to ignore it.
Much later in the movie, it’s of course revealed that Miranda is actually Talia al Ghul. It’s disappointing that we see so little of her being herself, but her history told throughout the film shows a woman who was strong enough to tame a feat that crippled most men. It shows a woman who has an unwavering devotion to what she considers honorable – namely, her father Ra’s and her savior Bane. She is very righteous, even if Batman and the audience don’t believe in her version of right.
Why am I going into her character? Because when she takes personal vengeance for her father’s death by stabbing Bruce in the back (literally) and twisting the knife, a voice behind me bitterly commented, “Bitch.” The worst part was it came from a woman.
You know, Bane blows up a stadium and immediately murders the Mayor of Gotham. He snaps a man’s neck in broad daylight to show that no one could possibly stop his bomb now. He cripples Batman (for a while, at least). He commits most of the senseless violence in this movie, but I never heard anyone call him a bastard (and actually bastard isn’t a parallel for bitch because bitch is a nastier slur when it’s meant to be a slur). How about Dagget and his men who are crooked to the core, sabotaging Bruce and double-crossing Selina? How about Gordon’s replacement who cares more about getting credit for capturing Batman than he does for stopping terrorists? It says something to me that these characters weren’t called out by my fellow patrons but the two main female characters were.
When a male character betrays the protagonists, he could be hailed as a grand villain. When a female character betrays the protagonists, she’s much more likely to be called a bitch. And not just by men.Yeah, that still needs to change.