Film buff baulks at screen sexism

ACCEPTING CHANGE: While he loves the camp storylines in the films of yesteryear, Andrew Gale is glad women are portrayed as strong characters more than in Hollywood's Golden Age.
ACCEPTING CHANGE: While he loves the camp storylines in the films of yesteryear, Andrew Gale is glad women are portrayed as strong characters more than in Hollywood's Golden Age.

SOMETIMES I'm glad I work by myself and no-longer in a larger workplace, because when the topic of last night's TV show comes up around the water-cooler, I'd have nothing to say.

Those who know me say I have an opinion on everything and like everyone to know it but when it comes to who cooked the best soufflé on My Kitchen Rules, or who was the queen of the fox-trot on Dancing With The Stars, I'd be gob-smacked.

I admit it. I'm not a Goggleboxer - instead I prefer to spend the evening watching classic movies freely available to watch on the internet. You're not about to be able to settle down to watching La-La Land via You-tube any time soon, (well not legally anyway), but you'd be surprised what is there.

In the last couple of weeks I have watched Roman Holiday starring Audrey Hepburn, John Wayne's McLintock and The Fighting Seabees and one of my all-time favourites, Sink The Bismark starring the oh so British, Kenneth More.

A lot of these movies are now public domain which basically means no one owns the copyright any more, so all sorts of good minded people out in internet-world are free to share them.

If you have a hankering for the B-grade monster mash and space creature stuff like I Married a Monster from Outer Space, The Giant Claw or The Day the Sky Exploded, you are in luck.

It's even better if you have a special friend to watch with you, that is if he/she isn't in the kitchen or the bedroom watching "Midsomer Murders".

These movies come from a simpler time, when entry to the pictures on Saturday was a sixpence and all the Jaffas you could eat were only a farthing, a pound or some other crazy-small investment in future life of dentures and type-a diabetes.

Yes, the creatures are rubbery and fake, the special effects about as convincing as my Photoshop skills and the acting is sometimes a bit wooden but hey, the cars are cool and the nostalgia value is something that can't be measured.

One thing that really bothers me though about watching these movies is how women were sometimes portrayed and treated, as in these films are they are rarely strong characters.

They become hysterical at merest sight of a disembodied alien brain or hand (not that there's anything wrong with that), but what disturbs me is how often the male characters had to give them a good old slap to snap 'em out of it.

Other G rated gems also featured guys putting girls over their knee for a spanking and plenty of sneaky kisses and "unwanted advances" in the stationery cupboard or supply room of b grade movie world.

I like nostalgia, but I'm really glad most of that has changed.

When it comes to women's issues it's mostly been for the better. Dad always did say "Happy wife, happy life!!, so what's good for the ladies is better for everyone."

It was international women's day last week there was some silly stuff to come out of it, but hey, good on those people motivated enough to have a go at making the world a more equal place.

My wife and daughter are both women and I like them very much and anything that celebrates them and makes their life better is just fine by me.

We've certainly come a long way from Hollywood world of 1957 and if it takes a few more things like changing the walk figures at traffic lights to make everything more equal.

Well good on it.

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