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Why did they make the women such wimps?

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  • Why did they make the women such wimps?

    I'm watching Highlander on HBO and the main problem I have with the original is that they couldn't decide if they were portraying the women as strong independent ladies or as screaming whimpering wimps whenever Kurgan showed up. For all of Brenda's knowledge of swords...when a madman breaks into her apartment...they have her run down the hall past all the swords and run into the living room to get her gun. Then the whimpering and screaming begins. As a woman...I found it very offensive. Almost as much as how they edited the ending to have Connor magically show up to rescue her and then cut the final fight down to just around two minutes. You can tell that men did the editing. Don Paonessa would have shown more respect for editing the scenes.

  • #2
    H2 was even worse (not surprising). Louise entering the stage as a trained espionage agent, yet later being the damsel in distress acting like Barbie holding a machine gun. Things did get at least a little better in the series and H4.
    Highlander: Dark Places

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    • #3
      At least Brenda Wyatt was consistently portrayed as competent and respected in her field. Her counterpart from Gregory Widen's original script, Brenna Cartwright, was presented as kinda a failure at life, a law school dropout whose middling career success at the Smithsonian is largely due to the pull of her uncle (a DA in DC), and the male characters spend the entire script treating her like crap and dismissing every opinion she has.

      Also, in Brenda's defense, a textbook knowledge of swords isn't the same thing as practical training in swordplay, especially for going against an opponent who has been using swords for thousands of years. As a police officer, she had training in firearms. She went for the weapon that she had experience using.
      __________________________________________________

      "Really? We are trapped in a room with a machine that can cut off my head. Now that's a longshot."
      --Connor MacLeod in Peter Bellwood's original Highlander II script

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      • #4
        They probably did that so that Conner could play the hero and save the damsel in distress.

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        • #5
          Sign of the times, progressing through the nineties the female role changes to more self sufficient. Nowadays no-one bats an eye over female leads & heroins.
          May flights of Demons guide you to your final rest...

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          • Colleengael
            Colleengael commented
            Editing a comment
            I grew up watching ladies in the sixties and seventies being portrayed as smart and knowledgeable about martial arts and self defense. Suddenly in the eighties...the women were all wimps when confronted by violence. I blame it on the studio executives who were becoming younger and younger. That's when they decided that all action movies are only watched by men.😄

        • #6
          Oh, there is also the progression though the series.

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          • #7
            Compared to the women in The Birds, the HL women were made of stern stuff. The screaming, incompetent, STUPID women of The Birds were so awful, I couldn't stand it. When you find yourself thinking, "It's a good thing YOU are out of the gene pool", you know it's time to shut off the TV.
            “A sinner can always repent, but stupid is forever.”
            Billy Sunday

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            • #8
              The strong women I watched and admired when I was growing up were smart and knew self defense. They worked along side the men and could put them in their place if needed. I loved watching Lauren Bacall, Katherine Hepburn, Cyd Cherise, Barbara Stanwick, Doris Day and all the Bond women because they usually played a woman of strength. They did not whine or expect a man to come along and save them.

              As for the movies...Why did they start off showing Heather and Brenda as strong women who fell apart and started screaming in terror when Kurgan showed up? It was totally a reversal of their characters just to make Kurgan seem scarier. It is irritating enough that it always yanks me out of the story before the ending.
              Last edited by Colleengael; 08-22-2017, 08:37 PM.

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              • #9
                Studying the metallurgy of swords isn't the same as using one and starting your first sword fight with a huge opponent with hundreds of years of experience who has survived to the final round of the Game would be suicidal. Going for a gun makes sense. It gives her range and makes noise. But, let's not forget she did have the guts to whack him with the pipe. If that was an example of her dueling skills, then we know she'd have had no chance with a sword.

                As for Heather, I'd be screaming to if I lived in "Castle Weak Walls" with those guys dismantling it around me.

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                • Coolwater
                  Coolwater commented
                  Editing a comment
                  ...LOL!...

              • #10
                The scene I hated most for Brenda was when Conner stabs himself to prove his immortality and she starts kissing him before they have sex in front of a big open window. Did seeing Conner stab himself get her all hot and bothered for some reason? I'm not a prude and don't mind sex scenes but don't like it when they feel forced and have no place in the movie.
                Gonna change my evil ways...one of these days

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                • #11
                  1) She loved history, and suddenly there it was in the flesh.
                  2) She was holding the knife and put something in him, so turn about was only fair.
                  3) They wanted to get some sex into the movie and the next step was a threesome in the church with the Kurgan.

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                  • #12
                    Originally posted by Andrew NDB View Post
                    and H4.
                    Yes, where Kate is killed in her sleep, and later is indicated not to carry a sword, making her useless in the Game and to be on her own, thus pretty much an easy victim to be killed... which she was in at least one version of the film, showing not the slightest of resistance.

                    Yes, a little better.

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                    • #13
                      And didn't Kell say he found her in a brothel?
                      Last edited by dubiousbystander; 12-09-2018, 06:29 AM.

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                      • #14
                        Yeah, that's even better!

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                        • #15
                          Regarding Kate. Unfortunately, much of the past wasn't a good time to be a single woman. Sometimes, it seems like if they didn't have a man to provide for them, the world wouldn't let them provide for themselves. Kate was no weaker for being a prostitute than any of the other legions of women who were forced to go down that same road just to survive. She was alone and probably not in the healthiest frame of mind. In her world, her options were very limited.

                          As for Heather, I'm sure she was overwhelmed by the situation. Having a giant lunatic invade your home and dismantle it while dueling with a "Spanish Peacock" isn't something you can prepare yourself for ahead of time. And, I can imagine The Kurgan being intimidating enough to make most people freeze with terror, because it's pretty clear just by looking at him what he's capable of. Also, we only see The Kurgan interact with Heather for like a few seconds. Maybe she put up the fight of her life and we just didn't get a chance to see it.

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                          • #16
                            Originally posted by Colleengael View Post
                            I'm watching Highlander on HBO and the main problem I have with the original is that they couldn't decide if they were portraying the women as strong independent ladies or as screaming whimpering wimps whenever Kurgan showed up. For all of Brenda's knowledge of swords...when a madman breaks into her apartment...they have her run down the hall past all the swords and run into the living room to get her gun. Then the whimpering and screaming begins. As a woman...I found it very offensive. Almost as much as how they edited the ending to have Connor magically show up to rescue her and then cut the final fight down to just around two minutes. You can tell that men did the editing. Don Paonessa would have shown more respect for editing the scenes.
                            I'd agree with on the ending the screaming is definitely a bit excessive, I'v not heard about the edit before? was there sposed to be more of Brenda confronting the Kugran with the iron bar?

                            Besides that I think you could argue that really the nature of the film is what drives how her scenes with the Kurgan go. Whilst we do get some larger than life elements a lot of the drama is deliberately very down to earth, Brenda is played as a realistic woman who works in police foresnics. She has enough about her to quickly get inside and go for the gun but when kidnaped by a giant insane rapist/murderer she loses it.

                            I would argue as well the way the film treat the Kurgan shifts as it advances. I think in the early stages he's treated as more of a standard 80's villain, the confrontation in the factory with Conor for example with them exchanging putdowns. You get a shift during the confrontation with Ramerez though I'd say which plays up the shock factor, Connery starts off exchanging putdowns but midway though you see the real implacable nature of the Kurgan. No more putdowns and the good guy doesnt just loose in some selfless fashion or by underhand tactics, he just loses and is mocked as he's brutally killed. After that the Kurgan I think is treated rather differently, any over the top moments became less playful and more signs of insanity and its that Kurgan Brenda faces.

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                            • #17
                              hello everyone,




                              There's really not much to say about this. In my observation, women treat rejection from a guy they're absolutely sure they will marry with outstanding generalizations of guys like their crush having a bad personality, or just fall into extreme self pity without people telling them to "man up". I think this is more because some of them don't have to pursue unless they're truly sure, which makes it all the more disappointing. On the other end, Men from misogynistic backgrounds may act with hate or violence against the rejecting woman, but some of that comes from the testosterone and social systems that cause men to grow up bottling up emotions or only expressing them as anger. Men in cities, or what I would consider the average man, tend to not see such things as the end of the world, while women in cities do. And to top it off, they tend to get more support.




                              It's a relatively straightforward opinion, I just think people are afraid of pointing out that women have less experience with rejection because they don't have to try as much due to the redpill community's misogyny attached to it.


                              thanks and regards

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                              • Colleengael
                                Colleengael commented
                                Editing a comment
                                Why did you think the answer to my question would be about how you think women deal with rejection? I just wanted to know if anyone had any theories on why the writers and director decided to turn the strong female woman shown in most of the movie into a whining, screaming cliche. To me that decision to show her as a wimp when faced with Kurgan was out of character. It was if they thought it would make the Gillian seem more menacing. As a woman who was taught from childhood how to defend myself from attackers and how to stay calm in a situation like that. It just rang false to me.
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