author: annie trussler | op-ed editor
Flagrant heterosexuality, endless marijuana use, unnecessary violence. Same film. Same Seth Rogen.
I don’t like Seth Rogen (if that sentence is blasphemous to you in any way, you do not need to keep reading, because it is only going to go downhill from here). I deplore shock comedy culture. I am tired of the overtly sexualized woman, the glorification of drugs, and the worship of the typical “twenty-four year old frat boy.” The trope is tired, and in one moviegoer’s opinion, has always been tired. For years, the same movie, the same story, the same five or six actors have been recycled in a slew of “Not Rated” garbage flicks that are shovelled into the eager mouths of the college public.
I groaned internally when the advertisements for Sausage Party disrupted otherwise eye-catching previews at the theatre. My friend leaned over and whispered, “This looks funny.” I stayed silent. Stoner hot dogs. A new concept, I suppose, but the same played-out rhetoric – flagrant heterosexuality, endless marijuana use, unnecessary violence. Same film. Same Seth Rogen.
The reviews rushed in. Oh, mercy, was I right. As predicted, it was the same film – insufferable profanity, violence, insinuations of rape, the first (and hopefully last) on-screen food orgy, and a poorly written transgender “taco.” Call me a wet blanket. Call me an elitist. Call me whatever you want, but there is something to be said about this culture. For now, let’s call it “bro culture.”
Bro culture is pervasive. Bro culture invades everything. Bro culture encourages the chauvinism of many frat boys, promotes rape, validates the “friendzone,” and above all, degrades women. Take a look at almost every Seth Rogen film ever produced. The woman, often beautiful, too beautiful, is the object of some random frat boy’s desire. She’s untouchable, she is two breasts on legs, she is a bitch for ignoring him, a whore for not giving him the time of day. The movie, between the desperate “bro” getting baked (had to slip in a food pun), wading through a sea of other breasts with legs, and whining about the friendzone with other bros is based wholly on the relentless pursuit of “the woman.” Don’t be fooled; though the woman may be a hot dog bun in Sausage Party, the message still stands – the woman is not a character, she is a vagina.
Contrast this with any Rogen movie, or any bro movie, the trope persists. There is a bro, he is lonely, he is desperate; there is a woman, she is beautiful, she is unattainable, she is the flattest character (personality wise) to ever be conceived. What is worse is that this culture seeps beyond the pool of Rogen into the large ocean of male-conceived media. John Green and his pursuit of the manic pixie dream girl, for example. Each novel, save for the odd few, follows a similar narrative to that of Rogen’s bro cinema: there is a desperate, virginal boy, in love with a personality-less girl, who must give into his whim, or die for his pain.
Marvel is guilty, too. I am certain many of us remember the travesty that was Avengers: Age of Ultron, so I apologize for bringing it to mind once more. The Marvel Cinematic Universe is not renowned for its female cast, which I could complain about for another article or two, but we can praise Stan Lee for his conception of Natasha Romanoff. Assassin, spy, all around badass. At least until AOU, where all of her hardcore mercenary skills and character growth was sacrificed so that she may become a love interest for Bruce Banner in the most contrived romance plot ever conceived; plus, the whole “she’s a monster because she can’t have children” angle? Don’t even get me started.
[pullquote]The first (and hopefully last) on-screen food orgy”[/pullquote]
At the heart of bro culture, and all of its sub-genres is a brand of misogyny we do nothing but feed millions of dollars into. As long as we celebrate Rogen’s creations, the longer we promote the objectification of women, the validation of the friendzone, and rape culture grows. Media controls all that we do and know, and if you genuinely take pleasure in this repetitive, flagrantly tedious reiteration of the “vagina on legs” trope, take a moment to consider your view on women. Think of the women close to you, think of the women you love, and think of them being reduced to nothing but anatomy. Then watch a Seth Rogen movie. Try.