The trope of the uptight career woman whose dedication to her work results in things like immaculately tailored pantsuits, chilly-looking loft apartments, and emotional walls that only the right man can tear down is a popular one. Most times, this serves as a substitute for actual character development as our heroine, smitten with our hero’s skill in fighting aliens or Nazis or whatever, learns to loosen up a little bit—and maybe even to love, who knows? Other times, she turns out to be evil. This reassures audiences that even so-called “liberated women” really, deep down, just want to be swept off their feet by a man, preferably a khaki-clad, wisecracking one. Or they’re evil. Either way, it’s boring, and arguably pretty sexist.
But it’s easy, and even contemporary blockbusters like Jurassic World aren’t immune to this trope’s severe charms. (Don’t worry, it’s much prettier with its hair down.) And Joss Whedon—already a lifetime member of the National Institute for Clever Empathetic Guys Understanding You, or NICEGUY—was quick to point this out in regards to a new clip for the film featuring uptight Bryce Dallas Howard and cool guy Chris Pratt that premiered earlier this week:
…and I’m too busy wishing this clip wasn’t 70’s era sexist. She’s a stiff, he’s a life-force - really? Still? https://t.co/qqts4jpSva
— Joss Whedon (@josswhedon) April 10, 2015
Whedon was responding to a tweet from the feminist geek-culture site The Mary Sue; the tweet was making a different point, namely that if one happens to be a person who is sexually attracted to men, it can be difficult to concentrate on words when they are coming out of Chris Pratt’s handsome mouth. Maybe someday women can have it all: Successful careers, a sense of humor, and scruffy male companions to only half listen to when they talk. Someday.
The Jurassic World clip in question is below.