Last week I purchased a film from the Sky Store, one of those not yet widely available. As I watched two other Purge movies, I took the third one. I expected lots of negativity and naturally I was not disappointed. However, the Purge also brought a positive side to the story and a positive representation of women, which surprised me.
For those who do not know, the Purge films are a series of films showing dark future where the new founding fathers of the US ban all crime except for one day a year where everything is allowed, i.e. the annual purge. The rationale behind this is that human nature is violent and the annual purge is an opportunity to let the instinct go, while in all other days of the year there is a peace and prosperity much needed for a previously excessively violent US society. Therefore, in the first Purge (just called The Purge) we see how the annual purge works and we live and fear together with characters hoping they will survive. An immediate and quite inevitable question that comes to mind when watching the first Purge is who gets killed more, the rich or the poor?
In the second Purge (The Purge: Anarchy) women that looks incredibly like Hillary Clinton is presented as a part of the establishment who leads bloody purges among the rich by chasing the poor that are than brought to slaughter organised behind closed (and secured) doors.
However, in the third Purge (The Purge: Election Year), women (Senator Charlie Roan) is leading rebellion against new founding fathers who organise annual purges, and this women is competing for a President of the US to create a different US society that will not have annual purges and population control, which quite effectively brought to the situation that only poor are being killed and not the rich. This women is portrayed as a person who has lost her whole family in one of previous purges and who understands what a devastating effect on the society the purge has. In other words, this women can be described as ‘one of us’. Nevertheless, she is a righteous person who refuses to be specially protected during the purge but insists she will be protected just like as everyone else.
When compared to Hillary Clinton looking women, this women is also blond but more close to average people, and thus able to understand how they feel. Almost as if Hollywood told us in advance that Hillary cannot be a president because she is seen as part of corrupted elite while some other women could become the president of the US. In other words, there is no problem with women becoming a president, just not that one particular women, Hillary Clinton.
I am not aware of wrongdoings of Hillary Clinton other than what the media have told us not all of which has been proven yet, but the fact she has been criticised in most disgraceful ways since the time she was a US First Lady is beyond imagination (see Templin 1999; Houchin-Winfield 1997; Topić 2009), and this is what makes me reluctant to accept that there is no patriarchal issue behind inability to get her to be the first female president of the US. But, more on that in papers I am currently preparing.
However, if we look at Hollywood and what they are telling us and if we understand movie messages as a projection of the reality, we can hope that hopefully some other women will be able to break the glass ceiling and come to rule the US and participate in world’s affairs.
Thank you for reading.
Houchin-Winfield, B. (1997). “The Making of an Image: Hillary Rodham Clinton and American Journalists”, Political Communication 14, 241-253.
Templin, C. (1999). Hillary Rodham Clinton as Threat to Gender Norms: Cartoon Images of the First lady. Journal of Communication Inquiry 23 (1999), 20-36.
Topić, M. (2009). Medijska pristranost u izborima: Kako je Barack Obama pobijedio Hillary Rodham Clinton (Media Bias in Elections: How did Barack Obama Won against Hillary Rodham Clinton). Teme XXXIII(1), 215-238.