Jurassic World sexist? Let me tell you why that’s RIDICULOUS

Chris-Pratt-Bryce-Dallas

Think “Jurassic World” is sexist? Let me tell you why you’re wrong.

There is a lot of fuss about sexist elements that supposedly exist within Jurassic World. While the many continually point the finger, I think that they don’t know what they’re pointing their fingers at. Let me point the finger at why these accusations are nothing more than an attempt to stir controversy.

Chris Pratt’s (Owen) chauvinistic behavior towards Bryce Dallas Howard (Claire)

Let’s start with the scene that started it all. This exchange between Bryce Dallas Howard and Chris Pratt sparked controversy to an extent where even Joss Whedon got involved. While I admit that chauvinism is definitely present in this scene, I think that this has been entirely blown out of proportion due to Whedon’s involvement and today’s “point the finger” culture.

Was the scene a a little sexist? It could be taken that way, yes. Was Director Colin Trevorrow sexist for including this scene? No he was not. I don’t know Tervorrow’s views outside of the film, but there is an apparent need for this scene that establishes Chris Pratt’s character and ties into significant moments throughout “Jurassic World.”

Owen’s (Chris Pratt) relationship with the raptors is one of the most significant elements of the film. It’s continually said throughout that Owen established a relationship with the raptors to make them accept him as their “alpha.” To establish Owen as a viable “alpha” it’s both common sense and logical that Chris Pratt’s character is portrayed as an alpha male. What does that mean? Well it means that he’s going to have a very dominant personality (which he does) and when it comes to interactions with women, the alpha male personality can easily be misconstrued as chauvinistic or sexist.

Jurassic World Raptors

Pratt is playing an alpha male, not a chauvinist

No one was trying to make a statement regarding sexism by including this scene, but they were definitely establishing dominance. If you watch Owen’s interaction with his boss Hoskins (Vincent D’Onofrio), he even establishes himself as the authoritative figure when disregarding Hoskins’ orders. As for the interaction with Claire (Bryce Dallas Howard), that same dominance/anti-authority personality is present. Outside of the dominance, the rest of the conversation banter comes from a difference in personalities. Claire and Owen are extreme opposites so of course conflict will arise. It has nothing to do with gender, it’s just a matter of personalities.

Without Owen’s alpha male personality, his role among the raptors would be totally unjustifiable. To be accepted by a predatorial, aggressive creature, Pratt must embody those same traits when playing the role of Owen. If he were to show a submissive side in any way, he would be seen as a beta to the raptors. The traits of his character clearly stem from animalistic traits of nature not sexism.

Bryce Dallas Howard’s (Claire) journey to “redemption.”

Bryce Dallas Howard Sam Neill

Look familiar??

The other argument towards “Jurassic World” is the sexist stereotype laid upon Bryce Dallas Howard’s character Claire. Once again, this is another loaded claim and in fact sexist in itself to not recognize her relation to a few other “Jurassic Park” characters. The most sexist thing that I’ve heard has come from those pointing the finger at sexism. Over at Refinery 29 they compare Claire to “Jurassic Park’s” Dr. Ellie Sattler (Laura Dern) citing differences between the two. So it’s okay to chastise someone for “stereotyping” yet it’s okay to establish a stereotype to follow?

As someone who grew up wanting to be Dern’s no-nonsense Dr. Sattler — a woman who could take on velociraptors, deny the advances Jeff Goldblum, and pull off khaki shorts — I was excited by the idea that a new generation of female moviegoers would have their own dino-butt-kicking badass. But in Jurassic World, the “dinosaurs eat man; woman inherits the earth” school of thought is all but extinct.

Ellie-Sattler-Jurassic-Park

Ellie Sattler (Laura Dern)

I loved Ellie Sattler but that’s not Claire and nor should it be. Claire is taken from a mix of both Alan Grant (Sam Neill) and John Hammond (Richard Attenborough). Her white suit and business persona obviously come from Hammond and her workaholic, anti-social mentality obviously come from Dr. Alan Grant. She’s successful, powerful, and her character carries the traits of two prominent male figures from “Jurassic Park.” How sexist can it be when they’re showing that a woman can play the same role as two male counterparts? Sounds like equality to me.

Oh but wait. Her redemption moment comes from her establishing a sort of parental relationship with the children she was emotionally disconnected to in the beginning…that’s sexist! Wrong! Who was it in “Jurassic Park” that had that awkward and distanced relationship with John Hammond’s kids? Oh that’s right, it was only the star of the entire film, Dr. Alan Grant. So why is it okay for Dr. Grant to establish a parental bond to children yet Claire’s bond is seen as sexist? The answer is, it’s not. They took a man’s role and turned it into a woman’s role. She even takes on a T-Rex with a flare just like Alan Grant, you don’t get much more badass than that.

Final thoughts

Does sexism exist in Hollywood? Sure it does. When Marvel shunned Black Widow by leaving her out of apparel, toys, and other merchandise, that was an apparent act of sexism. When someone plays a character that takes on certain personality traits to establish their role, that’s called acting. If you look for something hard enough, you’ll always find it and a lot of times people seem to look for these elements to feed their self righteous attitude and get noticed for establishing controversy. To attack a character role is absolutely ridiculous. By that logic people should be be picketing Matthew Weiner’s house for creating “Mad Men.”

Prejudice and inequality should not be ignored but it’s obviously not present in “Jurassic World” if you look at “Jurassic Park” as a precedence for establishing the film. One person’s misguided perspective when pointing the finger can be damaging to someone by mislabeling them as something they are not. When you’ve done your research and thoroughly examined your claim, then you may make accusations. But being so trigger happy to point the finger at “ghosts” does not help the cause and instead enforces unnecessary censorship.

Disagree with me? Make your case and we’ll discuss.

Ryan

Author: Ryan

Ryan has been fascinated with film and pop culture since childhood. Throughout college he "played it safe" taking the more lucrative route of being a computer programmer while squeezing in film related courses where he could...but even during his post college career, he could never escape his true passion. After following one of his favorite blogs for a long time, he approached the site's Editor about writing and they reluctantly gave him a shot. He later became their Senior Writer which led to a variety of other projects, radio show appearances, features, and high profile celebrity interviews. Despite his success with blogging, he still wanted more so in order to expand his creative addiction, he merged his IT skills and blogging know-how to create FilmFad.com which has continued to grow into a creative Mecca of pop-culture fun and integrity.[email protected]   Film Fad

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  • aubrey

    I ended up seeing Jurassic World a couple days ago and I do have to disagree with you in saying that I personally do hold the view that sexism was present in the film. I thought it was so ridiculous that Claire, who holds a high position in operating and running the park, is constantly being proven wrong by Owen and that he knows better. Despite her knowledge of the park and how it runs, Owen handles the emergency situations. When Claire starts screaming for her nephews (which was a stupid move), Owen is the one that shushes her; he knows better even though Claire should be wise enough to not yell in a dinosaur inhabited jungle. I mean she runs this business, why wouldn’t she be savvy enough to handle a situation like this? But hey, Owen, who’s really only interacted with the raptors for training purposes, knows all. The unnecessary romance between the two felt forced. I found your alpha male defense of Owen’s behavior with her a little weak as well. As an animal trainer who has a lot of experience with dominance theory (which is presented in the film with Owen and the raptors), you don’t have to be hyper masculine and have a dominant personality to have animals respect you. One’s relationship with animals versus humans are completely different; I don’t order my friends and act ‘dominant’ with them just because I establish respect with animals. I found Zara’s death to be ridiculous too since it was drawn out for much too long and just emphasized the fact that she was being brutally tormented and eventually killed by the dinosaurs. Half of Zach’s purpose as a character was to just stare at various women he saw while at the park and his girlfriend was presented as being overly emotional and clingy. All in all, plot and character problems aside, this movie was a real let down concerning women and I hope you can understand why.

    • filmfadRyan

      First off, thanks for your input. I always love to debate and appreciate input from others!

      1. Her character holds the same role that John Hammond did in the first film. Hammond had the same vision as her yet every one of the attendees (Alan Grant, Ellie Sattler, Ian Malcom, etc) had proven Hammond wrong. He, like Claire, held this position and was more concerned with the amusement and fiscal elements of the park. How many times have we seen a CEO, President, or Supervisor act clueless when it comes to day-to-day operations of a company? That’s why responsibilities are delegated. In fact, for her role in the company, I think she adapted rather well.

      2. Technically you’re probably right when it comes to dominance theory but this of course is a film and that dominance needs to be conveyed to the audience. Establishing Chris Pratt’s character as an alpha male reinforces his role as a pack leader and creates that relationship for the audience. Not all movie-goers are going to be familiar with dominance theory. And even if that wasn’t the case, just because this type of role is present in the film, it doesn’t make the film sexist. It is a character portrayal not to be taken literal. If that were the case you could label many prominent films as sexist, racist, prejudice, etc.

      3. For your thoughts on Zara’s death they played her death out much like Donald Gennaro’s in Jurassic Park (The Lawyer). She played the role of the tertiary “business” character that the audience was meant to have little connection to. Her death may have been extended but so was Gennaro’s death as he died on a porta-potty toilet.

      4. Finally with Zach, that is just a representation of teenage love and raging hormones. When leaving his girlfriend, he was also overly emotional as cited by his father Scott in the beginning of the film mocking him. Yes he was staring at various women but is his unfaithfulness really a testament to sexism or is it a testament to the lack of monogamy in young love? We also don’t know what his girlfriend was doing back home while he was away so that argument is subjective.

      If you re-watch Jurassic Park and then watch Jurassic World you may be able to see how many of these elements coincide as they relate to people, not specific genders.

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