Opinion: What calls to boycott ‘The Woman King’ are really saying is that the only thing women have to be grateful for is that the patriarchy isn’t more abusive.
The feminist boycott movement has a new target: the hit film “The Woman King,” starring Charlize Theron, which is currently playing at a handful of cinemas for a limited run. The decision to boycott the film is based in the desire for women to be able to see themselves on the big screen.
Of course, it’s not really about that – there’s no way to make money off a film with such an offensive title and such an offensive narrative structure – and if the boycott were really about that, we’d have no problem seeing ‘Woman King’ being shown in theatres without being prevented from seeing it. But if what the boycott is really about is the desire for women to no longer be subjugated by their male oppressors, or the desire for anyone to “take a stand on behalf of women”, then it’s fine – as long as the man doesn’t object as strongly. This is precisely the same position as every other boycott against a film – a film with a sexist title will be boycotted because everyone who gets a free pass to see it or reads a review of it wants to see it for themselves.
It’s not hard to imagine any number of scenarios in which a man would object to “Woman King” being shown at his local cinema, and those scenarios are entirely consistent with the boycott movement – in fact, if he didn’t object to it at all, it becomes easy for him to not only allow the film to be shown to an audience, but to also enjoy its content.
It’s in the context of such a boycott that we should consider the position of the man in question, and especially the role that power plays in the boycott movement.
The man who owns the cinema that has “Woman King” playing in the last six months or so, it turns out, is a very, very small man. He has a couple of hundred dollars’ worth of cinema tickets, a single pair