“I Can Watch That Too”

Cathryn Noel-Veatch //

The film industry is tricky. There are thousands of different movies and television shows that all are out there to provide some type of entertainment. Many of these programs are designed to fit in a certain genre. Action, romance, fantasy, horror; each of these categories have subgenres upon subgenres for them to be classified into. However many of these genres are gatekept by the entertainment industry or by society as a whole. Because someone identifies as a particular gender, they apparently must watch specific genres in the industry. Men shouldn’t enjoy romance that’s meant for girls! Women can’t possibly like action movies, those were made for guys. Honestly that all just seems ridiculous to me. 

So many times I’ve been told I only watch a genre because of one particular aspect within it. Superhero movies? Clearly, it’s only for the hot guys. Anime? I must only like the romance shows. And obviously, I must hate horror movies because they are just too gory for my sensitive constitution. Jokes on all of you, I really don’t care about that kind of stuff. When I sit down to watch something at home or in a theatre I choose it because I think I will enjoy it. I know that I and so many others are tired of films and shows being supposedly limited to one gender. I don’t want to worry about that when I go watch something. I just want to escape the world for a little bit. Life is already hard, let’s not make my Netflix list a debate too. 

Movies, TV, it’s all meant to be entertainment. Why should we stop people from enjoying something just because it was geared towards someone else? Shouldn’t things that are made to make people happy be left at that? If a little girl wants to watch the newest Marvel movie, why should it be something that is outside of the norm? When a guy wants to have a rom-com movie night, shouldn’t he be able to say that without feeling awkward? If a movie makes someone happy, then they should be able to broadcast that loud and clear. If someone wants to binge-watch a TV show, shouldn’t we be more curious about what snacks they’ll bring than what show they want to watch? 

It has gotten better, I know that. As the world progresses into a more inclusive place things like this aren’t as much of an issue; but, I still worry. I still have to hope that when I’m talking about my latest viewing that I won’t be ridiculed because it wasn’t made for me to watch. Or when my little cousin wanted to watch one of the Disney princess movies, he was still told by a family member that he should watch something else because he’s a boy. This tells me that there is still more work to be done. This is only one part of a much larger issue of gender and how that fits into our society, I know. But, if we can work on this, maybe we can make that fight just a little bit easier. 

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