Thor has “Sexist Double Standard” says Big-Brain IMDB Users

Thor with Stormbreaker
Thor: Love and Thunder – Tripping Over Itself

Whenever I prepare the shownotes for the podcast I spend some time scouring IMDB for details. I like to collect things like who directed the film, various actors, ratings, all that good stuff that helps readers/listeners of the site know about the film more, and also boost our SEO by including specifics people may be searching for. It’s typical fare. I do it every week. And during this time I’ll occasionally stumble across user-generated details, as opposed to factual information, that I find amusing. If we remember back in 2021, around the same time, I wrote a piece on Candyman (2021), a film we had just reviewed on the podcast, about the movie being review-bombed by poo-poo brains. Usually when I find these sort of things I just message Daniel about it, send him a screenshot or boomer-style photo with my phone, and the two of us have a laugh.

This same thing happened while getting details for Thor: Love and Thunder, Disney Marvel’s latest entry in the ever-expanding, never-ending Marvel Cinematic Universe. Although ranking a fresh on Rotten Tomatoes, Thor: Love and Thunder is causing more responses like Thor: The Dark World than Thor: Ragnarok. It’s messy, confused, and frustratingly impotent. Again, you can hear more about that in our latest review on the podcast.

When grabbing details for Thor: Love and Thunder off IMDB, I noticed something that caused me to chuckle. And, let me tell you, there’s a lot about IMDB that makes me chuckle. But, before we get ahead of ourselves, let’s focus on the specifics. Users of IMDB are (unfortunately) given a lot of power. They can make accounts, keep track of movies, make lists containing films or actors, write reviews, submit trivia, and most importantly, submit custom tags. It is here where something caught my attention.

Users were inputting normal tags like “nudity” and “male nudity”, typical for a movie that may contain a few seconds of bare-bodies. But it didn’t stop there. Three other tags were listed on the front page for Thor: Love and Thunder: “sick male objectification”, “super unnecessary male objectifcation”, and “sexist double standard against a male”. Take a look at my excellent boomer-aesthetic screenshot paired alongside a more current screenshot on IMDB:

Thor Love and Thunder male sexism

Let’s first bask in the brilliant journalistic evidence seen above. Truly a marvel of quality and class. This is why you come to Cinematic Doctrine. We know.

Jokes aside, just like with Candyman (2021), let’s think about why anyone would create these tags in the first place. I remember growing up on the internet being attracted to communities of almost exclusively guys talking about guy problems. These communities, with all their toxicity, were typically spaces where down-and-out men would complain about life issues such as parents, women, jobs, the exact sort of toxicity you expect, but happening on distant internet forums. Of course, with the introduction and proliferation of social media, now it’s totally visible from your newsfeed because your dad, uncle, or that one estranged cousin who hits on you via text at 2AM is routinely commenting on pages or groups titled CHADLADS or include subtitles saying MEN’S RIGHTS ACTIVISTS, or even worse, the cover photo is a Double-D Bimbo holding an AR-15 with the American Flag in the background. I’m hyperbolizing. No I’m not. You know what I’m talking about. Don’t lie.

I’ve been in these communities before. Not the bimbo ones. But, definitely the kind that, essentially, blames everything else except the self for its problems. Culture is the enemy, and because I didn’t choose to be in culture, I’m not the problem.”. That’s the kind of community this sort of stuff propagates. It’s attractive because it relieves responsibility, even if it isn’t attractive because deep-down it implies a lack of agency. It builds a person up as a strong-willed survivor against cultural evils, while simultaneously removing self-involvement and the ability to make things better. So, they post and post and post and grow meaner and meaner and meaner and soon their jaded view is talked about at Thanksgiving dinner with no shame and no remorse, while they’re also staring intently at your legs. Screw off uncle Joe, you’re a real creep.

It’s these sort of men who like to “win”. If it’s a conversation, it’s to be beat. If it’s a concept, it’s to be overruled. If it’s an opinion, it’s to be competed. Because these men have perceived such a low estate, they are desperate to climb the ladder. And when everything is perceived to be in opposition to the self, the self is more than desperate to reach that perceived peak.

Why do I keep saying perceived? Because it’s not real. But, more on that in a minute (and yes, I do recall saying the same about IMDB. More on that in.. two minutes).

thor love and thunder dead god snow

It, of course, needs to be said: I’m not in these communities anymore. I left these several years ago. They’re attracted as a teenager because everything is difficult and confusing as a teen, so you’re attracted to anything that provides empowerment, even if it’s white-washed walls. The snake-oil salesmen of today offer community and companionship, as well as reason and understanding to a confusing, scary world. And when you’re online, it can be even scarier due to the unbelievable levels of content exposure that’s available. Dead victims in one post, cute cats in another. What am I supposed to do with that?

I’m offline, of course. Well, not entirely. Clearly. I’m only online now to podcast and write. It’s quieter and easier to manage than the constant barrage of notifications. But, I still come face-to-face with weird internet happenings, just like the above tags. And these kind of tags remind me of just how silly dangerous communities can be.

Let’s get more focused and actually talk about the matter at hand: does Thor: Love and Thunder constitute sexism or male objectification? I think it’s the wrong question to ask, honestly. Usually these questions are more suited for… good movies. Bad movies are often just that: bad. So, its no surprise that a bad movie would also contain things someone doesn’t like. But, if its bad, and it’s easy to see its bad, there’s often nothing more to be emotionally troubled about. Of course it has bad stuff, it’s bad!

But, is male objectification bad? And, since this is a Disney Marvel production, and millions of people across the globe are going to see it, is what is considered bad made worse? I suppose the answer to these two questions are both: yes. Objectification, in the sense of idolizing and ogling individuals for the sake of sinful pleasure (sinful being: intently thinking sexually about another person, or making sinful, unkind judgements upon a person’s physical wellbeing) would be wrong. Appreciation of someone’s physical character isn’t wrong, because people put a lot of work into taking care of their bodies (if they choose to do so). Noticing someone for their appearance is not only natural, it can be a kind offering of, “I notice and see you”. That’s part of being nice to others. In addition, the fact that more people are exposed to something bad of course is inherently bad. Exposure to difficult, bad content can be damaging to people, and it isn’t necessarily helpful in all circumstances to be exposed to evil.

But, again, this would require Thor: Love and Thunder to actually be objectifying men to the degree these silly tags are claiming, and I just don’t think they are. Especially when including my interpretation of why these tags were created (and pushed to the top of the custom tags for a brief period, as seen in the boomer-aesthetic part of the image).

Russel Crowe as zeus

Yes, there is a recognition that being uncomfortable with female objectification, specifically in the sexual exploitation of women in film, cannot be corrected by simply creating equal amounts of male objectification. Granted, what constitutes equal parts? Is there a points-system I don’t know about? For most action flicks nowadays, men have to undergo rigorous workout regiments and eating routines (sometimes including waking in the middle of the night to eat a chicken breast or slice of salmon) to ensure their body is at abnormal physical levels for a shoot. Does one man’s grotesquely massive, yet endearingly gaze-worthy bicep equate to one woman’s breast, one that’s merely natural and didn’t require the physical toll of intense bulking (and under the table steroids)? What about Top Gun: Maverick, whose trailer even contains the glorious golden hue of man-chest during the beach football scene, a sequence that had to be shot a second time even though every actor was so glad to be done with their painfully difficult workout routine (and emotional stress regarding their physical look). Did that movie count as, like, 16 points of objectification to the 30 points of objectification a single woman’s butt-cheek is? The Northman has Anya Taylor-Joy bare herself (with convenient censoring) while Alexander Skarsgard is so physically bulked he can’t even stand up straight (creating the great meme of The Northman stance where people stand hunched over ready to do something).

Am I just proposing questions as if they somehow answer anything? I guess so. But, I’m trying to make clear how silly objectification can become. Mostly because it’s focused exclusively on nudity and seldom includes so much more of what constitutes objectifying someone. But, in addition to this, someone may be willing to do something objectifying-adjacent, where it’s perceived to be objectifying but isn’t due to intent. I think art sometimes includes this, although it is still ‘adjacent’ so it can be difficult. Not to mention, there is a clear distinction between self-objectification (“Do anything you want to me, I don’t care!”) which undermines the inherent value in the self, vs. external-objectification (one person ogling another sexually even if they’re fully clothed and clearly in a non-offering, non-sexual state).

So, no, I don’t think these people submitting tags to Thor: Love and Thunder are genuine. They’re silly little men who complain about the dumbest things. And they always complain about Disney or Marvel. It’s so weird. I don’t know what it is that The Little Mermaid did to these men to make them hate Disney, and I don’t know what Hulk did to them as a child to make them despise Marvel, but they always come out of the woodwork to target these properties as if they’re their greatest enemy. At the very least, it makes for interesting writing (I suppose you’d have to tell me if it’s interesting reading).

Lastly, I really wish IMDB would update its ability to permit user submissions. Their tags are absurdly silly, including stupid ones like “spaceship” and “gay joke”. Not only that, they let users submit trivia without sources, but require sources be used to refute trivia. It’s the dumbest thing in the world.

What do you think about this? Is this just stupid, or am I just stupid? You can call me stupid. I can take it. Let me know below, and let me know what you think about my Thor: Love and Thunder‘s ‘male objectification’.

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Melvin Benson Cinematic Doctrine Christian Movie Podcast Host

Melvin Benson is the Founder, Editor-In-Chief, and Lead Host of Cinematic Doctrine. He’s written fiction and nonfiction for over a decade with short stories featured on the Creepypasta Wiki and Wattpad. His novelette Ethereal Temptation, a teen drama with a tinge of magical-realism, can be read for free here. His hope is to see King Jesus glorified as far as the east is from the west!

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