Movie Review – The Goddess of Pandora

Neytiri

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4 Responses to Movie Review – The Goddess of Pandora

  1. Keep up the superb work, I read few articles on this web site and I believe that your website is very
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  2. Karla says:

    I finally got around to reading this! I think you made some very good points and I found myself nodding along with much of what you had to say. However – though I agree with the feminist direction our society has taken, I think you may be reading too much into the male and female roles of some of these films.

    I thought the strongest character in Avatar was Sam Worthington’s Jake. He overcomes a handicap, stands up to the other dominant male characters despite their excessive force and brutality, and ends up going through a total transformation of character for the better. It would seem only fitting that the men hold the positions of the “bad guys,” as they would typically hold those positions on Real Life.

    Sigourney Weaver’s character seems realistic as a women, because women get more emotionally involved and connect with people differently than men. Women are by nature nuturers, so her character – having been a teacher, being curious and learning more about the Na’vi – makes sense. And nothing against her looks, but I wouldn’t call her “sexy.” AND she smokes, so another strike against her as a strong female character. I found her believable without pushing a feminist agenda.

    Another strong male character was – now I had to look up his name! – Tsu’tey of the Na’vi. For most of the movie he’s suspicious of Jake, but he comes around and they do battle together at the end.

    While I believe in the Biblical roles of men and women, I think these distinctions get lost when people focus on women “being submissive.” In fact, husbands and wives are to submit to one another [in the fear of God]. I believe the relationship between a husband and wife is that of partnership, rather than dominance.

    Anyhoo, just my two cents’.

    • BlogMaster says:

      Karla,

      Thanks for the thoughtful reply. Everyone has their own way of looking at these issues so there is no “right” or “wrong” way.

      In regard to the issues of partnership vs. dominance (leadership & control), I don’t think there has to be any conflict between them. Partnership still involves leadership, and in different situations each of the partners will lead. For example, you may take the lead when it comes to decisions on nutrition, the kids, and so on, while Phil may lead when it comes to issues of money and overall direction.

      It is true that the Bible instructs couples to submit to each other, but if you stop there you don’t have the complete picture. The Bible goes on to give specific instructions to each gender – the wife is told to “submit” whereas the husband is told to “love.” In other words, the relationship is not, nor is it intended to be symetrical, because the psychology of males and females is not symetrical.

      Different couples will naturally split these areas differently, and will also have different levels of desire for control/leadership/dominance. In the case of some couples the wife will be “strong” and the husband “weak”, others will be in the middle, and still others will be the reverse. To make it even more complicated, we are stronger in some areas and weaker in others.

      There is not “one correct way of being” and all of the above are naturally occurring phemonena, so Biblical teaching somehow needs to apply to all couples, regardless of their individual propensities. How can this be? I think that the answer lies in the fact that the Biblical directives to “submit” and “love” are not fully defined and left somewhat vague (i.e., exactly how and to what extent should the husband love and the wife submit?) Therefore they need to be fleshed out by each couple in a way that is mutually pleasing. The specifics of both love and submission will therefore vary from couple to couple. That is fine because there is no one-size-fits-all on this.

      Males and females are not equivalent and the Biblical directives to submit and love are given for the benefit of the couple. When a wife properly submits to her husband, she affirms him and makes him feel good about himself and his masculine nature (again, the Bible is vague here and leaves the specifics up to the couple). He will then be incentivized to love her and pay attention to her, and she therefore directly benefits from submitting to him. The same thing is true in the other direction – when the husband loves the wife, she will be more incentivized to care for him. The point of submission and love is to reduce the selfishness that afflicts all of us, and create to a mutually reinforcing bond between the couple so that their love, care, desire for, and trust in each other is continually increasing, and they are then able to survive all of the storms of life. The man will then actually want to come home to his wife, and the woman will want her husband, rather than just doing it out of habit, or because they feel obligated/forced to do so, which is the case with many couples.

      My problem with Avatar, is that it attempts to “symetricalize” the male/female relationship – in effect, to stop at mutual submission. Like so much of the current media, it bashes men for being masculine. I hasten to add that masculinity needs to be reigned in at times so that we avoid the problems of men running amok, which is what happened with the Marine colonel and the corporate guy (although there are women in leadership positions who are equally soulless, such as Nancy Pelosi). But in today’s America we are more afflicted with the opposite problem – relationships falling apart because wives have little interest in submitting to their husbands, and husbands consequently have little interest in loving their wives. Instead, the focus is on self, and relational ambivalence is therefore the order of the day.

      You mentioned how Jake overcame a handicap, but I think the point of the movie was that the real handicap he overcame was his masculinity (i.e., his machoness). This is true for all males – in order to realize their potential they need to overcome selfishness and instead be focused on loving and caring for people, and sacrificing themselves in times of crisis. This is what all good leaders must do, both male and female. But it is not necessary for a society to be egalitarian in order for men to develop the quality of loving leadership. And indeed, the more egalitarian and feminist the society, the less likely it will be for men to become loving leaders. That is because their potential followers are no longer interested in following and affirming the leaders, but instead are off doing their own thing. Why bother trying to lead and sacrifice for someone who doesn’t want to follow you?

      As I mentioned in the article, can you imagine a show on TV these days like “Father Knows Best”? Where have the “white knights” and the “fair maidens” gone? Our society is continually pressing on the nerve of the bad and stupid man. This makes feminists feel good because they are supposedly putting men in their place, but the bottom line is distrust and distance between the partners. Ultimately everyone loses.

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