Janine Spendlove (janinespendlove) wrote,
Janine Spendlove

I really wanted to like Godzilla.

Really, I did. I mean, given that I’ve never seen any Godzilla film before (not even the 90s atrocity), and all I had to relate to was Pacific Rim and Cloverfield I thought the chances were good, if this was like what I heard it would be: a movie about a bunch of Kaiju beating the crap out of each other.

Aside from a desperate need for giant robots, I really should have looked at the cast, which, at the outset seems like progress for Hollywood, right?


I mean, yeah, there are a bunch of white dudes, but we’ve got 2 women, an Asian man, and an African American man. It’s not great, but it’s better than 1 token woman, and 1 token POC. Progress!

Except, it’s not – at least not to me. While Ken Wannatabe has a pretty significant role & that’s awesome (which I almost feel like Hollywood felt they HAD to do, since this was a Godzilla movie & it couldn’t be completely whitewashed), Richard Jones’ “Captain Henderson” plays a mostly background role to Admiral Strathairn.


And I haven’t even started on the women.

First, we have Sandra Brody, who initially I was excited about. She’s a an engineer at a nuclear power plant. She’s smart, a great mom and wife, and clearly good at her job. And then she dies like 5 minutes later and her entire purpose is to move the story line of both her son, Ford, and husband Joe along.



Moving on we have Vivienne Graham… except she never does ANYTHING other than follow Dr. Ichiro Serizawa around, call him sensei, and update him on what’s going on.



Lastly we have Elle Brody, who is Ford’s wife, and you probably guessed it, her entire purpose is to be in San Francisco, in danger, to give Ford a reason to want to save the city. I mean, at one point his son gets evacuated, and is safe, but since she hasn’t been… well, he’s gonna have to go be a hero! (not to mention the fact that this pisses me off because he’s a member of the military and I’d like to think he’d go in and try to save San Francisco because it was the right thing to do & he swore an oath to support and defend the American people, not just because his wife was there – it robs him of significant character depth).



And the thing that irks me most? Literally EVERY SINGLE ONE of the lead characters could have been played by a woman. EVERY. SINGLE. ONE.

LT Ford Brody, EOD tech?


Oh look, here’s a woman who does his job IN REAL LIFE. 


How amazing would it been to have had LT Fran Brody, EOD tech going in to disarm bombs and whatnot, while her husband (or wife – DADT was repealed after all!) the nurse, manages to get themselves & their son out of San Francisco ON THEIR OWN so that LT Brody can go in and do her thing without having to worry about her family and if they are ok!

As for Admiral Strathairn…


Who’s about to be the second highest ranking officer in the Navy, and coordinated the rescue of Captain Phillips in real life? Admiral Michelle Howard (I’d also like to point out the other high ranking woman in the picture, Hollywood)


And you can’t tell me that Joe Brody couldn’t have been played by a woman… or are women not allowed to run nuclear power plants?


Hollywood made the conscientious decisions to cast men in every significant lead role in this film.



You know what I’d really like? I’d like to be able to go to a movie and just sit and enjoy it, but it’s pretty hard when the media at large tells me I don’t matter, and that my only contribution to society is to be a catalyst for a man’s story.


I’m just not going to be ok with that. Ever. Because Representation matters. 

So basically what I’m saying is I want Pacific Rim 2.

P.S. Just for funsies, hey Hollywood, this is me 14 years ago… guess what? I’m pretty sure you could have gotten away with putting some women in uniform and handed them rifles in Godzilla. Just sayin…


~ ~ ~ ~ ~

EarningMyWings-cover-ebookAlso, I put together my flight school memoir and posted it for free on Wattpad. So if you’d like to find out how a Mormon girl from Utah ended up becoming a Marine Corps pilot, head right this way.

Aaaaaand apparently the folks over at Wattpad loved it so much they featured it on both their “Stories4Mom” reading list and the “Inspirational Stories” reading list. 

From my journal, dated 3 March 2002

On Monday something crazy happened. We were flying our Form Solo. I was “lead” so I named our flight “Vader” flight, cool eh? So anyway I was flying us out to the area (2F) & as soon as I leveled us off @ 6500ft I noticed my oil pressure was dropping. This is bad because if it drops too low your propeller will feather & your plane becomes a glider—basically your engine is worthless.

I stayed calm & let my flight instructor know about my problem. The instructor in the chase plane sent my wing home & followed me down & made my radio calls for me while I executed my emergency landing at Brewton field. My landing was ugly—but I was nervous. I didn’t break anything & I’m alive. 

Again, you can read the whole thing here FOR FREE.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

ELECTED Front CoverPlease don’t forget the kickstarter for Elected is going on now! We’ve made it to our first stretch goal, where everyone gets a free digital copy of Jean Rabe’s novella Wurms. 

It’s the year 2185, and in two weeks, Aloy will turn eighteen and take her father’s place as president of the country. But to do so, she must masquerade as a boy to avoid violating the Eco-Accords, four treaties designed to bring the world back from the brink of environmental extinction. Aloy hopes to govern like her father, but she is inheriting a different country. The long concealed Technology Faction is stepping out of the shadows, and as turmoil grows within her country, cryptic threats also arrive from beyond the borders.

As she struggles to lead, Aloy maintains her cover by marrying a woman, mean-while battling feelings for the boy who knows her secret – the boy who is some-how connected to her country’s recent upheaval. When assassination attempts add to the turmoil, Aloy doesn’t know whom to trust. She understood leadership required sacrifice. She just didn’t realize the sacrifice might be her life. The Kickstarter for this book is available here.


Ailionora > http://www.ailionora.com > http://www.ailionora.com/2014/05/18/really-wanted-like-godzilla/
Tags: diversity matters, gender diversity, hollywood, representation matters, reviews

  • Post a new comment


    Anonymous comments are disabled in this journal

    default userpic

    Your IP address will be recorded