Sunday, November 22, 2009

I Hope They Serve Beer In Hell

I’m sure we have all heard about this book turned film and the man it’s all about, Tucker Max. Tucker Max’s claim to fame is that he has sex with many women. He writes short stories on his website about his drunken escapades and his sexual encounters. While I’m all for a healthy sex life and hearing about funny stories, these stories are all at the woman’s expense. Tucker Max is sexist and misogynistic.

To review this movie let’s start with the movie poster (which is the same as the book cover). Tucker Max is shown with his arm around a female and holding a beer while pointing to the female character. The female is blonde, white, thin, and in a tight low cut shirt. Her face is covered by a cut out saying “your face here.” By holding the female is showing ownership over her and that she belongs to him. The fact that her face is covered shows that she is faceless, disposable, and can be replaced in a minute with any other woman.

The film is pretty much a rip off of The Hangover, but less funny and more misogynistic. The story line is adapted from “The Austin Road Trip Story” from I Hope They Serve Beer in Hell book. Tucker takes his friends on an adventure for a bachelor party. The movie shows the three men going to different bars and a strip club for the bachelor party. At one point in the film, Tucker abandons his friends so he can go have sex with a woman he met. The men treat the strippers at the bar as nothing more than pieces of meat there to do whatever they say. “When you create a sex-class that can be bought and sold, the people in the group- in this instance, a women- will inevitably be treated as lesser, as available to be controlled and abused” (Just A John, Robert Jensen).

On the film’s website there are I Hope They Serve Beer in Hell facts. Some of them are, “The best thing about fat girls is heart disease,” “There’s at least one slut in every bachelorette party,” “Whores fuck for money, sluts fuck for free,” “Sexism isn’t the same as misogyny, you stupid bitch,” “Blind girls never see you coming,” “Bros before hos: unless she’s blind,” “AIDS isn’t funny. Until it happens to someone you hate,” “Bums will fuck anything,” and so on.

Not only is Tucker Max sexist and misogynistic, he is promoting rape culture. He glamorizes having sex with women who are either unconsciousness or intoxicated. The way they also talk about rape is in a desensitizing way. In one scene Drew is playing a video game and says, “Pick up that energy sword one more time I am going to rape you with it.” We all know that rape is a sensitive subject and should not be talked about in this manner. “And rape is a crime of violence rather than sex. It is a crime of violence against women. It is an attack by men on women’s bodies, on women’s feeling, on women’s very existence” (Learning From Women, Bob Lamm).

The fact that the book was on The New York Times bestseller list and made into a movie says a lot about the culture and society we live in and how we view and treat women. The film will teach men that they are allowed to treat women negatively and that it’s either okay or that they will in return have sex with you. As Andrew Boyd said in Trying to be Sexy and Anti-Sexist, “in the end, a woman doesn’t want to be with an asshole (no matter how sexy she might find his cocky disregard for boundaries), but rather with a decent guy who can play the bad-boy role when called upon.”

I was really upset that these actors actually wanted to be in this film. Matt Czuhry, who played Logan in Gilmore Girls, plays Tucker Max. It makes me rethinking supporting any other film that these actors are in.

On another note, I have gotten into many of arguments with men who consider themselves to be a feminist yet really enjoyed this book and thought it to be funny. They keep telling me that feminist don’t have a sense of humor and that we need to “lighten-up.” I liked to think that I have a great sense of humor, call me crazy but I just don’t find rape or violence against women to be a laughing matter. “Sexism is systemic like capitalism, and it’s not just about you” (How Can I be Sexist? I’m an Anarchist, Chris Crass).

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