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Written by Rob Schultz (human).

Movie tropes vs. women?

My close, personal friend Luke was watching Stranger Things recently and found himself off-put by the townsfolk's response to Winona Ryder's character, treating her perhaps like a crazy person just because she was saying things that sound crazy. He felt this way, in part, I suspect, because it seemed like lousy trope to him that nobody ever believes the hysterical woman who, it turns out later, knew exactly what was up and tried to warn everyone.  He was looking for more examples of this. I responded thusly.  Like my previous post about a movie trope, you may find it spoilerish.

People mostly humor the moms in The Exorcist and The Orphanage, because they're being paid to do so, but the husband in The Orphanage thinks she's nuts for free. 

Sarah Connor gets locked up for talking about Judgement Day. Everyone assumes the mom in Lights Out is loony and talking to herself instead of a monster. Nobody believes Marcia Gay Harden in The Mist, and they're right not to, although there are dire consequences either way. I'm sure in some Nightmare on Elm St. entries the parents and police and doctors figure these girls will calm down after they get some rest. 

[Guy who posted earlier in the comments] Adam might mean the most recent remake of Invasion of the Body Snatchers, or could be describing Jolie in Changeling, but in those movies the authorities DO believe the women, they just don't say so because they're in on the conspiracy.

The people around the main character in It Follows don't get what's going on at first, but that's closer to the heart of the trope - it's the same as investigating a weird noise in your basement. WE know that because this is a horror movie, hey don't do that. But, when the movie is over and there's a weird noise in your basement, you're going to go check on the cat or whatever because you think you live in a world without Terminators and creepy psychic children, just like the characters did at the start of most of these movies.

Well, the appearance of realism is half of it. The other half is moving these characters to action once they see that there's no authority figure who's going to act for them. That part applies to most of the above folks, moreso the more that they're protagonists. The cops don't believe Peter Parker in ASM, or the kid in Gremlins, or Cary Grant in North by Northwest, or Liam Neeson in Non-Stop, or Coraline in Coraline. But only some of this group is because they sound crazy. Others are suspected of being drunk!

My point may have been that I think you'll find it happening to a woman in most any horror and/or fantasy where a woman is the lead.

The reason I'm reposting this here is mostly because I thought it might lead to interesting conversation. But also, the silence this post earned me on Facebook got me all paranoid that we weren't really talking about movies and I came across like someone's tone-deaf, racist uncle. Internet!

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