Poster for a new, mainstream movie, pointed to by JohnJEnright in the comments on this morning's post about brass knuckles. He says:
I suppose this is a good example of where one can be funny about female-on-male violence, because it is male-on-female violence that is normally viewed as the bigger historical problem.Yes, and part of it is also that we don't believe women really are going to inflict serious harm, even though obviously they can and sometimes do. The man is often displayed as manly precisely because he endures a woman's beating him. It was an old movie/TV cliché for a woman to pound on a man's chest furiously until she broke down crying and then he would hug and comfort her. Another comedy meme is attempted violence, especially where the effort to harm another backfires on the would-be assailant. That's why "Home Alone" was funny. It's also supposed to be funny when the target of the violence deserves it enough. This is often done badly, and I'll bet that "The Other Woman" is one of these female revenge fantasies where — speaking of beating — they beat us over the head with how much we're supposed to hate this male victim whose pain and fear is supposed to amuse us.