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Among sex objects, superwomen and nerds   
By Rebecka Liljeberg, SVENSKA DAGBLADET


(21-11-2000)

If you are young and want to go to the cinema there is a wealth of films to choose from. The big companies know that young people have money to spend and high school films are continuously produced at the other side of the Atlantic. Sadly it seems like most of the films are made only to earn big money. The stories are similar to each other and the messages, if they even exists, are ambiguous or insignificant. The theme is often love, and especially that part of love which contains sex. Only, in the world of young people in film, love and sex doesn't seem to have much to do with each other. At least not in the boys world. Here the lack of innovation in the world of youth movies is evident. The sex roles are totally stereotyped. For example I can take the film Road Trip which is now on the cinema repertoire.

In Road Trip the guys are thinking with their sexual organs and the hunt for sex is one of the driving forces of the film. In general, they are missing any sort of intelligence and treat girls like pets. The girls in their turn are seldom present, because they are not interesting unless they get rid of at least one garment. Mostly they are being cosy sitting in a pair of pyjamas in their flowery rooms. Thankfully, during the last couple of years there has been more and more youth films where the stereotyped female description has disappeared, but less where the stereotyped male picture has given way for more intelligent, ordinary and nice guys.

In Reza Baghers Vingar Av Glas, the female leading character Nazli is strong, beautiful and smart. The male characters are mainly poor creatures without self confidence. Traces of the stereotyped female picture are also still there. To make us understand that Nazli is not an ordinary girl but some kind of superhero she is taking a motorcycle drivers license and having a Group Eight mark tatooed on her arm. Probably, characters in film have to be extreme, otherwise there will be no film. But at the same time there should be room for girls that are not either sex objects or superwomen. And guys who are not only living for sex or being total nerds.

When I saw Road Trip the audience consisted mainly of 12-year-old boys. I wonder what they are thinking, when they leave the cinema with an offer of two ways of living their lives. Nerd or sex maniac. I think I can guess. To get rid of the twisted female picture which many young boys seem to have, first of all perhaps we must change the ridicule male picture and give the boys some good role models.

Translated by Peter S