Hollywood’s new trend has been making movies with a mostly female cast. The newest Star Wars has a girl wielding Luke’s lightsaber. The all-female reboot of Ghostbusters has the women holding the big guns. The female superhero movie Wonder Woman gives Diana a broadsword. (Are you seeing the phallic imagery? Are you seeing it? I was worried it was too subtle.)
All of the movies I named had a lot of people feeling a lot of ways about the protagonists having boobs and agency at the same time, but my response was … FINALLY! Finally, women are shown doing what men can do and sometimes doing those things in skirts.
Now, I don’t know if you’ve heard, but Warner Bros is making an all-female remake of Lord of the Flies. You think I’d be thrilled… but I am not. This is for a couple of reasons really.
Reason 1: There would never be a “Lady” of the Flies
Ok, I have to admit, I’ve never actually read the book. Every other school but mine, I guess. But I know the general idea. Boys get stranded on an island. One of the boys is fat and they’re mean to him. There’s a conch shell. They attack each other. Did I get the gist?
Terrible summary aside, the whole point of the book (according to a quick google) was to show how the civilized men of the West, the ones naming all of this already discovered land as theirs and calling everyone else savages, were actually the savages. This story and its conflict centers around male aggression. Keyword there being MALE.
It wouldn’t make sense for a bunch of girls to turn against each other the same way the boys did because girls and boys are raised differently (like it or not) and the ego, dominance, and physicality of the first book all come from masculinity.
You know who else thinks women wouldn’t act like this? The fucking author. William Golding was asked about why the book had boys and not girls, and he said (among other things), “I think women are foolish to pretend they are equal to men, they are far superior and always have been.”
Reason 2: This Idea has already been I-done
I’d like to take this time to introduce the world to little-known book called Beauty Queens by Libba Bray. I own the book. I love the book. I want you all to love the book. But, back to my point, this book is basically a female LotF. The story is about a plane of beauty pageant contestants (the girliest of them all) that crashes onto an island with no hope of a rescue. The ones who survive the crash have to work together to survive and to fight the mysteries that the island holds. Spoiler alert: they don’t kill each other.
So pack it in, two men writing and directing this movie (and don’t get me started on two men writing about an all-girl island), your job has been done and you don’t need to do anything anymore.