Master of None and Going to the Movies Alone
The critically acclaimed and superb new Netflix series, Master of None, effortlessly raises questions of race and gender. The series, written by Aziz Ansari and Alan Yang, delves into topics ranging from immigration into the U.S., diversity on television, and communicating with the elderly. One particular episode entitled Ladies and Gentlemen looks into the way daily life is significantly different for the sexes.
The episode starts off innocently enough. Dev (Ansari) and his friend are getting a few drinks at a local bar. On the other end of the table sits an actress (Condola Rashad) who is receiving unwanted advances from a “nice guy”. While Dev and his friend walk home with “Don’t Worry, Be Happy” playing in the background and a little mishap with some dog poop, things are not so simple for the actress. Walking home alone on the city streets she is quickly approached by the same guy at the bar. She starts hustling to her apartment with 9-1-1 on speed dial for when she gets attacked. Thankfully, she makes it home and locks her door, but is harassed my the same man so she has to have removed from the premises.
The episode continues to explore some of the problems women face that just don’t seem to happen to men. Sara Boboltz from the Huffington Post details the events. “A woman waiting at a bar turns down a drink purchased by a strange man, who reacts unkindly. A couple of women are ignored at a table by a work associate who greets only the men, as presumed group leaders. A woman posts her breakfast to social media and receives an X-rated comment from a stranger.” The men seem flabbergasted that these kind of interactions are commonplace for women.
One particular event stood out for me when watching the episode. Denise (Lena Waithe), one of Dev’s friends, talks about an experience at a movie theater. She says that when attending a film alone it was nerve-racking. Only one other person was in the theater and he decided to sit right next her. The entire theater is supposed to be empty in this case, except the two of them. That sounds credibly creepy to say the least. I was caught wondering what some of my female friends and acquaintances thought about going to the theater alone.
The answers were really interesting and perhaps not what I expected. Some women brought up the fact that there is a stigma against going to a movie alone in general. Perhaps you’ll be judged by your peers or fellow movie patrons wondering what you are doing at the theater alone. Others just brought up the fact that going to the movies is just more fun with other people and they didn’t necessarily need to go unless they were going out in a group or date setting.
Some answers were more upsetting than most. Some women said their confidence in movie theater safety in general has been destroyed after recent shootings. Others agreed that there are way too many creeps out there and it just isn’t a comfortable experience. Although most women agreed on is that leaving the theater alone, walking home alone after a screening provides the most anxiety and might be the biggest deterrent to getting and enjoying the movies.
When going to see the latest blockbuster or independent feature, safety is usually one of my last thoughts. Getting to the picture on time, securing a good seat, partaking in some overpriced concessions are some of the biggest concerns. Well that and whether or not the person next to you will be checking their cell phone the entire picture. This issue isn’t going away anytime soon. Men can we be a little better and not be jerks?
Master of None is available now via Netflix.