WHY MEN ARE BETTER VILLAINS GRAHAM DASELER 34THPARALLEL MAGAZINE ISSUE 49
Think, for a moment, of the meanest, the scariest, the most intimidating movie villains you can summon to your mind. Have you got them? Now, let me ask you, how many of them are women?
The American Film Institute reckons the ratio is about one woman for every two men. But that can’t be right, can it? Are the Wicked Witch of the West from The Wizard of Oz (1939) and Cruella de Vil from One Hundred and One Dalmatians (1961) really as scary as Hannibal Lecter and Amon Göth, the concentration commandant in Schindler’s List (1993)? Be your gender what it may, you will certainly have to admit that, when it comes to movie bad guys, the best bad guys are almost all, well, guys.
But why is this? Are men just better at playing villains than women? Or has Hollywood stacked the deck against women?