Don’t Worry Darling and director Olivia Wilde are at the center of another story about problematic men. In a new Interview interview, Wilde reveals to Maggie Gyllenhaal that she based her psychological thriller’s villain, played by Chris Pine, on Canadian men’s rights figure and weirdo internet life coach Jordan Peterson.
WILDE: Terrifying. We based that character on this insane man, Jordan Peterson, who is this pseudo-intellectual hero to the incel community. You know the incels?
WILDE: They’re basically disenfranchised, mostly white men, who believe they are entitled to sex from women.
GYLLENHAAL: Oh, right.
WILDE: And they believe that society has now robbed them—that the idea of feminism is working against nature, and that we must be put back into the correct place.
GYLLENHAAL: Well, they must be psyched. Things are going really well for them.
WILDE: Yeah, they’re actually succeeding in many different ways. But this guy Jordan Peterson is someone that legitimizes certain aspects of their movement because he’s a former professor, he’s an author, he wears a suit, so they feel like this is a real philosophy that should be taken seriously.
Don’t Worry Darling is set in a fantastical midcentury modern planned community where star Florence Pugh begins to worry things aren’t what they seem.
Peterson, for anyone who, like Gyllenhaal, hasn’t heard of him, is a psychologist and public figure who traffics in retrograde messaging about masculinity. (Also something called “the lion diet.”) In a 2018 New York Times profile Peterson explained why it’s society’s job to make sure violent, horny young men get the sex they’re owed:
“Violent attacks are what happens when men do not have partners, Mr. Peterson says, and society needs to work to make sure those men are married. ‘He was angry at God because women were rejecting him,’ Mr. Peterson says of the Toronto killer. ‘The cure for that is enforced monogamy. That’s actually why monogamy emerges.’ Mr. Peterson does not pause when he says this. Enforced monogamy is, to him, simply a rational solution. Otherwise women will all only go for the most high-status men, he explains, and that couldn’t make either gender happy in the end. ‘Half the men fail,’ he says, meaning that they don’t procreate. ‘And no one cares about the men who fail.'”
Peterson is also the author of such Twitter gems as:
Could "casual" sex necessitate state tyranny? The missing responsibility has to be enforced somehow…
— Dr Jordan B Peterson (@jordanbpeterson) December 17, 2016
Following the Times piece, Journalist David Futrelle waded into the incel trenches to document their support for Peterson. One would-be protege calling himself “Animeincel” stated, “Yes he is on our side, and his [sic] very very smart. He is just not as aggressive yet cause he know media will slaughter him then. He understands the incel problem 100% and I love him.”
In the Don’t Worry Darling trailer, Pine’s character can be heard saying, “Whose world is this?” A chorus of men answers, “Ours!”
Which sounds, even beyond Peterson, kinda familiar.
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