(Content warning: sexism, racism, violence, swearing, hate groups)
American Psycho is the most sexist, and violently misogynistic film of all time. It has trained an entire generation of young men to see women as targets for violence, and has pushed thousands of people into the incel community. In this analysis I will be going over how American Psycho puts sexist messages into the viewers head in order to brainwash them into becoming misogynists.
First let’s look at the protagonist, Patrick Bateman. He is presented as a Young, successful, and strong man who has a high paying job, with women throwing themselves at him. Almost every single woman in the film just can’t help but fall in love with him, while he manipulates, abuses, and even brutally murders anyone in his path. There are also hints of him being a racist as well, which we will discuss later on. Instead of a virtuous feminist with good morals, and respect for those around him, this is the person that you as the viewer are told to look up to, and put yourself in the shoes of.
In the first five minutes of the film, there is a part where he goes up to a bartender and attempts to hand him a drink voucher that has expired. The female bartender of course isn’t able to accept it. But instead of taking the reasonable approach of just accepting the situation and moving on with his day, he yells “you fucking ugly bitch, I wanna stab you to death, and play around in your blood”. Not only does this foreshadow the atrocities that will be committed later on in the film, but sets a bad example for anyone that may be watching. And if that wasn’t bad enough on its own, The film then proceeds to show off his expensive apartment immediately after. What this tells the viewer is that being a misogynistic person will make you successful in life. Keep in mind that we are still only a few minutes into the film.
Along with blatant misogyny, there are also smaller offenses sprinkled throughout the film. Such as Patrick telling a secretary that they shouldn’t wear a certain type of clothes. Now are there any repercussions for the character? Of course not. Instead the secretary blindley listens to him without fighting back in the slightest way. What this tells the viewer is that they should be controlling of women, and that they will do as they say.
The film also hints towards Bateman being a racist as well. Such as a scene where he is eating at a restaurant with a couple acquaintances, and sarcastically remarks that we should be pushing to end racial discrimination, and for women to have equal rights. I see this as the director mocking those pushing for equality, and posing these serious issues as some silly joke that doesn’t require resolving. If that’s not bad enough, there is a scene later on where Bateman decides to go up to a homeless man lying in an alleyway. He decides to fool the man into thinking that he will give him money, or job opportunities, but then proceeds to murder both him and his dog. The homeless man in this scene is African American, which not only plays into the stereotype of people of color being poor, but tells the viewer that POC are inferior to white people. The latter is elaborated on by Bateman stating that he has “nothing in common” with the victim of the crime.
Now all of this is already horrible on its own, but the film gets much worse from here. In the second half of the film, Bateman decides to pick up a female friend of his, along with a sex worker off the street, and bring them back to his apartment. While they are there, he drugs them and stabs one of them to death, and then chases the other with a chainsaw. It’s a shocking, and gruesome scene. The sex worker is screaming and crying out in fear as she is being preyed upon throughout the apartment complex. The fact that this was allowed to be shown on camera is proof that there needs to be some serious reform among the film industry.
Now you may be thinking, “how does this affect the real world?”. Well let me introduce you to the world of incels. Incels are a group of mostly white, young men online that hate women due to the fact that they believe that they are entitled to a relationship. While most of them stick to online harassment, some will go out and commit acts of terrorism, such as Elliot Rodgers, and Alek Minassian. The incel community has adopted Patrick Bateman into their culture and have often described the character as “literally me”. This idealization of evil characters such as Bateman, and the Joker might be part of the reason as to why they hold such resentment towards women, and end up going on violent outbursts.
Overall I would give this film a 0/10, I recommend that absolutely nobody subject themselves to this misogynistic filth. It will do absolutely no good for you. Linked below is a video of me destroying a copy of this film as an act of protest to the makers of this garbage.