No, I did not own Gladiator, and never will - I think it's a terrible movie. This guy seemed to find this personally insulting, and so began a ridiculous argument. I merely offered my opinion, and he put my opinion down to the fact that I was (am) a woman, saying that it must have been too violent for me. In fact, my primary complaint about Gladiator was that they edited in such a way that the violence is obscured. As a whole, I found the film boring, and thought they spent too much time whispering in tents and not enough time bloodletting.
My reason for bringing this up is that I continue to find myself in "conversations" where the male participant dismisses my views on film (often in a very defensive way) offering gendered reasons for my perspective. I have had this experience very recently on the imdb message boards - my username on there does not indicate gender, and a couple of times, just from reading my comment, a user has written back referring to me as a guy. In these responses, the user will speak to me in a respectful fashion, expressing agreement or surprise either way.
Once the user discovers I am female, the whole tone changes. One guy, talking to me about porn, was polite but went on to suggest "female-oriented" porn and seemed to have a more condescending, "explaining" tone to his message, as though he had not noticed the part in my comment about the fact that my profession (if that's what you can call it - "future profession," perhaps) is primarily writing about adult film. Nice guy - and I appreciate his suggestions - but I still recognized a difference in his approach toward me.
This didn't bother me too much, but soon after, some other guy responded to another porn-related comment by saying that at first, my disappointment in the film shocked him, but that once he realised I was a woman, it "all made sense." The film (a sequel), he explained, was darker than the first one, both in the sex scenes and the violence; that the violence was pretty graphic, and that women would prefer the first movie. I honestly didn't know how to respond, but felt I should, and offered that my gender did not mean my opinion was invalid (I didn't quite put it like that).
On the other hand, I looked up this guy's other comments and he had started a thread on the Jenna Jameson profile titled, "I like having my balls sucked." Maybe I'm expecting too much from the wrong people...
My point is not that I like "men's" film genres, or that men should get used to women liking "men's" movies. My point is that these are not "men's" genres at all - the fact that they are equated with masculinity has very little (often nothing) to do with the actual make-up of the audience, and much more to do with what we deem to be "masculine" and "feminine," usually reverting to active/passive, violent/pacifist, etc. etc. Nor am I denigrating what people consider "feminine" - I like those genres too, if they're good, and I think lots of men enjoy them also. In short, our society is so obsessed with keeping the genders distinct, and participates so readily in coding "feminine" pursuits as inferior to "masculine" ones, that men fear openly enjoying "women's" movies, while women who openly enjoy "men's" movies are dismissed, the assumption being that is not "for" them.
DISCLAIMER: I do not think all men are like this - I have beloved male friends (best friends, in fact) who I talk to about film regularly, and have fun and involved conversations. They respect me, and I respect them too. I'm actually posting this rant with an air of sadness. I don't enjoy these responses - it makes me feel like my studies (which, in part, attempt to show that men interact with pornography in much more complex, progressive, and non-woman-hating ways than people assume) are leading me to a big disappointment; or that I'm merely participating in some kind of feminist wishful thinking. I really, really hope I'm wrong.