minor spoiler alert

Besides some time on the paintball field, one thing my son and I did this week before my trip with his sister was watch the latest installment in one of our favorite sci-fi series. What it lacks in character development and plot, Transformers 3: Dark of the Moon certainly makes up for with some of the most intense techno-masculine violence ever to land in a PG-13 film.

But what struck both of us (“Mom, why haven’t her heels fallen off by now?”) was the gender imagery. I mean, when a hero’s girlfriend can survive a collapsing skyscraper with her high heels on, looking unrumpled, only to play a decisive role in the denouement of a 63-minute urban battle by – wait for it – insulting a Decepticon’s masculine pride, you know it’s all downhill for women in action films.