Heroine Content Links #29: Scott Pilgrim, Monsters vs. Aliens, Jennifer's Body, and tons more
This post was originally published on Heroine Content, a feminist and anti-racist movie blog that ran from July 2006 to May 2012.
I tend to accidentally store links for years instead of sharing them with the class. I am finally close to cleaning out my Delicious account and getting a system in place to not fill it back up again. To complete that project, here are a ton of awesome posts that I somehow never got around to linking until right now. The way I see it, December is the perfect time to do this because y'all aren't getting jack done at work anyway with the holiday chaos. Even for those of us who don't celebrate anything in particular, scheduling and work seem to go right out the window until mid-January.
So please do enjoy a couple of these fine links! I think between this post and the next one that will be up in a couple of weeks, there is something for everyone.
Scott Pilgrim vs. The World by Neo_Prodigy at The Chronicle: Tales of the Neo_Prodigy:
Pilgrim is a douchebag and more than once I wanted to beat his face in with a crowbar. He's trifling, shiftless, broke, irresponsible, not to mention a pedophile. He's also a prime example of white male privilege in that he can leech off of all of the people in his life, stay broke and jobless and he's only considered a slacker and not living up to his full potential. Let a POC pull the same crap, and ALL OF US would be labeled a statistic and looking for a handout.
From feministhemes.com, Monsters vs. Aliens by Alethea Joy:
What wasn't clear to me in the trailers I saw for the film, but is pretty clear in this one, is that the film really centers around Susan. Wait, what? An action-based animated children's film with a female lead? Inconceivable!
From Big Fat Deal, Why I Love Marge Gunderson by mo pie:
She's just brave and tough and smart, and she gets the bad guys in the end. She is, as Jadet puts it, "a rare type of female heroine that doesn't exist simply for the male audience to drool over." I love her.
From Woman = Geek, Hell is a Teenage Girl: Review of Jennifer's Body [TRIGGER WARNING ON THIS ONE for discussion of sexual violence]:
The highlight of Jennifer's Body lies not in its message but in the tangled web of love and jealousy that characterizes the girls' relationship and continues even after death. The relationships of girls and women are messy, complicated, but beautiful, an untapped gold mine of inspiration for all genres.
From The Hathor Legacy, Clash of the Titans: Epic Fail by Tina:
The first thing I noticed in this movie was the LACK of women. While I held no expectation of this remake following the original movie to a "T," I did expect some adherence to the myths surrounding the story of Perseus which include many different women. However, within the first 30 to 40 minutes of this movie, all traces of women (mortal or god-like) have been erased and by the end of the movie, all traces of women (mortal or god-like) have been so marginalized it made my head spin.
From Tiger Beatdown, Kick-Ass: The Golden State Review by GarlandGrey [who is one of my favorite writers BTW -skye]:
No hate crimes, no taunting from high school bullies, and no negative consequences whatsoever. He isn't even forced to come out to his Father. I mean COME ON, even being gay is easier for heterosexuals? Dave seems like a nice guy and not at all homophobic. But it is still a dick move to appropriate the trust that comes from a relationship that should be devoid of sexual tension. I will say this to you once, guys and them I'm crackin' skulls: stop pretending to be gay.
From Chicks Who Kill Things, Iron Man 2 and the Hype Letdown:
There is a lot to like about Natasha Romanoff/The Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson), but as my friend Kayleigh said after we both saw the movie the same day, her character was mostly just "boobs and asskicking." I (and she) appreciated how the movie ended up beating the famous Bechdel's Law and had Natasha and Pepper work together and talk in a non-competitive manner, yet I felt a little let down.
From A Canadian Lefty in Occupied Land, Alice's Gender Journey in Wonderland:
Even the most trite and simple narratives of women's empowerment aren't exactly in generous supply in North American mass culture in the early 21st century. Nonetheless, one way that they can appear without meeting too much resistance is to try and render that empowerment nonthreatening. And one way this can be done is to show empowerment in the face of patriarchy in one of its earlier guises rather than in a current form.
From Every Day is Like Wednesday, Wanted and Race by J. Caleb Mozzocco [TRIGGER WARNING ON THIS ONE for discussion of sexual violence]:
Considering these scenes, it's understandable why the filmmakers wouldn't want to stay too faithful to the source material - some of it is pretty ugly, and would give the film a lot more baggage than anyone would reasonably want to invest millions of dollars into lugging around in public.
From Vertical Blue, Hellboy II: The Golden Army:
In the film, Nuala simply trembles and mopes a bit and it falls to Hellboy to save the day. After he has defeated Nuada, the elf prince tries to stab him in the back; Nuala sighs a bit more and stabs herself to kill both of them. (She could have cut off her/their sword arm, I suppose, but then she would have been alive and disfigured - an unacceptable sacrifice, when the other option is maidenly, swooning self-sacrifice.)
From Best Action Heroines, Milla Jovovich in Bandages vs. Video Girls Everywhere:
It's what Jovovich isn't made to do that makes the costume okay. She doesn't wink at the camera, doesn't arch her back suggestively or look lustfully into the camera. It's quite the opposite. It's the absence of the sexual actions within the scenes that include the costume that make's the appearance of the costume perfectly acceptable.
See, Lenny is the character we meet first, but Mace is the one who drives the plot. Her mostly-baffling loyalty to a guy who routinely lets her down is telegraphed so beautifully and quietly that they had to add a flashback so you could meet Lenny before he started sucking, just so you would have a concrete reason Mace was so loyal to the skeeze. Also, seriously, she's the ACTION HERO.
From Something More Than Sides, The Treatment of Women in the X-Men Films by Kitty Byrne:
And you know what? I'm sick of this! I'm sick of being tossed a bone, I'm sick of being expected to leap for joy every time a cis-woman is on the fucking screen! And heaven for fend I ask for actual fleshed-out characters; fleshed out characters who aren't thin, white, cis, currently abled men! /p>
From Gender Goggles, I, Robot: the movie that could have been:
But more importantly (to me), Susan Calvin was a real, complex, fascinating person. She, Stephen Byerly, and the reporter all were- as were most of the others they met - very real, in a way that the punchy action movie that was eventually made couldn't hope to capture.
The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo by Ms. Wizzle at feministthemes.com:
Is it violent? Yes. Is it disturbing? Yes. Is it feminist? Maybe. Is it exploitative? ...Also maybe. [...] if you're the type of person that can handle violence in entertainment (either just because you can or because you can in the context of a social commentary), the story is pretty engaging. And if you take that a step further, the direct confrontation of misogyny and attention to putting an end to these direct forms of violence against women paired with the strong feminist women and men in the books could be viewed as... pretty feminist.
(I'm not feeling the mathematical equation here that says if I'm a person who can handle violence in entertainment then I will inevitably be fine with this. I think she's right that it's "feminist Rorschach." I happen to see torture porn. But I also respect the heck out of this blogger so I always enjoy reading her thoughts even when I disagree. :)