‘Dragonslayer’: A Disappointing Attempt to Update the Princess and the Dragon


‘Dragonslayer’ attempts to modernize the tale by diminishing the hero and splitting the princess into two women who are both brave at first glance, but it ultimately reinforces traditional roles. … Valerian’s fall from village leader (in disguise as a man) to hero helper, and finally damsel in distress that can only be rescued by the losing of her virginity (itself a patriarchal construct, often “used to control women’s sexuality”), is a particularly depressing character arc.

Star Wars’ Rey: Feminist Heroine or Mary Sue?

Star Wars The Force Awakens_Rey 2

The heroine of the story turned out to be Rey: a lone scavenger using her brain and her strength to survive. … In a world of fantastical male heroes, is there not room for a legendary woman? Isn’t the whole point of a fantasy story some sort of wish-fulfillment? An epic triumph over evil rarely achievable in real life?

‘Ghostbusters’ Is One of the Most Important Movies of the Year

Ghostbusters reboot

They’re moved to realize that, after everyone talked shit about them for weeks or months on end, someone actually appreciated what they did. It’s a moment of art imitating life that mirrored my experience with ‘Ghostbusters’… I also vastly underestimated how powerful it would be, and how great it would feel, to watch an action-comedy with only women in the leading roles.

Call for Writers: Women Scientists in Film and TV


Our theme week for July 2016 will be Representations of Female Scientists.

Bluestocking Film Series Showcases Complex Female Protagonists

Bluestocking Film Series 2016

I had the wonderful opportunity to speak with Kate Kaminski, Bluestocking Film Series Founder and Artistic Director. We talked about the need for more complex female protagonists, ensuring diversity, women’s representation in film, and what she hopes to accomplish with the film series.

Ladies of the 1980s Week: The Roundup

Ladies of the 80s Roundup

Check out all of the posts from our Ladies of the 1980s Week here.

Black Women in 1980’s Horror Films: Tokenism and Regression


However, I do thoroughly enjoy and sometimes defend 80s horror and the Black (female) characters I can find, but it’s crucial to examine the narrow confines of their characterization. …The 80s opened up a dialogue about where Black women’s place was not only in society, but in horror.

Rethinking ‘Say Anything’ and the Film’s Actual Protagonist Diane Court

Say Anything

The problem isn’t that audiences misremember Lloyd Dobler; it’s that they forget about Diane Court. … Not only is Diane an equal player in the action; she’s the film’s protagonist. … While Diane has a clear narrative of growth, Lloyd is a static character.

‘The Fog’: 5 Women, an Environmental Crisis, and No Forecast of Friendship

The Fog

Before watching the movie with a more critical lens, I reminisced that these strong female characters drove the community response to crisis as they began to interact and even came to depend on each other. … It seems like ‘The Fog’ exposes the idea that strong women can’t have any meaningful relationships that might endure and even help them survive and understand themselves better through tough times.

Ripley, Sexism, and Classism in ‘Aliens’

Aliens Ellen Ripley

However, it was not until 1986 that her status as a female badass was truly confirmed in the follow-up, ‘Aliens.’ Yet, in-universe, it took Ripley much of the movie to gain any respect. The mix of classism and sexism Ripley faced is something that I think made many women identify with her even more.

Sheila E.’s Agency as an Artist in ‘Krush Groove’ and Beyond

Krush Groove

But Sheila E. represents a woman’s creative musical power in an early hip hop film dominated by male artists. … As we consider hip hop’s presence in U.S. films and documentaries spanning the globe, it is also reasonable to consider that Sheila E. has one of the biggest roles for a woman that was written in the spate of films that began portraying hip hop culture.

‘The Stepfather,’ Toppling Patriarchy, and Love of 80s Horror Ladies

The Stepfather

Stephanie emerges as a poised, perspicacious, and resilient female lead. She is a wonderfully surprising alternative from most of the panoply of horror heroines who are tortured, fight, and scream their way through the terrifying films of the 80s. … Stephanie embodies what each of the archetypally male characters in the film fails to, and in doing so transcends the clutches of gender expectations in the film…