Playing with Fire: “Compulsory Heterosexuality” in ‘The Hunger Games’

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While my conversations with my friends’ 12-year-old daughters about the trilogy always began with “Team Peeta!” or “Team Gale!” our conversations in the classroom focused on the scholarship of female collectives and violent resistance; we didn’t need Gale and Peeta as fodder for conversation. But on the last day of class, I introduced Adrienne Rich’s idea of compulsory heterosexuality to complicate the larger conversation in which readers—and viewers—find themselves forced to choose a camp, just as Katniss is forced to do.

‘The Legend of Korra’ Caps Off Its Feminist Redemption in (Very Queer) Series Finale

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Once everything winds down, Korra has her final meaningful conversations with those closest to her. I bit my lip nervously as expressed her gratitude towards Mako for assisting her in the fight. After a reunion so late in the game, I fully expected everything to wrap up with a humdrum obligatory affirmation of heterosexuality.

A ‘Wild’ Woman Alone

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The filmmakers (director Jean-Marc Vallée and screenwriter Nick Hornby) profess to be fans of Strayed’s work, but they were apparently so busy patting themselves on the back for not making this story of a woman alone into some kind of boy-meets-girl rom-com that they forgot to include everything else that makes the book distinctive.

‘Big Eyes’ for a Big Year

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Until the release, ‘Big Eyes’ looks like a promising movie to end off the empowering year of the woman. Flexing in the face of men, Margaret Keane’s story translates to roadblocks women surpass on the daily at the workplace and at home. Depending on how Burton captures Margaret’s story, Amy Adams has the opportunity to do women justice and end off the year of feminism with a bang–a big-eyed bang.

Bitch Flicks’ Weekly Picks

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Check out what we’ve been reading this week–and let us know what you’ve been reading/writing in the comments!

Putting the I in Family with ‘Force Majeure’

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Quick! An avalanche is about to kill you and your family. Do you: A) Try to save your children, or B) Grab your phone and run away, leaving your loved-ones to perish? If you chose B, you may be the male lead of ‘Force Majeure,’ the sometimes-funny, sometimes-serious Swedish movie up for Best Foreign Language Film at the 2015 Golden Globe Awards.

‘Concerning Violence,’ Concerning Ferguson

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Chinua Achebe said, “There is that great proverb — that until the lions have their own historians, the history of the hunt will always glorify the hunter.”
Reading Fanon, listening to Malcolm X, watching ‘Concerning Violence’–these are just a few ways to hear the lions. When the hunter listens, though, he sees a lion roaring, jaws open wide to bite and kill. The fear sets in. Oppressive control digs its heels back in.

The Enemy: Race and Gender In Andrea Arnold’s ‘Wuthering Heights’

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Heathcliff illustrates the brutalization of the non-white male; his every attempt to integrate is rejected, so he grows embittered and alienated, forced to exploit others to achieve his goals. If Harriet Beecher Stowe’s Uncle Tom is often criticized for being implausibly forgiving and accommodating to racist slave-owners, then surely Heathcliff is the anti-Tom, an openly angry and defiant agent of revenge against the racist patriarchy that has killed his love.

‘Sons of Anarchy’: Female Violence, Feminist Care

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At the end of season 6, Gemma violently clashes the spheres of power. She’s in the kitchen. She’s using an iron, and a carving fork. Using tools of the feminine sphere, she brutally murders Tara, because she fears that Tara is about to take control and dismantle the club—the life, the style of mothering and living—that she brought home with her so many years ago.

Read This Before You Rewatch ‘Friends’

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The complete series of ‘Friends’ is coming to Netflix Jan. 1, 2015, and I’m sure many of you are planning to spend your NYE hangover with the old gang. Lucky for you, I started my personal ‘Friends’ series rewatch in September, and finished last night, just in time to warn you of some of the pitfalls you may experience over the coming months.

As Goes Missouri, So Goes the Nation: ‘The Pruitt-Igoe Myth,’ ‘Rich Hill,’ and ‘Spanish Lake’

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Rural poverty and urban poverty are not the same. Individual racism and institutional racism are not the same. However, these forces are woven together as they are fiercely kept separate in our common mythologies of what America means. We avoid difficult stories that disrupt the narratives we’ve come to understand.

A Tender Tribute to Aaron Swartz: ‘The Internet’s Own Boy’

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‘The Internet’s Own Boy’ is a passionate, intelligent tribute to the tragically short but brilliant life of the programmer and activist. The documentary successfully captures Swartz’s spirit and rightly underscores his visionary genius and socio-cultural importance. Recounting both his days of triumph and despair, it acknowledges his vulnerabilities and fears as well as his drive and passion.