Catching Fire

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


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.

How ‘Frozen’ Fails Where ‘Catching Fire’ Succeeds

Catching Fire sisters

While this will probably be remembered as the “Winter Of The Polar Vortex,” it’s also fair to call it the “Winter Of The Feminist Blockbuster.” Grossing a combined total of more than $700 million domestically, ‘Catching Fire’ and ‘Frozen’ have definitively proven that films with female leads can attract a major audience. Even better, they’ve inspired think pieces about everything from Katniss’ movie “girlfriend” to queer readings of Elsa. Yet as I cheered on the strong ladies at the center of both films, I couldn’t help but notice something troubling. While ‘Catching Fire’ presents a diverse supporting cast, ‘Frozen’ rounds out its ensemble with a disappointing parade of white, male characters.

Bitch Flicks’ Weekly Picks


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

Child and Teenage Girl Protagonists: The Roundup

The personification of freedom

Check out all of the posts for Child and Teenage Girl Protagonists Theme Week here.

‘Catching Fire’: Positive Fuel for the Feminist Flame


The Hunger Games, saturated as it is with political meaning (the author admits her inspiration for the trilogy came from flipping channels between reality TV and war footage), is a welcome change from another recent popular YA series, Twilight. As a further bonus, it has disproven the claim that series with female protagonists can’t have massive cross-gender appeal. With the unstoppable Katniss Everdeen at the helm (played in the films by the jaw-droppingly talented Jennifer Lawrence), perhaps the series will be the start of a new trend: politically themed narratives with rebellious female protagonists who have their sights set on revolution more than love, on cultural change more than the latest sparkling hottie.

Bitch Flicks’ Weekly Picks

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

‘Catching Fire’: Protect and Be Protected

Katniss and her sister Prim in Catching Fire

It’s protecting these people that stops Katniss from running into the woods and away from her Important Role and Grave Duties. Using family in danger as motivator for heroes is a well-worn trope. Male heroes often “nobly” walk away form their love (see Peter Parker and his love interests in both 21st century film adaptations of Spider-Man) or lose them and are then motivated by their death (see Peter Parker and oh, every other hero ever).

The Hunger Games: Catching Fire. Watch the Trailer and Get Ready for Katniss to Continue…

Okay. Now we’re really excited.