Dawn of the Planet of the Apes
I am interested in thinking about how women have been represented in recent Hollywood/American science-based fiction cinema and whether we have really moved beyond relying on stereotypes, sex, and spectacle. Female scientists are increasing in frequency in Hollywood, but they are not being given adequate representation – they are often secondary to their male partners.
This is not an article that will chronicle empty mother characters. This is for all the badass mamas out there—the honest mother roles that women have nailed. Hopefully this will present a case for why we need a million more. Here’s to the female characters who have outlived the digital revolution and will continue to. Characters that live with us and remain faulted heroes. And here’s to the women who made them so electric.
‘Dawn’ lacks strong female characters. How much more interesting the story could have been if Ellie had taken the lead in negotiating with Caesar and restoring the dam! Likewise, a fighting female ape could have provided interesting contrast while either avoiding or spotlighting appearance-based tropes about violent women.