Female Friendship: The Roundup

Walking above favela “Barbarah (Leilah Moreno), Lena (Cindy Mendes), Mayah (Quelynah), and Preta (Negra Li)

Check out all of the posts for our Female Friendship Theme Week here.

“We Stick Together”: Rebellion, Female Solidarity, and Girl Crushes in ‘Foxfire’

You don’t want to mess with these gals.

In the spirit of ‘Boys on the Side,’ along with a dose of teen angst, ‘Foxfire’ is perhaps the most bad ass chick flick ever. Many Angelina Jolie fans are not aware of this 1996 phenomenon, where Angie makes a name for herself as a rebellious free spirit who changes the lives of four young women in New York. Based on the Joyce Carol Oates novel by the same name, ‘Foxfire’ is the epitome of girl power and female friendship, a pleasant departure from the competition and spitefulness often portrayed between women characters on the big screen (see ‘Bride Wars’ and ‘Just Go with It’). However, it does seem that Hollywood is catching on as of late, and producing films that cater to a more progressive viewership (see ‘Bridesmaids’ and ‘The Other Woman’). When I first saw ‘Foxfire’ around 16 years old, I stole the VHS copy from the video store where I worked at the time.

Girl Gang Fights Rape Culture in ‘Foxfire’

The girls of Foxfire, 1996

Though very different, the two films based on Joyce Carol Oates’s novel, ‘Foxfire: Confessions of A Girl Gang,’ have a shared message: that rape culture is pervasive and the experiences of girls and women within it are sadly, universal. In both films, one set in the 90s, the other in the 50s, teenage girls inhabit dangerous territory, full of sexual assaults and near misses, all ignored by the authorities around them. Their experiences aren’t considered unusual or justified within their respective narratives, instead, they point out that women are given a lot of reasons to feel unsafe and afraid in our society. At the very least, we’ve all been told not to walk home at night or to be frightened by a man following too close on our heels.