Despite what the multitude of Bechdel-test-failing media would have us believe, relationships among women can be complex and about much, much more than men. The sibling relationships of sisters, in fact, can be particularly rich, nuanced, and worth contemplation. Sibling rivalry, as it appears in ‘A League of Their Own’ and ‘Sixteen Candles,’ examines competition for recognition, birth order conflict, and self-doubt when faced with perceptions of sibling superiority.
Check out what we’ve been reading this week–and let us know what you’ve been reading/writing in the comments!
While #Gamergate has not yet officially rebranded itself as #EpicStreisandEffect, the one heartwarming thing about a mob trying to silence their critics is how bad they are at it. The inflammatory atmosphere created by #Gamergate makes it difficult for balanced discussion of Sarkeesian’s critiques, but one interesting aspect that recently occurred to me is how neatly six of her tropes fit the portrayal of men in recent Disney Princess films (from 1989’s ‘The Little Mermaid’ onwards).
We all know that male superheroes get reboots for their (often shitty) movies over and over and over again. There are an ever-increasing number of Batman, Superman, and Hulk movies, not to mention a growing franchise of Iron Man, Captain America, and Thor flicks. With this mentality of quantity over quality, there’s no excuse for denying reboots to some of my favorite female superheroines and their considerably fewer films. Some of the movies that made my top 10 list admittedly sucked, and their heroines deserve a second chance to shine on the big screen. Some of the movies, however, were, are and ever shall be totally awesome, and I just want a do-over to enhance the awesome.
“I’ll Have the Car Drive Faster Over the Cliff” and Other Lessons from the 2014 Athena Film Festival
My entry point to this area is my interest in creating media that highlights women of color, queer people, its intersection, and other types of characters not often seen on screen. People who aren’t lawyers or in advertising. People who wear the same sweater more than once. People who don’t fit into prefab boxes. My conviction about the need for more diverse content won’t ever falter, but hearing truths from women working in the field is, unfortunately, a downer. While representation of women remains a glaring issue, it’s in the creation of stories and characters where we continue to see problems.
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.
Amanda did a brilliant queer reading of Elsa’s powers as a symbol of queer sexuality. While our fantastic commenters proposed additional, equally plausible readings, relating the treatment of Elsa’s powers to society’s fear and suppression of mental illness, disability, and even women as a whole, I think the queer reading deserves a little further exploration. Specifically, I want to look at the recurring motif of doors in Frozen.
I was surprised by Disney’s latest animated film “Frozen”. I was sure it was going to feed us Disney’s standard company line about princesses and marriage and girls needing to be rescued all the time. I was wrong. Though the film still showcases impossibly thin, rich, white girls who are princesses, this isn’t a story about romantic love or some dude rescuing a damsel in distress. “Frozen” is a story about sisterhood and the power that exists inside young women.