Joss Whedon

The Chameleon Woman in ‘Dollhouse’ and ‘iZombie’: Personality Swapping and Agency

Dollhouse and iZombie

The problem presented by both ‘Dollhouse’ and ‘iZombie’ is that of the “Chameleon Woman.” Both Echo and Liv carry the metaphor of the expectation that women adapt based on the needs and desires of others. However, both TV series point to this societal issue with two very different takes.

‘Firefly’: Mixed Messages on Inara’s Sexuality

Firefly

In ‘Firefly,’ women can be strong, they can be independent, they can be respected, but they are still fetishized for their sexual choices. Inara’s queerness is less a way to incorporate diverse sexuality into the show and more to stoke a fantasy of women for the consumption of heterosexual men.

Scarlet Witch and Kitty Pryde: Erased Jewish Superheroines

Scarlet Witch and Kitty Pryde_narrow

Not only is erasing Judaism a disservice to both Scarlet Witch and Captain America, it’s also disrespectful to the Jewish writers who invested so much in making a statement about Jewish resistance in their artistic expression. … What’s aggravating about the omission of Kitty Pryde’s faith is the fact that the filmmakers didn’t do this to Magneto’s character…

Top 10 Superheroines Who Deserve Their Own Movies

My heroines

So few superheroines are given their own movies. I’m officially declaring that it’s high time we had more superhero movies starring women. The first in a series of posts, I’m starting with a list of my top 10 picks for super babes who deserve their own flicks.

Shishihokodan: The Destructive Female Gaze of YA Supernatural Action Romantic Comedy

Edward-vs-Jacob

Recognizing the function of Ice Prince/Wolf in YA SARCom implies the continual defeat of the Whore as structural necessity in male writings also – as a pursuing character she must be resisted to generate sexual tension, regardless of whether the male author is Team Madonna or Team Whore. The destructive impact on the self-image of female viewers is pure collateral damage, just as our SARCom is poisonously emasculating for male viewers.

Misogyny Demons and Wesley’s Tortured Masculinity in Joss Whedon’s ‘Angel’

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Not only does the characterization of this violent misogyny as “primordial” imply that violence toward women is the natural state of men, it also implies that gender itself is an essential and natural state of being. Men are men and women are women. In a universe that generally operates in gray areas, such a distinction is uncharacteristically black and white.

#iamnotavessel: Joss Whedon’s Romantic Reproductive Coercion

Ripley, loving her "beautiful, beautiful little baby"

Whedon and director Jeunet thus systematically demolish Ridley Scott’s original metaphor by consistently representing Ripley’s experience of forced maternity as akin to both chosen motherhood and loss of self, and essentially different from the forced impregnation and reproductive coercion of the male characters.

Do Black Widow and Scarlet Witch Bring Female Power to ‘Avengers: Age of Ultron’?

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The scene with her blazing after Ultron on a motorcycle was one of the highlights of the film for me (though I could have done without the “I am always having to pick up after you boys” joke when she grabs Captain America’s shield from the road). Regarding action, super-hero skills, and the ability to banter (an aspect of the film many reviewers like the most), there is not much of a gender differential. The inclusion of a “rape joke” and the perpetuation of the infertile-women-as-monstrous trope detract from this more egalitarian super-hero world, however.

‘Age of Ultron’s Black Widow Blunders

Scarlet Johansson as Black Widow in 'Avengers: Age of Ultron'

‘Avengers: Age of Ultron’ succeeds in all the places you’d expect it to fail, but while Joss Whedon was tiptoeing around all the expected pitfalls of a major franchise sequel, he stumbled over a cliff when it came to the one character I would have most trusted him to get right: Scarlet Johansson’s Natasha Romanoff, or Black Widow.

Not Exactly the New ‘Buffy’: The Many Failings of ‘Supernatural’

On the upside, they're really really pretty

The simplistic machismo of ‘Supernatural’ is particularly frustrating because there is so much potential for the show to challenge the norms of conventional masculinity – and yet it just doesn’t.

Top 10 Superheroines Who Deserve Their Own Movies

My heroines

So few superheroines are given their own movies. I’m officially declaring that it’s high time we had more superhero movies starring women. The first in a series of posts, I’m starting with a list of my top 10 picks for super babes who deserve their own flicks.

Joss Whedon’s Indie Film ‘In Your Eyes’ Disappoints

In Your Eyes Poster

Though beautifully shot with surprising and genuine performances, Joss Whedon’s ‘In Your Eyes’ disappoints with its lazy storytelling and ultimately trite plotline.