Science Fiction & Fantasy

‘The Faculty’: Gender, Dialogue, and Naked Alien Space Monsters

The Faculty

How did these male filmmakers make a movie marketed to men full of female characters who actually get the majority of the dialogue? I’m about to crack the code and share the secret — are you ready to become enlightened? Here’s how they did it: They included female characters and gave them lines. WHAT. Yes, it’s that simple.

From Racist Stereotype to Fully Whitewashed: Tiger Lily Since 1904

Tiger Lily in Peter Pan

Whatever the other problems might be with this film (and they are many), my focus for this review is the character Tiger Lily, who was originally conceived as a racist stereotype by J.M. Barrie and who has had her Native identity completely erased in this latest iteration. Is this progress? I think not.

A Feminist Guide to Horror: Torture Porn TV

Penny Dreadful

Small screen torture porn, at least in the cases of ‘American Horror Story’ and ‘Penny Dreadful,’ seems to be serving rather to take our fear of sex and women out of the dark and into the light, giving us an opportunity to vicariously take women apart and show them as disgusting as a substantial portion of our society fears we might be.

10 Women-Directed Films for Halloween

10 Women-Directed Films for Halloween

Are spine-chilling films always in demand because they help us dialogue with and about death? … In the past year, I’ve been focused on seeing films directed by women because I participated in the “52 Films by Women” initiative.

Bi Erasure in Film and TV: The Difficulty of Representing Bisexual People On-Screen

How to Get Away with Murder

As frustrating as our erasure and stereotyping is, however, I’d like to go beyond the question of “good” and “bad” representations of bisexual characters to ask this: exactly what it is about bisexuality which makes it so hard to represent on-screen? And why, when bisexuality is visible, is it so likely to collapse back into dominant stereotypes of bisexuality as either promiscuous or merely a phase?

‘Buffy the Vampire Slayer’ and Bisexual Representation

Buffy the Vampire Slayer

But the clearest example of the Buffyverse’s discomfort with bisexuality, in my opinion, appears in the character of Faith Lehane. … Despite what was at the time a groundbreaking portrayal of a loving lesbian relationship, ‘Buffy the Vampire Slayer’ still had many issues in its messaging surrounding queer sexualities, in particular bisexuality. In my opinion, a few material changes could have gone a long way in removing at least some of this negative messaging.

‘Supernatural’s Scariest Monster: Bisexual Erasure

Supernatural

I won’t spend too much time trying to convince you that one of the main characters, Dean Winchester (Jensen Ackles), is bisexual — or would be, if the writers and producers would allow him to be — and that the show is queerbaiting. … What I am arguing is that queer people do not need a character’s sexuality to be canonized in order to identify with that character and recognize literary tropes that are generally used to align characters with queerness.

‘Jennifer’s Body’ and Bisexuality

Jennifer's Body

We don’t have direct evidence of how Jennifer or Needy would describe their sexual orientations, but ‘Jennifer’s Body’ works as a depiction of the relationship between two young bisexual women. If nothing else, it subverts expectations around gender and sexuality in horror films. … Even when Jennifer and Needy resort to physical violence with each other, their conflict has an erotic, and even romantic, subtext.

‘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.

‘Lost Girl’: Breaking the Mold For Bisexual Representation on TV

Lost Girl

Series creator and season one’s co-showrunner, Michelle Lovretta structured the idea of a bisexual female superhero around being a succubus: “a mythological being who uses sex to feed, heal, and kill” — a traditionally vilified female role that used sex as a weapon. … Awareness of the unique challenges of bisexual representation allowed Bo to be a genuinely complex heroine, instead of just a problematic stereotype. She was carefully crafted to be sex positive, while being defined by her relationships, instead of her sexuality.

‘Game of Thrones’: Oberyn Martell, a Positive Portrayal of a Bisexual Man of Color

Game of Thrones

But even if Oberyn Martell isn’t your favorite, he is decidedly unique in one regard: a positively portrayed bisexual man of color on television. As if this weren’t enough, his character arc doesn’t center around his race or his sexual orientation. Like any other character on the show, he has his own convoluted political revenge plot.

Is ‘Buffy the Vampire Slayer’s Willow Rosenberg a Lesbian or Bisexual?

Buffy the Vampire Slayer

So is Willow bi, or is she a lesbian? Well, I guess it’s your choice. I personally believe she’s bisexual; it makes more sense to me, a bisexual woman, that Willow is also a bisexual woman, just with a preference for women. But I have read that many lesbians connected with Willow’s story on such a fundamental way, and I can’t wholeheartedly take it away from them; they have just as much of a right to her as I do.