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.
Inara shows all the benefits to the cultural changes of the last 500 years. She’s a Companion, a highly trained and respected sex worker who ministers mostly to dignitaries, businessmen, and other elites. She’s taken a ride on Serenity, the ship around which most of the show’s action centers, because she wants to see the universe. Because she is a Companion, she can write her own ticket – there will always be clients, so long as they stick to planets with some level of economic stability, and she can just rent a shuttle for as long as she wants. Plus, Inara herself is fun, witty, and classy as all get out. She’s the woman we all want to be, and she’s a sex worker. That’s progressive, right?
The problem here comes not from what the show is saying about sex work. It’s saying very complimentary things. The issue is that this show, this wonderful lovely show, is showing us something entirely different. Namely, that sex work is bad and nasty and wrong.
It started when I was 13. Some friends and I went to see Buffy the Vampire Slayer. It sounded like a lovely idea. A movie with a cheerleader as lead for my more “girly” friends, a vampire flick with a female heroine for me and the guy friends who were dragged along on this group “date” and just wanted to see vampires. It wasn’t like we had a choice–none of us had a car, and this was the only thing playing that we were old enough to watch at the theater our parents dropped us off at. I thought it would be perfect until it occurred to me in the lobby, while procuring nachos and popcorn, that this film was devised to please everyone, and usually when movies set out to please everyone, they pleased no one. But, it was a movie, and on a hot summer day that meant air conditioning; plus, there would be vampires, a female heroine and that was all I needed to give it a try.
This post previously appeared at Bitch Flicks on December 12, 2010. In 2007, the Warner Brothers production president, Jeff Robinov, announced that Warner Brothers would no longer make films with female leads. A year before that announcement, Joss Whedon, the creator of such women-centric television shows as Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Firefly, and Dollhouse, accepted […]
Women in Science Fiction Week: The Strong, Intelligent and Diverse Women of ‘Firefly’ and ‘Serenity’
Cast of Firefly and Serenity Guest post written by Janyce Denise Glasper. “Why do you keep writing strong female characters?”“Because you’re still asking that question,” Joss Whedon quips. Mastermind behind phenomenal, groundbreaking television hits, Buffy The Vampire Slayer and Angel and recently helming a little box office smash called The Avengers, Whedon has always crafted […]
In 2007, the Warner Brothers production president, Jeff Robinov, announced that Warner Brothers would no longer make films with female leads. A year before that announcement, Joss Whedon, the creator of such women-centric television shows as Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Firefly, and Dollhouse, accepted an award from Equality Now at the event, “On the Road […]