The character of Daisy personifies the film’s juxtaposition of violence and girlhood. Daisy loves cute animals and doesn’t understand Violet’s dirty jokes. The twist is even that she has not really killed anyone, thus remaining innocent of all crimes. The opening scene displays the most daring oppositional iconography — the young girls dress as nuns, the ultimate image of pure goodness, while having a shoot ‘em up with a gang.
The concept of the female gaze emerged in response to that of the male gaze, wherein the female viewer, and often the female creator, are the focus for a piece of media. However, finding instances of film or television that are truly representative of the female gaze is tricky. Just because something is about women doesn’t mean it is for women or even a realistic portrayal of how women see themselves.
Check out all of the posts from our Dystopias Theme Week here.
By creating her own worlds where she is a force to be reckoned with, Babydoll reclaims that very thing that was taken away from her by her stepfather and the hospital: her humanity.
And the main thing about ‘Violet & Daisy’ I couldn’t puzzle out is what we’re meant to make of the incessant and brutally unsubtle reminders of the title characters’ schoolgirl trappings: popping bubble gum while blasting machine guns, stopping to play hopscotch on the way to pick up ammo, sucking lollipops while chatting with their boss and sharing cookies and milk with their target, giggling while jumping on the bellies of their victims to see blood spew from their mouths. I get that there is a “shocking contrast” between these innocent activities and their professional murdering, but could Fletcher really think that was novel or interesting enough to warrant a whole movie?
And then I think: Oh god, is this a sex thing? This is probably a sex thing. Wait, that’s too gross. This can’t be a sex thing. But oh god, lollipops. Lollipops are always a sex thing.
Check out all of the posts for Child and Teenage Girl Protagonists Theme Week here.
My main issue with the film is that it is speckled with meaningless platitudes and clichés about girl empowerment when the film simply isn’t empowering. The women in the film are portrayed as oversexualized, helpless, damaged goods. Though there are metaphors at work that symbolize abuse or objectification of women, nowhere does the film stress an injustice or seek to dismantle its source. It is just like any other formulaic action movie complete with boobs, guns, and explosions, but it has a shiny, artificial veneer of girl empowerment. The false veneer is the aspect of the film that truly infuriates me, along with the side of artsy pretentious bullshit.
This guest post by Marina DelVecchio also appears at Marinagraphy. In the past year, directors have been trying to feed our womanist pangs for more girl power in films. At least this is how I see the trend. Because as a woman and a mother, I want to see movies that represent my gender as […]
Backlash: The Undeclared War Against American Women, the 15th Anniversary Edition, by Susan Faludi Below is an excerpt from Susan Faludi’s famous Backlash: The Undeclared War Against American Women. It comes from her chapter, “Fatal and Fetal Visions: The Backlash in the Movies.” Hollywood joined the backlash a few years later than the media; movie […]
Sucker punched by “Sucker Punch”– Girls and guns don’t equal female empowerment This is a cross-post from What Tami Said. This really is the best movie ever cuz its like hollywood finally said to me Fuk yeah you my man are all we care about heres some awesome shit for you to get off on and […]