My intent is not to claim that ‘Twilight’ is a perfect movie, but rather, I want to argue that it has more virtues than it is given credit for, and to point out that its dismissal is frequently based on pervasive sexist attitudes. I am not speaking for the other films in the series — all directed by men — but rather, the first film, which was written and directed by women (Melissa Rosenberg and Catherine Hardwicke, respectively), based on a novel written by a woman. There are many valid reasons why one may not enjoy ‘Twilight,’ but it is important to recognize that it is unfair and sexist to dismiss the film and its fans based on the fact that it is a romance told from a female perspective.
Over and over, violence against Indigenous women is made to titillate, built into narratives along with action, suspense, swashbuckling, and romance. Indigenous women become exotic props, and when we are identified with these dehumanized caricatures, it becomes easier to treat us inhumanely.
Both brutally violent and shockingly sexy, ‘Near Dark’s influence can be felt nearly thirty years later on a new crop of unusual vampire dramas that simultaneously embrace and reject the conventions of the genre. … Yet among all these films about outsiders, ‘Near Dark’ will always have a special place in my heart for being the one to show me that as a filmmaker, I was not alone in the world after all.
In this moment, then, Elena is completely relieved of the conventional position of girl-as-object, and is therefore able to occupy a different position as a desiring subject. By purposefully making herself invisible, Elena momentarily evades and perhaps refuses to be defined by the adult male gaze that governs girlhood.
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.
I would argue that genres dominated by female scopophilia and sexual tension, such as the YA Supernatural Action Romantic Comedy (SARCom) genre, challenge Mulvey’s paradigm and allow us better understanding of the role of desire in shaping visual media.
Over and over, violence against indigenous women is made to titillate, built into narratives along with action, suspense, swashbuckling, and romance. Indigenous women become exotic props, and when we are identified with these dehumanized caricatures, it becomes easier to treat us inhumanely.
I’m hopeful that ‘Divergent,’ as the first installment of the series, is setting Tris up to be a memorable heroine in her own right in the following films. I’m hoping that ‘Divergent’ is the story of the forging of our heroine, the exploration of her talents, abilities, and heart and that the second and third films will show her learning from her experiences, becoming a leader, and inspiring others.
Basically, Brave isn’t really that brave of a film. It’s traipsing through a well-established trope that, though positive, is stagnant. Don’t get me wrong; I love all the prepubescent female power fantasy tales I’ve listed, and I’m grateful that they exist and that I could grow up with many of them. However, we can’t pretend that Brave is pushing any boundaries. It sends the message that little girls can be powerful as long as they remain little girls. The dearth of representations of postpubescent heroines who are not objectified, whose sexuality does not rule their interactions, and who are the heroes of their own stories is appalling.
Written by Amanda Rodriguez. I liked Disney Pixar’s Brave well enough. It’s pretty enough. It’s a story about a mother and daughter, and there was no romance, both of which are nice; though, as I’ll show, neither are as uncommon as they might initially appear. I didn’t find the feminist qualities of this movie to […]
This guest post by Tanya Erzen is part of a blog tour to promote the release of her newest book, Fanpire: The Twilight Saga and the Women Who Love It, which you can purchase at the Beacon Press website. Other blogs participating in the tour include Women and Hollywood, Feminism and Religion, Fangtastic Books, […]