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I'm on holiday...

But really, this article about The Hunger Games spoke to me on a deep level. And I would definitely choose Alice from Resident Evil (no matter how silly the movies are) over Katniss if the zombies were coming. Hell, I'd want Rayne even more.  I also do not like Twilight or THG, and it's an instinctive dislike; I don't want to read a book with characters that are so passive, they depend entirely on the kindness of men to survive.  Seriously.  I can't bear that; more, I can't relate to it.  I don't understand how anyone could think Twilight was romantic; the premise of the first book sounded terrifying to me, not dreamy.  THG (the movie; I did not read the book, because the premise didn't work, somehow.  Probably that instinct again) was okay, I had a good time, but I expected more of the girl who volunteered herself in place of her little sister, whom she knew would not survive.  I expected the anger on the train to translate to anger and a determination that winning was the way to fight the system. Instead, she becomes almost entirely passive; even the "magic bees" that get her away from the strong (and heavily brainwashed) kids - we're supposed to see them as the bad guys, but they're victims of the government just as much, if not more, than Katniss - are pointed out to her by someone else.  All the people with agency (i.e., the ability to make decisions for themselves) in the movie are men.  She has some good ideas, and yes, I really cried when Rue died (um, she also pointed out that the mockingjays were a great signaling system; does Katniss know nothing about the country, even though she supposed to be the food provider for her family?).  I just feel I was told about this kick-ass girl who is killer with a bow and arrow, who provides for her family, whom everyone admires, and I got... not that.  It's why I'm such a huge fan of Michelle Rodriguez, who deliberately painted herself into a casting corner ("tough chick who dies"), because she refused to play female characters that were dependent on male agency.  Now, I don't blame Jennifer Lawrence in the least for taking the role of Katniss - girl's gotta have a career.  I hear she's really good in Silver Linings Playbook.  And the number of female "action hero" roles out there are vanishingly few, plus Milla Jovovich has a lock on the best one. 

(This continues to be the case, despite over ten years of Milla Jovovich making big box office as an action hero.  The same kind of factor applies to Will Smith - black mainstream action heros are vanishingly few, despite Tyler Perry's work in that field.  It's a case of producers saying "well, yes, Milla/Will brought the money in, but that's because she/he's Milla/Will, not because people want female and black heroes".)

Oh, just go read the article, it says it much better than I can, since my ability to speak about my feminism is not particularly well-formed.  It's cool.

This attitude, though it took a lot of years to come out, was planted in me by my mother, who is awesome, not least for her ability to drink any man under the table.  But she's mostly awesome for taking her decision-making as much as possible out of the hands of the men around her, and using it herself.  And she grew up at a time when even the feminists were looking at you funny if you didn't have a man.  She also taught me that being aware of why you're working within the status quo (using makeup, wearing high heels, dyeing my hair to get:  Attention, better jobs, a chance at being let into the halls of power) gives you more power to buck the status quo when needed (which, in her case, was getting a job at The Economist where she could write left-leaning articles that would be read without prejudice by right-leaning people).  I can't claim any such noble goal, and it took marrying a feminist man to get me on track, but part of being a feminist is believing that you really are any man's equal, and acting on it.  I'm doing okay so far.

Thanks, Mum.  Happy Christmas.

Comments

chocolatepot
Dec. 24th, 2012 03:23 pm (UTC)
I thought it was an interesting article, but in the end I can't get on board with it. The idea that women prefer Katniss over Alice in general doesn't make sense to me, because it's predicated on all the women and girls who like Katniss having seen Resident Evil, which IME isn't true, and then on women not getting wish-fulfillment from super-heroes, which again isn't true IME. And I'm a little grossed out by the tone in several paragraphs that he has all the secrets and the women who identify with Katniss or see her as a decent female character for younger girls to be into are deluded and need him to straighten them out, and the line "women still secretly believe they are inferior to men".

Although I'm strongly prejudiced against him because of the "hipsters on food stamps" articles. If someone can't see that my generation's problem finding jobs is at least as much the fault of the economy as our strange insistence on going to college for all sorts of majors, they have some major blinders when it comes to looking at society in general.

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