Tag Archives: Feminist

It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad World

All Cards on the table:  Going in to see Max Mad: Fury Road, I knew less than nothing about the franchise.  I knew it was a franchise called Mad Max, and I picked up from the previews that it was set in a post-apocalyptic world.  Other than that, I really knew nothing at all about the goddamn films, but the previews for this one made me want to see it and hard.

Good, good decision.  Go see it.  Go.  Now.

In a post apocalyptic wasteland, what are the two most important resources?  Water … and women.

Okay, phrased like that, it sounds pretty horrible.  But really, think about it.  Most of the human race is decimated, oil is basically nonexistent, water is a precious commodity (can’t grow food, or control the masses without it).  In order for the human race to continue, what do we need to do?  We need to reproduce.  And we don’t just need to reproduce, we need to have healthy children, with a healthy gene-pool.  Otherwise, not only have we broken the world, but we’ve effectively wiped the human race off the planet.

Water and Women.  Truly, the most precious commodities in the entire Mad Max verse.  And yet, somehow they made this apparent without being something that made my inner feminist want to punch things in the face.  The female characters started as people that were irritating and sheltered, but they did this thing, and here’s the part that I liked, they grew as people.  That’s the whole difference.  That’s what takes what could have been a teeth grinding anti-feminist issue into something believable, something epic.

Women are actually the only precious commodity that they seem to value at all, in fact. The wars that broke the world were about oil, yet they spend their days in modified 4-wheelers and other cars that have been modified into flame spouting war machines.  Water is rare and controlled, yet they find the time to bathe the sexy women in true Sports Illustrated fashion.  Yet somehow, who the hell cares about the realism?  The movie was epic.  The special effects were even more epic.  The explosions are goddamned amazing.

On the same note, though, those wasteful ridiculous moments are clearly a commentary on our waste in the modern, real, world.  We’re very close to an oil crisis, but do you see anyone slowing down on consumption?  Nope.  We actually have a drought in California, one that’s going to have devastating effects on agriculture for the world, and what are we doing about it in the rest of the country?  Turning a blind eye and turning on our sprinklers.  Seriously, for an action packed, action movie, there was some serious commentary on the world, if you took a moment to look.

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Is it possible? A Female Joker?

If you haven’t watched the last two episodes of Gotham stop now.  Seriously stop reading.  There are heavy duty spoilers ahead.  Why are you still here?  SPOILERS AHOY!

Evan and I finished the last couple episodes of Gotham last night and they were pretty good, considering it felt that for most of the season the show sort of floundered.  Batman’s a hard genre to tackle in a real world setting and I’m not sure they got it quite right for most of the season.  Until Fish returned.  Now she stank of Batman-villain and it was glorious.  Anyway, that’s not the point of this post.

The point is as follows:  When the season started, I heard rumors that by end of the season they were planning on introducing the Joker.  So, needless to say, I had high expectations for the season finale.  Now, you’ll have to forgive me, we binge watched the last two episodes so I don’t remember exactly what happened in the second-to-last versus the last.

Barbara is kidnapped and in true Stockholm Syndrome fashion is asked by the man who kidnapped her and claims to love her “Who do you want me to kill?”  Via some police work, Gordon learns that they’re on their way up to Barbara’s parents’ house.  We see Barbara and her kidnapper speaking to her parents and she whispers, “Please.”  The next time we see Barbara, her eyes are totally blank and her dress has blood on it.  She is rescued, but her parents are already dead.

The creepy-ass blank look in Barbara’s eyes, this is clearly why they hired this actress, which I truly never understood before.  This was also when an idea started to come to me.  Was it possible that Barbara was the Joker?  Wouldn’t that turn the fandom on it’s head?  I’d away suspected that Gordon’s current girlfriend was being set up to be Harley Quinn and we know from her relationships in the comics that she swings a little bit both ways (Hello, Poison Ivy).

During the last episode of the season, there’s a mob war going on between Falcone and Marconi, facilitated by Penguin.  It’s a pretty epic war, and what makes it most epic is Fish and Selina Kyle’s appearance.  During all of this, Barbara is being counseled by Gordon’s girlfriend.  She is pushing Barbara to talk about what happened at her parents’ house.  She wants Barbara to talk out her problems, when it turns out that Barbara’s problems are really reality.  She feels “this is the dream […] that [she] will wake up and he will be alive and coming for [her].”  Which the Doc interprets as an unrealistic fear – I interpret as wishful.  She then tells the Doc that she killed her parents.  I believe that she had fallen in love with her captor, that he had turned her, convinced her that this crazy, murderer was her true self.

I have come to believe that Barbara could be the Joker!  That it would be a truly awesome turn.  It would, as I stated previously, turn the entire fandom on it’s head.  But!  Imagine the merch!  Imagine the cosplay!   If they do it correctly, imagine the most epic female villain in the entire Batman universe!  Joker has always played chaotic evil, what would be more chaotic than to change his evil persona to her evil persona.  I would be truly excited to see the next season.  It could give the show the character that it so badly needs – it could give the show the direction that it needs to continue.  Or it could crash and burn.  But I would truly love to see that.  It would be an amazing experiment in making the Joker longer living – what if he’s not a single man, but the mantle is passed down from crazy to crazy?  What if this time it’s a woman?  Joker’s so mutilated that it’s impossible or should be to truly identify even the gender of the Joker.  Especially since Gotham‘s sort of kind of in modern times with possible facial recognition?  Is it possible that this is why Joker cuts off his face in the new comics?  Is it possible that he handed his mantle to a woman?

Apparently I’m a conspiracy theorist!  JOKER IS A WOMAN.  JOKER IS A WOMAN.  BELIEVE IT.

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We Finish Each Other’s … Sandwiches

What Now

So, when they started showing previews for Frozen, I had no bloody idea what the previews were for.   I had very little interest in seeing the movie because I didn’t know what it was.  Now, for me, this is strange.  When the nominees for the 2012 Academy Awards were announced, I had seen one movie up for best film and all of the movies up for Best Animated Movie.   So, really, the fact that this movie started getting such glowing reviews and I didn’t know what it was about was frustrating the hell out of me.  Finally someone told me that it was quote, “a Disney Princess movie with a feminist twist.”  I still didn’t know what the fuck that meant.  But, honestly, it sums up the movie pretty damned well.

Frozen is a story of sisters.  Let’s stop right there.  That in itself makes this story different and more feminist than the rest of the Disney Princess movies.  I didn’t say, “Frozen is a love story,” (which it is) I said, “Frozen is a story of sisters.”  That’s amazing.  Recently Pixar had their first female protagonist, Brave.  Now this.  Evan put it best.  The girls that grew up with Disney Princesses are now creating Disney princesses of their very own.

Elsa is the elder sister and is born with this power of ice and snow.  One night, her younger sister Anna wakes her up to play in the ballroom with her magics.  An accident occurs that makes Elsa hide her magic from everyone, including Anna.  She shuts Anna out, completely.  Until the day of her coronation, Elsa hides, but then her emotion gives her away and she runs.  The main journey is Anna’s journey to rescue her sister from herself.  But, can we take a moment to realize that this is the story of two completely different, completely independent, girls growing into themselves and becoming women?  How amazing is that? A story of womanhood?
One where the moral is, “yes, falling in love is nice, but we don’t need it to solve our problems.”

Men, I’m sorry.  Sisters before misters.

Also, can we take a moment to talk about how beautiful the animation is in Frozen?
Angels sing.

It felt nostalgically like the animation and passion in the old Disney movies with a modern sensibility in the story. (side note: how sad is that, that ‘a story of womanhood’ is considered modern).  There was a sense of romantic beauty that’s been missing from Disney in recent movies.  It doesn’t need to be all about impressing the boy to be romantically beautiful.  There’s a sort of soft loving beauty to the way that Frozen was animated.



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