Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Almost doesn't count?

Yeah, but why does the bear get's top billing. SEXIST!

The story: A woman sends a letter requesting Pixar do a movie about a self-reliable young girl who isn't a princess.

The reaction:

The Reaction to the reaction.

The reaction to the reaction to the reaction to the request.

And now for my piece.

I can get behind the Idea of more female lead action-adventure movies. But it comes a point looking back when one seriously wonders "what is exactly necessary for a female character to be widely accepted by women?

Sure, sensible voices might say "a female character that is interesting, smart, and independent". They might cite, Mulan, Ripley. Maybe Lara Croft or Alice from Resident Evil. Or maybe even Pixar's lead in their upcoming "The Bear and the Bow".
Kameo, having her faerie period.

But does apparently don't count. Mulan was co-opted into the Disney Princess marketing branch, which immediately destroys any redeeming quality her character and her adventures might have had. And even if Pixar has output some interesting, multidimensional female characters, and are already planning a future female lead flick, it doesn't count because she's aprincess. Never mind she comply witht he rest of the characteristics in the letter, which I assume was written with the knoweledge before hand. It's like "sure, you haven't been terrible to women and are already planning something which could be good. Pfft, big deal. Why's she a princess. "

But what about Lara Croft and Alice? What about Selene, from Underworld? WHat about Ripley? Well, aparently a female character can't also be pretty, good looking, or sexy. The character might have more depth than any character, but if she's pretty, then any personal traits go directly to the garbage bin.

A pink car? Sculpted body? This is comepletely sexist. I'm going back to Flavor of Love reruns.

It's at this point thet tha logic gets a bit fuzzy. Women want a female character they can identify with, which is not pretty, not a princess, is not sexually atractive in any way. But then they say than men should be able to relate to a character who is a woman. So, is this a game of "how much like me is the character?" or do you want a character that is both a woman and interesting? Because at the end of the day most of action/ adventure movie characters are only partly relatable, but mostly over the top charicatures and generalazations/stereotypes. I don't relate to a scruffy asshole like Dr House, or a corrupt cop from Shield, or even a rough around the edges good guy like Wolverine because I am those things. It's because, at the core the audience understands, or thinks to understand, the character's plight.
In the next scene she wields twin Uzis while flipping in midair.

I am not saying that you shouldn't request for more female leads. Request away! All I am saying is that when you do get those characters, do not find little things to discard them. I'm not telling you to love RE's Alice, or that Chun Li in this year's movie was enough. But treasure the ones that have been. If a princess is gonna be the brave, independent(but anachronical?) soul that will show a girl there is more to life than shopping and boys, then don't be judgemental. It's not all gonna be Million Dollar Babies or Girlfights. But since when are all movies directed at men any more accurate about them, huh?

I also recognize that I am taking multiple opinions from mutliple people. There is no product universally liked. But downplaying female characters over the little stuff only ensures that good character's get overlooked while Lifetime movie channel and Twilight laugh at you all the way to the bank. Good female characters are few and far between. Don't let them go. Don't discourage them.


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