Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Feminist Horror

Even if you aren't a horror movie fan, you probably know some of the basic horror movie conventions (virgins live, the Final Girl, killer is not really dead, power outages... etc.) that tend to rule the genre. Among these, women tend to have pretty lame roles. They are generally victims, the skank who gets knocked off mid-film, or the virgin Final Girl.

The Bitch Magazine blogs have been doing a series of posts this month about feminism and horror movies, since horror movies with a feminist edge are hard to find. I've been really enjoying these posts, and have been keeping a list of movies to see.

Here are some that I've watched recently:

Right? How had I not seen this? This isn't the most feminist-y movie out there, but what I like about Scream boils down to this:
1.) I love how it's a movie that's really conscious of the genre. Throughout the movie, the characters make comments about what's happening in comparison to horror movies, which really brings to light the ridiculousness of some horror movie conventions.
2.) The main character is female, and she's not dumb or blonde!
3.) And there are two strong female characters who end up more or less saving the day. Or you know... what could be salvaged.
I think Scream has some feminist worth, and in any case, it revitalized the slasher film, and is as funny as it is good.

Jennifer's Body (2009): I didn't see this when it came out in theaters, because it got a lot of positive hype before it came out, and once it did, bombed. So, unsure of whether I wanted to watch 2 hours of something potentially crappy, I put it off. I did end up liking the movie. I didn't love it, but I tend to agree with the positive reviews that say this movie has a feminist message. Negative reviews that complain about the movie being faux-feminsit I think are kind of shallow. To reiterate what the positive reviews say (sort of), Jennifer's Body does contain feminist messages because:
1.) Amanda Seyfried saves the day. She gets sent to jail because of it, but... it's understandable. She escapes to go kill the rock band that destroyed her best friend. So, in effect, she's going to the root of the problem. She had to kill Jennifer's body because Jennifer was a demon, the real Jennifer had already been killed by Adam Brody's satanic band.
2.) It's not a revenge movie. A lot has been written about the kinds of revenge-flicks like I Spit on Your Grave or the Last House on the Left as containing horrible messages about sexuality and women, but that's not what Jennifer's Body is about. Sure, Jennifer (Megan Fox) goes on a killing(/eating) spree of teenage boys, but it's not for revenge. Her dependency on human flesh isn't exclusively male either--which some people have complained that even the powerful demon is dependent on boys. Nope. She just needed human flesh, and found it easier to feed on boys, easier to get into compromising positions than girls.
3.) It passes the Bechdel test. Even though passing the Bechdel test is not an automatic pass into feminist-territory, it's certainly a step. Needy and Jennifer (Amanda Seyfried and Megan Fox) are friends, do not talk about boys constantly, and while both embody teenage girl stereotypes (whore/virgin), they both possess qualities that they envy in each other. Needy's character is much more admirable, and even though Jennifer is hot, Needy is her only friend. As the movie goes on, and Needy realizes the urgency of the situation, she gets more bold and strong. Two of the guys Jennifer goes after aren't just to eat, but are to terrorize Needy. This is girl-on-girl crime a-la Mean Girls... but the mean girls are one girl and she's a demon.
4.) In my opinion, the movie is pointing out some of the conventional exploitative elements of horror movies. Jennifer's body is put on display throughout the movie, but Needy doesn't follow the same pure-virgin conventions of her character type. Needy has sex, but that's not a death sentence for her as it is for most non-virgins in horror movies. And often the final girl ends up bloody, clothing ripped, and hair wet for a messy but still-sexy final scene. Needy gets bloody and messy, but it's not to be sexy. In her first fight scene with Jennifer, she's wearing a ridiculous poofy dress, a clear nod to the fact that girls in horror movies often end up fighting baddies in something inconvenient.
There are a lot of other things to talk about in the movie, but overall, I liked it and thought it was pretty thought-provoking.

This movie was on the Bitch list for feminist horror movies. It's an interesting re-make of the classic werewolf movie, with puberty/menstruation being directly related with transforming into a werewolf. The sequels look busted, so I'm not going to bother, but I appreciated Ginger Snaps for being a good alternative horror movie with some really strong feminist themes.

And if you're a fan of the oldies, but still want some feminist horror, try...

The Stepford Wives (1975)

Klute (1971)

(Side note: Klute remains the scariest movie I have ever seen... aside from having the creepiest soundtrack ever, it's also just terrifying. I watched it first in a film class and I screamed. In class. Other people did too.)

Carrie (1976)

Monday, October 25, 2010

Man Repelling: A Retrospective.

After a conversation Emma and I had over Skype last week, I've been thinking a lot about man-repelling, and how I am so very good at it.
My newest purchase, sure to cause some man-repelling when I return state-side

I went out this weekend with my friends, and wearing my new crazyboots and my signature flowy cardigan (it matches nearly everything and it's easy to wash club-nastiness out of), my friends as usual commented, "Liz, you look too classy. Look at you in your boots and your clutch. Who are you?"
"I feel like those boots are something a really kooky 40 year old mom would own."
"I dress like a women's studies professor, I know." I said.
"That is the best thing I've ever heard."

Let me back up. The term "man-repelling" that I am using here comes from the hilarious blog, The Man Repeller. As defined by the Man Repeller herself, Leandra Medine, man-repelling is:


outfitting oneself in a sartorially offensive way that will result in repelling members of the opposite sex. Such garments include but are not limited to harem pants, boyfriend jeans, overalls (see: human repelling), shoulder pads, full length jumpsuits, jewelry that resembles violent weaponry and clogs.
–verb (used without object),-pell·ing, -pell·ed.
So... I've been reading this blog for a little while, after I was linked to it on the Bust blogs. And while the stuff that's usually on the blog is way more outlandish (and expensive) than the repertoire in my wardrobe, talking to Emma last week about our inclinations toward man-repelling items made me realize... I am a true man-repeller.

I mean, other than having been told by several men that I am intimidating and occasionally emasculating, my fashion tendencies often cause confusion for man-brains.

Example 1: I like neon. I love neon. A couple years ago Last year at Christmas, my dad gave everyone in the family wind-up flashlights, all in normal silver color. However, there were two neon yellow ones. I was of course, excited, and also greedy, and as he'd asked me to hand them out, I was trying to figure out a way for me to end up with one of the neon flashlights. Thankfully, I was saved from being devious on Christmas when he said, "And the bright yellow ones are for my daughters, who have such an affinity toward neon." Yes!! Score!

me in a bright yellow (and designer) trench
also a fashionable British Airways eye-mask

Example 2: I love retro stuff. This is a love that started early for me, and in 8th grade, my friend Sarah and I, in true fashion of future man-repellers, went to our eighth grade semi-formal wearing 80s bridesmaid dresses. We were inspired by Romey & Michelle's High School Reunion, a movie featuring 2 fabulous man repellers. Since then, collecting strange and impractical vintage outfits has been a hobby of mine.
on a snow day, my man-repeller roommate (but not really because she has a boyfriend, she's a secret M-R) and I decided to not do homework and instead have a photo shoot of us in man-repelling outfits
This gem is a southern belle dress I found in Texas. I wore it to my friend's birthday tea-party. The tea kind, not the conservative kind.

I wore vintage to prom senior year... obviously.

Example 3: My love of fashionable denim. I think this one really confuses men. Man-brains see denim and think: Cowboys! Working on the farm! Levi's! But since denim has been re-reincorporated into high fashion, they are not sure what to do.
me, a fashion monster.

I love the Man Repeller blog for many reasons.
1.) Obviously, I relate.
2.) Leandra points out all the ridiculousness of high fashion. It's somewhat of a love-hate relationship. You can look fabulous(or fabulously WEIRD), but that likely means your clothing is a form of contraceptive.
3.) After pointing out how ridiculous and man-repelling these outfits are, there's often a picture of Leandra in a similar outfit.

And finally, besides pointing out the fallacies of high fashion, I like that the blog implicitly brings up the interesting question: Who should women be dressing for?

As I am a normal American type girl, I have grown up reading fashion magazines (GL, YM, Seventeen, Teen Vogue, Elle Girl, Cosmo Girl, Teen, Vogue, Elle) and have gleaned various things about the ways that magazines want me to dress. YM, Seventeen, and GL generally feature(/featured, YM no longer exists) affordable clothing, while Vogue, Elle and their teen version counterparts tend to feature more outlandish (man repelling?) high fashion outfits out of reach for most teenagers living off of babysitting money.

Being the natural man-repeller I am, I always tended to like the more unattainable or outlandish outfits in Elle and Vogue than the Hollister/Abercrombie type things in the mainstream teen magazines. (And often tried to emulate the outlandish outfits as best and cheaply I could.)

However, I did read these things cover to cover a long time ago, and the mainstream magazines are very intent on selling a certain image of what a girl should look/act like. (I always had such a problem with the quizzes... stuff like, "Is he a flirt or a friend?" Partly because they're dumb, but also partly because I rarely had an answer that fit one of the choices.) Not just through clothing, but through dating advice, health advice, and beauty advice, the messages were pretty clear. Teen girls should act like this, wear that, and buy those. For purporting to be magazines about teen girls, these kinds of magazines spend a lot of time on consumerism and boys.

Anyway, back to the question. Who should girls dress for? Well, first of all, I'd like to point out that boys certainly don't dress for girls. If that were true, they'd all be wearing suits. (Fun fact: half the reason girls sign up for Model UN in high school is that you get to meet boys from other schools and everyone has to wear "Western Business Attire." AKA suits. Okay maybe that was only true for me and my friends... but I bet it's true for others as well.) Or dressing like Ralph Lauren Models.

awwww yeah. The female gaze is real.

Hm. Now I'm distracted. Where was I? Anyway, this is a feminist question ... OBVIOUSLY... since it brings in all sorts of social conditioning. What about girls who like girls? What about people whose personal styles don't mesh with teen magazines? What about girls who can only afford to shop at Walmart? The correct answer is that we should be dressing to like, keep from exposing ourselves in public. I don't wanna be nekkid. And then beyond that, it's my opinion that clothing is a form of expression, and if you are dressing for a person in particular (male or female) or because a magazine told you to dress a certain way, you're misrepresenting yourself.

"Man-Repelling" outfits are fun, but sure to cause confusion. Wearing a mini skirt and boots might not man-repel (unless you have a particularly man-repelling personality... as I do). Personally, I think I'm in between. While I occasionally like to be a subject of the male gaze (in Ecuador I tend to not... because the male-gaze here is really creepy and aggressive about it), I do enjoy my patterned boots and sequined dresses and denim jumpers and belts that don't actually hold clothing up. I love my big plastic jewelry and wooden earrings shaped like animals and really impractical high heels in really impractical colors. All of those things are FUN. Whatever I'm wearing, I usually feel good in it, so it doesn't really matter to me who's being attracted or repelled by it.


Sunday, October 24, 2010

Vid to watch

Now this is a teen band I'd like to see more of. Care Bears on Fire, 3 teenage girls from New York, are an all-female punk-rock band, which despite their age, are pretty legit. I love their sassy video to "Barbie Eat a Sandwich" and kind of wish I was a teenager again so I could listen to these girls... Just kidding, age of musicians has never stopped me before, I'm even a huge fan of 9 year old Willow Smith's debut single "Whip My Hair" (it's awesome.)

Anyway, I've been listening to a lot of Riot Grrrl music this weekend, and I'm glad that I stumbled upon their video (it came out in 2009, the band has been together since 2005). As the Riot Grrl movement sort of died with the 90's, it's nice to see there are some (really) young girls rocking out and making sweet, feminist music.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Women and Comedy

Okay, so first off, let me say I love this new Bo Burnham video.

But however funny it may be, it's another testament to the male-dominance in comedy. Bleaaaugh!

College Humor videos are notoriously male-dominated, with a only a few reoccurring female comedians. This is definitely a pattern in comedy.

For example, funny movies featuring male actors (Role Models, the 40 year old Virgin, Knocked Up, and basically anything by Judd Apatow) are comedies. Funny movies featuring female actors are romantic comedies. What the flip, man!? Girls are funny too, give us our time to shine!

Both articles, implicitly and explicitly, point out the problem that... men are threatened by funny females. So... tragically, the guys I am likely to find attractive because they are funny will likely think I'm too funny to be attractive. This is a paradox. I mean, look at the tragedy in Funny Girl.

The fact is, that women have been getting more and more prominent in comedy as time goes on. Hopefully this means that men of the future will be socialized to thinking that funny ladies are... sexy? Many of my friends are ladies, and I would say that most of them are funny, and many of those funny girls are very funny people. Not "funny for a girl," but "hilarious for a human being in general." I know male-dominated comedy bothers a lot of my funny friends who have realized there are too many lame roles for girls. While a lot of comedy skits portray men as the funny stars, women tend to be props (see the Bo Burnham video.), girlfriends, or the straight-man (meaning they "don't get" the man's jokes or are serious).

One of the ways to fix this is to get... more women in comedy. Hellooooo, Tina Fey! (my hero!) Women who write comedy tend to write more funny roles for women, or at least have more of a gender balance in the funny department. Like the UK pointed out, men want women to appreciate their comedy, and are threatened when women make their own. To that I say, ladies! Sharpen your comedic weapons! We're gunna go cut some vestiges of patriarchy down!

And here are some vids for you:

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Ain't Nothin but a She Thing

I like hip-hop a lot, but it tends to be a male-dominated genre. And sadly, there's very female little presence currently in popular hip-hop. And what there is pales in comparison to the pioneering ladies of early hip-hop.

I've posted Queen Latifah videos before, but I haven't talked about Salt-N-Pepa, the best-selling female rap group ever. They're feminist, they can spit it, and they remain classics. "Whatta Man," "Let's Talk About Sex," and "Push It" come to mind when you think of the group, but songs like "Independent," "Ain't Nuthin but a She Thing" really portray their views on feminism, women, and female hip-hop. From the mid-80's through the 90's, Salt-N-Pepa rapped openly about sexuality, not just having sex but enjoying it and commending men who treat women right, social problems, racism, and just being generally awesome.

And when you compare "Ain't Nuthin but a She Thing" (1995) to Dr. Dre & Snoop Dogg's "Ain't Nuthin' but a G Thang" (1993), you have to admit, Salt-N-Pepa are more creative. Rapping about status and drugs and sex are standard fare for male rap artists, but rapping about sexism and being an intelligent woman are much less common. (Not to knock on Dre and Snoop--love their classic, but I'm a bigger fan of Salt-N-Pepa's version.)

In general, I wish mainstream hip-hop would go back to the great lyricism and creativity there was in the 80's and early 90s, but I especially wish this for female artists. I hope they can stop trying to keep up with the (mediocre) mainstream male artists and look back to their feminist, female hip hop predecessors.

You got to understand it's a she thang
We got the power, yeah, you know the deal
So you go, girl (You go, girl!), it ain't no man's world
You can do anything (You can do anything), do what you feel
-Salt-N-Pepa, "Aint Nuthin' but a She Thing"

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Get Ready to Cry

I'm a huge fan of the It Gets Better series, although it has some extremely tragic origins. But this is one of the best videos I've seen so far.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Better Late Than Never, Right?

I loved Veronica right off the bat. She was so strong and I think it is so important because there are so few shows that portray women, especially young women, as being strong and being able to stand up for themselves.
-Kirsten Bell

I've been hearing good things about Veronica Mars for the past couple years, and unfortunately, not listened to them.

HOWEVER, the magic that is Netflix Instantwatch has helped show me the light, and I must say, I am a huge Veronica Mars fan now. In the few days I had at home before I came to Ecuador (there is no Netflix Instantwatch outside of the US) I sped through 2 and a half seasons. Unhealthy? Maybe. Awesome? Yes.

And due to the magic that is Ecuadorian bootlegs, I know own season 1! Hooray!

The show is not without its problems, and there are plenty of articles online discussing the show's sometimes problematic portrayal of rape and the hot mess-ness of season 3. Season 1 and 2, are, for the most part, aaaaa-mazing. The show's writing is just really fabulous. It's as funny as it is dramatic, and the dialogue is just really great.

I like Kirsten Bell a lot. Even though she's blonde and small, she's spunky and interesting. While I wish there were more seasons of Veronica Mars, I do enjoy the ones that exist, and I look forward to upcoming Kirsten Bell projects. (Burlesque!)

When I see something unjust, I have to intervene - it's hard for me to watch the underdog suffer.
-Kirsten Bell

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

The least I can do is speak for those who can't speak for themselves.
-Jane Goodall

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Can't be TAMED!

“Girls are immediately going to say, ‘Oh, she’s trying to sell sex.’ Well, I love Zac Efron, but what’s he selling? He’s gorgeous, he’s hot, I don’t go see his movie because I’m like, ‘He’s such a fantastic actor.’ He’s a great actor, but he’s hot. He’s just not in a leotard with his legs out. He has his shirt off. So what’s the difference? In ‘High School Musical’… he’s in basketball shorts and his cutoff tank top and all the girls are dying. It just isn’t as obvious when guys do it. I was on tour with the Jonas Brothers my first year and boy bands get away with a lot. For girls, it’s always going to be harder. That’s not an excuse, it just means we have to work harder.”

-Miley Cyrus

I'm not ashamed. I like Miley Cyrus. When her new album came out this summer my friend Sam and I gleefully ran out to Walmart and split the cost (sorry, Miley. We didn't download it illegally!), called it "Our Cy" (our clever play on the nickname, "Mi Cy"), and listened to it on repeat. (The album is fantastic.) I don't think she's a perfect role model, but I appreciate that she seems like a a very real 17 year old (... popstar-millionaire) who makes mistakes but apologizes for them later and is weird and crazy and very much herself.

PS: The Miley parody from SNL was perfect.

Girl Scouts

This is the newest PSA that the Girl Scouts of America have released. ... and yes, I do subscribe to their channel on youtube.

I'll admit. I didn't even know GSUSA had a youtube channel until a little while ago when I was linked to this video called "Changing the Face of Fashion" which they were using to advertise their It's Your Story campaign.

I was a Girl Scout once. I know, surprise, surprise. For some reason I think GSUSA gets a lot of undeserved flack for ... I don't know. Being a sort of dorky organization? I was only a girl scout through 6th grade (seven years total), and well, while the uniforms are kind of unfortunate, it was basically the only activity I was involved in other than choruses and casual sports until high school. I learned how to pitch a tent, how to cook food over a fire, how to tie knots, the importance of community service, fundraising tactics, how to escape a kidnapper (not kidding, we had a self-defense expert come in one time)... all sorts of useful things. And for being "dorky," it's probably one of the most progressive organizations that girls between the ages of 5 and 18 can be involved in. There are a lot of organizations that work with girls to create leadership and growth opportunities (Girls Inc is a notable one), but few are as widespread and large as GSUSA.

Which is not to say there aren't issues within the organization (but those are mainly people-based), but overall it's a great organization for girls. And you know, the fact that it tends to piss conservatives off, that's just icing on the cake.
The Girl Scouts allow homosexuals and atheists to join their ranks, and they have become a pro-abortion, feminist training corps. If the Girl Scouts of America can't get back to teaching real character, perhaps it will be time to look for our cookies elsewhere.
-Hans Zeiger, Republican state representative hopeful in Washington state.
This statement was pretty readily mocked by... pretty much everyone, and Zeiger himself tried to delete the statement from his website... but too late for the savvy, liberal internet people. I've read this statement several times over on various liberal and/or feminist websites, but my favorite response comes from Nerve online:

Those green vests are pretty gay, but something just doesn't add up here. I mean, if all Girl Scouts went on to become either homosexual women or straight baby killers, then there would be no more girls, and thus no more Girl Scouts. And if there are no Girl Scouts, there are no Girl Scout cookies. And if there are no Girl Scout cookies, then... then there is no God, oh shit, Hans Zeiger is right! Noooooo!

Clearly someone is thinking straight.

Anyway, GSUSA is definitely something that I'll continue to follow.

Want your Girl Scout fix but can't wait for cookie season? Watch Troop Beverly Hills! It's about the fictional Wilderness Girls, but in any case... it's hilarious.

Wait... this is about what again?

I received this yesterday:
One of my friends has suggested that we women should do something special on facebook in order to increase awareness of October Breast Cancer Awareness month. It's so easy to do, that I'd love you to join in to make this a memorable online event.
Last year, the idea was to post the colour of the bra you were wearing on facebook...and it left men wondering for days, why women were posting colours, seemingly at random.
This year's game has to do with your handbag/purse, where we put our handbag the moment we get home; for example "I like it on the couch", "I like it on the kitchen counter", "I like it on the dresser". Well u get the idea. Just put your answer as your status (i.e. don't respond to this message, but put it on your status) - and cut n paste this message and forward to all your FB female friends to their inbox.
The bra game made it to the news. Let's get the purse in as well and see how powerful we women really are!!! REMEMBER - DO NOT PUT YOUR ANSWER AS A REPLY TO THIS MESSAGE- PUT IT IN YOUR STATUS!!! PASS THIS TO EVERYONE YOU KNOW!
... Really?

This is the kind of faux-female empowerment shit I hate. The we're-in-on-the-joke-so-it's-okay-to-be-being-sexist. Yes, this is sexist. It's girls being sexist to themselves.

First of all, this facebook meme isn't even about breast cancer awareness. The meme is about boys. It's trying to convince girls that they are, in fact, the lucky ones here who get to be tricky and silly and titillating. I'm no prude, but shouldn't breast cancer awareness be about... trying to raise awareness instead of trying to raise pants tents?

Oh, and yeah, October isn't just Breast Cancer Awareness Month, it's also Domestic Violence Awareness month.

And to raise some... REAL awareness...

Domestic, an online resource

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

The Face of Exploitation

Did you know there are an estimated 27 million modern slaves around the world? (Click here for more facts.) During the times of the transatlantic slave trade, it's estimated that between 9 and 12 million Africans were forced into slavery in the Americas. In a time when slavery is illegal worldwide, how come there are twice as many slaves as more than two-hundred years ago?

1.) Economic desperation: Many people sell themselves or are sold into slavery in an effort to support their families. This rarely turns out to benefit anyone.

2.) Disregard for human worth: There have been some very highly publicized cases in the past twenty years of ambassadors and politicians in Washington DC who have been caught owning slaves or domestic workers who worked for slave wages. When someone who has so much power feels like they should be able to personally own another human being, this shows that there is some serious power-play and lack of respect for other humans. Can you imagine believing yourself to be so much better than someone else that you could own them? (I wish I could remember names, but I can't. The great book Global Woman has some really good discussions about modern slaves.) And then of course there are the "regular people" who purchase sex from slaves, who go on "sex tours" of underdeveloped nations and have sex with children, and cannot rationalize with worth of other human beings (often of another race). When did humanity get so heartless? Or have we always been this way?

There are a lot more contributing reasons to why modern slavery is so prevalent. And fortunately, in the past few years, there has been a lot more press about it and strides are being made to help survivors.

The 2005 Lifetime movie Human Trafficking gave a lot of people their first exposure to the realities of modern slavery

The article "21st Century Slaves" from a 2003 issue of National Geographic was sort of a turning point for me. When I was 13, I was shocked to learn that there were modern slaves in the world, and that some of them even lived in the US. After reading that article, I knew that I would be involved in human rights somehow when I was older. I can't find the full article online, but here's an excerpt.

So what can be done? Here are some ways to fight modern slavery.

To report trafficking crimes to the U.S. Department of Justice, or to get help, call its toll-free hotline at 1-888-428-7851.

Standing Against Global Exploitation: both an online resource and an organization working with survivors of human trafficking, the SAGE Project is working to end human trafficking and remediate its effects. They also have a men's program, because not all people who are trafficked are women.

Apne Aap Women Worldwide fights sex trafficking in India and supports the women and girls it helps free.

International Justice Mission is a human rights agency that works to help victims of trafficking maintain their rights to live free from slavery.

The Somaly Mam Foundation was started by a woman who was formerly trafficked herself, and fights to save the lives of women and children in Cambodia from the effects of sex slavery.

Vital Voices fights for women's rights worldwide, and has been especially involved in fighting human trafficking.

Human is a web resource about human trafficking worldwide and how to combat it.

Amnesty International is also involved in the fight against human trafficking, and has many affiliated organizations working to end modern slavery listed on their website.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Whip it!

I may or may not be ruining the legal film industry, but I am sure that I am supporting a lot of nice Ecuadorian families with the American glee with which I buy bootlegs here. They're cheaper than renting in the US, so I am definitely taking advantage of my time here to catch up on the movies that I missed in theaters, was "waiting to rent," or was too embarrassed to see in theaters. (Ahem... 17 Again... terrible movie by the way. I should have just paid attention to the review on F-Bomb... I agreed with all points.)

So, after watching two horribly clich├ęd movies (17 Again and Valentine's Day), I watched WHIP IT, which... why the hell haven't I seen this movie before now? First of all, it has a rockin' cast of feministy actresses (Ellen Page, Marcia Gay Harden, Drew Barrymore, Kirsten Wiig, Juliette Lewis, Alia Shawkat, and Eve), and was just a really good movie. I'm kind of a sucker for sports movies (I really don't know why... I'm going to estimate that I've spent more time watching sports movies than I have spent playing or watching sports in real life), and those tend to be kind of male dominated. But Whip It, about one girl's (Ellen Page) coming into herself at the Texas Roller Derby is a totally badass sports movie about ladies. The cast is majority female, and it's clear that these women are tough, strong, and capable athletes as well as regular people during the day (loooved Kirsten Wiig's character). Friendship as well as badassness is central to the movie, and it gets pulled off in a pretty NOT CHEESY WAY (why does this seem like such a difficult feat for most screenwriters?).

ALSO, I did appreciate how the movie strayed away from adding the cheesy romantic make-up, like most movies do. (I watched The Last Song last week--I like Miley Cyrus, okay?--and while I acknowledge it's terrible, I enjoyed it, but did snort really loudly when the guy comes back in the end.) There are so many movies that have these like... unnecessary romantic plot lines that just feel like they're tossed in to satisfy this ridiculous pattern that movies about women must feature a romance of some kind.

Anyway, I'm super pleased with this one, and am definitely adding this to my list of favorite feminist flicks.

Quote of the Day

"If you say you're not a feminist, you're almost denying your own existence. To be a feminist is to be alive."

-Margaret Cho