Saturday, July 30, 2011

Women in Stories: Brain Stew

Hello, Reader. I'm a bit frazzled at the moment. Moving is exhausting. This will be our 6th move in 7 years--and it's not even permanent. We're actually HOPING to move again in the next year. After that, they may have to pry me out of wherever I end up.

To escape the apartment full of boxes, Curt and I went to see Cowboys and Aliens last night.


Just, ugh.

Ugh because I'm so fed up with movies with predominantly female casts being considered movies strictly "for women" (ditto for movies with, say, an all African-American cast being "for African Americans"). Yet this movie--almost ENTIRELY male and with constant references to "being a man" in the most limited, archaic, gun-toting sense, is marketed to everyone. At least I thought it was anyway.

The movie is just disappointing. Stale, stereotypes walking around in place of characters. Major plot holes (as Curt said, "no one keeps their cattle right next to a big hole in the fence." STUPID ALIENS), and the another lame excuse for a female character. But I won't go into it to avoid spoilers for those of you who can't help but waste your money on it.

Anyway, there has been a lot on my mind lately about women in stories. Obviously I think about this all the time, but there have been a slew of articles lately that really got me thinking and fuming. We apparently have the Smurfs movie to thank for this, in part.

I know this is going to sound lazy--I suppose it is--but rather than attempt to add anything useful a few days before my move in my current brain haze, I'm just going to provide the links and hope you read and watch and that we can continue this conversation.

Because we need to be having this conversation. Even if you are on board with me and think that men and women--while admittedly different in certain ways--are PEOPLE. I discovered tonight that even my twin hasn't really thought about this. Not the way I have. Maybe she will never agree with me. But right now, I don't think she's really thought about it.

So please, read and listen. Join the conversation, and spread it. Women are people. Men are people. Stories matter. They tell us how to be. They tell us how we are, and what we think, and what we SHOULD think.

Okay, enough vague proselytizing from me. Here are the links:

Max Barry's "Dogs and Smurfs" post, July 8, 2011

Jason Richards' article "The Problem With Smurfette," featured in The Atlantic, July 28, 2011

The Escapist's Extra Credits vlog "True Female Characters" (on characters in video games), March 10, 2011

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