Thursday, January 30, 2014

A Feminist Perspective (Gasp!)

Feminism, why is that such a pejorative? Why is it scary? Does it mean that we want to castrate all men on the planet? Maybe...But still, there's no harm in examining media using the feminist prism is there? And why the eff not? Considering that most media, particularly cinema is an exclusive 'gentlemen's club' it's a breath of fresh air when we get a view of the feminine gaze. 
I'd like to introduce a website that my friend brought to my attention that does exactly that. Examines film and television through the feminist lens. Finally. This is not to say that they only deal with material like 'Girls' or Frances Ha (2013), or even The Hunger Games trilogy. They're going at it completely and thoroughly and providing a refreshing perspective from some of the greatest female minds out there on the interwebs, yeah guess what there are a bunch of those, myself included. 
Let's back track a whiiiiiiile. Back in the day (30's to about 70's) there were three roles out there for a female actress to play those being; the whore, the mother, or the wife. All were in one way or another secondary and in a lot of cases degrading. They either served as a support system for the primary male character or an antagonist to the male hero. Now obviously, things are different. Women are at the forefront of cinema and television, and not just in front of the camera either. From Kathryn Bigelow being the first woman in history to win Best Director for The Hurt Locker (2011), to (I hate to say it) Lena Dunham writing and directing, as well as starring in her own HBO series 'Girls' which has garnered astounding critical acclaim and a rather significant following. The march for equality moves on and is assaulting archaic and passe rules instituted on the media by the male executive, male protagonist, and male consumer.
The masthead. 
The website is appropriately called Bitchflicks (BitchFlicks) and focuses its attention on the entire scope of the media today approaching it with snark, sarcasm, clout, and everything else we women are best at. Also, let's face it, we might be the more intellectual of the species so it's important to read something besides Jezebel every once in a while, like something with say substance and value...ergo read Bitchflicks.

A screenshot of some of their material. 
A team of some of the best interwebs female writers out there is a breath of fresh air to provide a new skew on the feminine gaze covering basically everything; from Jennifer Lawrence to Ron Swanson. There has been a shortage of female voices, and no Arianna Huffington doesn't count, out there, and it's quite nice to see a resurgence of it. 'Feminist' may be a four letter word, but it's been four lettter words that have gotten us as far as we've come. Otherwise we'd still be sewing each other into corsets, being seen but not heard. And to be heard on the internet, is a good thing...believe me :)

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