Yes I’m procrastinating horribly. I shouldn’t be. I am. It’s horrible, I know. But, to be fair you would too if you’ve had the week I’ve had.
So, as I sit here excited to watch Pixar’s BRAVE this Saturday, I’ve been thinking.
What’s the hangup about women?
Okay, wait, hold on. Before I get run out of town, let me explain.
There are high hopes among women about BRAVE. There’s a consensus that Disney should really put out a Princess movie where the Princess doesn’t give a damn about finding her prince, getting married, or generally caring about ‘traditional’ female roles.
I can understand, and I’m one of them to a point. I get annoyed when the princess is pretty, perfect, and magically everything happens for her. She gets the handsome prince, the love of the people, the castle, the money. Everything.
In a book, the Princess is known by another name: Mary Sue. Perfection incarnate. Everything happens around her rather than she taking the time out of her day to influence events and change them if necessary.
It sucks. It puts a damper on women everywhere and perpetuates the stereotype that pretty is the way to go because once you get a man everything in your life will be peachy keen. But only if you’re pretty.
We, as women, know it’s all a lie. Everything that Disney stands for with their Princess line is a big, fat marketing lie designed to sell pink frilly things that have no discernible place on daughter’s shelves in any way, shape or form if she is to be a well rounded woman.
And yet the Princess line is the top grossing merchandise Disney offers, with mothers and daughters lining up at the ‘Princess Boutique’, checkbook in hand, to give their daughter’s a makeover. To make them feel like a Princess for a day.
Twilight [still] has forty year old women swooning**. There were t-shirts for Chrissakes, letting people choose which one of two men they wanted Bella to choose.
E.L.James has stormed through the erotica world with her S&M book. Women are gobbling it up en masse.**
I see similarities here. The Princess movies featured a girl who had little to do but look pretty and get into a ridiculous situation from which she had to be saved by a handsome prince. Once saved, the princess lived happily ever.
Twilight and 50 Shades follow the same formula. With a minor difference. There’s the ‘saved princess’ no doubt, but the prince is just downright creepy. To the point where any normal human would look at the relationship the heroines insist on keeping and scream “RUN, BITCH, RUN!”
The books are terribly written, poorly edited, have a lacklustre protagonist whose qualities consist of stumbling over themselves in a pathetic attempt to be ‘relateable.’
Yet they’re being gobbled up like cold pizza after a LAN party.
There are debates. TIME Magazine printed an article on 50 Shades declaring that ‘that’s what working women want’ [in a relationship]. On one side there are women claiming that the books are the best things ever, that they’re in love with Edward/Christian/Jacob. I remember a forum post where a girl was in a turmoil because her boyfriend was more like Jacob and she had to break up with him because Edward was her one true love.
On the other side, there are women are demanding ‘strong females that get to choose what they want’! Chests puffed out, screaming their war cries, decrying anything that is ‘feminine’ or ‘degrading’ to women, these few demand results from movies/books. They want a woman who makes her own choices, who doesn’t settle down, who is in control of her own fate.
Admittedly, I’m getting tired of seeing books with a great idea wind up ruined because the author doesn’t have enough imagination to give her female character a will of her own.
I’m sick of hearing about how awesome Bella is, how romantic Twi-Shades are, how they’re a love story of the highest caliber.
I’m also sick and tired of hearing how Disney is corrupting little girls.
But, while I may be personally tired of it all, I don’t think it’s right to shun others choices. Yes, Twi-Shades is terrible. Yes Disney has made millions of dollars corrupting little girls. Yes, Hollywood is a bunch of out-of-touch losers who follow the same formula over and over again.
But, you know, that’s what we have indies for. To push the limit, break the mold, bend and twist the rules to where they’ll have to be identified by their dental records. And maybe somewhere down the line we got too involved with movies and books, too involved with dissection that it became more about the subliminal than what was on the screen or on the page.
Sometimes the f**king curtain is blue.
**The author is speaking in generalities.