nenya_kanadka: rubber stamp text: "complete and utter bullshit" (@ bullshit)
Rewatched Spellbound last night. I really think it's going to become one of those movies that goes in the queue to be watched again every year or two. Peck is so pretty and Bergman is so determined!

It's really her movie, too, in the sense that she's the main protagonist and it's all told from her point of view. And pretty much from the moment she opens her mouth in the first scene where her male coworker is trying to get her to soften up to his romantic advances and she's like "Lol, no," I just really like Dr. Constance Peterson. (He tells her she's too cold and cerebral, and she asks if he's buttering her up; he says her "lack of emotion" is "fatal for her as a woman" and a doctor, and she says yes, yes, she's heard that from any number of amorous psychiatrists who toootally want to make her a better doctor. :D)

And she's the one who takes action to find out what's wrong with Ballantyne and try to get him some psychological help before the police lock him in the slammer. She's the one trying to figure out WTF is going on (while Gregory Peck is intermittently collapsing, staring off into space, being grouchy as fuck, or looking attractively dishevelled). And she doesn't give up. Not just because Peck is hot (though she certainly thinks so) but because she believes in his innocence and she isn't satisfied with the explanations she's getting. And then they get a happy ending, entirely due to her efforts, and Peck swoons a little less but still canonically "madly adores" her and thinks she's "brilliant."

So, I like her. She's cool. Bergman is hot. She gets the hot woobie. Very nice.

But then of course I run across someone being Wrong On The Internet about her. Okay, maybe Wrong In A Book? I was googling around to see if anyone had any opinions on Peck's more slashy roles, and came across some essay in a book on Google Books1. Some kind of "queering the text" analysis of Hitchcock movies. And oh boy, are they wrong!

cut for Spellbound spoilers )

It all starts to remind me of fans who decide that a female character has gotten in the way of their slash ship, so she must be a huge raging bitch (and that plant in the corner proves their faves are doing it). Or people who see an advertisement that features a beautiful, sexualized, perhaps vulnerable man, and go, "Oh wow! That's really homoerotic!" without stopping to think that, wait, straight and bi women just might have some interest in male beauty. Halfway through reading this thing, I said to myself, "Good lord. Some people just REALLY can't handle women being in charge." Women can't be assertive or take the lead role, especially not in a het relationship! No, there has to be some other explanation. He's gay. She's an alien agent of patriarchy. (I never did figure out why that was supposedly the case here.) Something. Anything, to prove a woman can't be the knight in shining armor.

I'm queer. I'm also a woman who really appreciates active female protagonists. I also enjoy a good dose of beautiful man occasionally, and if he's a little vulnerable along with his gorgeous broad shoulders and deep brown eyes and delicious ruffle-able hair, all the better. (I might, too, have a carefully-nursed pet peeve about how alpha male heroes are so much more common than dominant women and their pretty boy-toys in het romance.) I'm a m-slasher and a fem-slasher as long as the day is long. But it really gets my goat when people take a female hero I love and pretend all the awesome things about her don't exist.

Dr. Constance Peterson: brilliant, determined, gets the hot boy. And badly-conceived meta can go fuck off.


(1) I've lost the link now, but I think it was for something called "Intimate Violence." I'm not opposed to queer theory generally, but just as I sometimes disagree with queer fandom meta, I had huge issues with this particular iteration of queer theory. It really felt like they were trying to force the facts to fit the thesis ("someone in this movie is queer and being oppressed by a straight woman, I just know it!") rather than the reverse.

(2) Even the 18-year-old son of Mucca's assistant lightkeeper feels that Guns of Navarone is pretty damn gay.
nenya_kanadka: Wonder Woman poster (kneeling with sword) (Haleth)
(via [personal profile] settiai; content warning: abusive incarceration in a mental institution, which really happened)

(lyrics here)

I often forget that we didn't always have the right to vote.

These women blow my mind.

nenya_kanadka: Wonder Woman poster (kneeling with sword) (Haleth)
"Oh thank God," was my first thought, "something that's not maiden/mother/crone!"

Female Archetypes: Warrior, Healer, Queen

I haven't read the novels [ profile] hapaxnym is referencing here, but I really like this new triad. The whole maiden/mother/crone thing has always bothered me. I'm pretty sure it works for some people. (There's someone in the comments there saying it works for them!) But for me, "maiden" brings up obsession with virginity and "purity" and slut-shaming. Ick, bleck, ptui. Motherhood doesn't resonate with me at all--I don't want children myself, and would far rather be the awesome aunt or the big sister or the non-family mentor of a younger woman (if I ever get my shit together myself) than have my own kids, bio or adopted. And "crone"? I know that's been reclaimed by some older women, but it doesn't do much for me. Though I could deal with being as badass as Granny Weatherwax, someday. In general, given that I like being female fine but don't derive a great sense of my place in the universe from having a female body, maiden/mother/crone makes me twitch more than it gives me a useful framework.

But Warrior is Eowyn and Susan Ivanova and Kira Nerys and Jago and Nita Callahan and Zoe Washburne and Trinity. And probably my girlfriend. It's strength and protection and being a wall between harm and the innocent. My heart starts pumping a little faster just reading those names. It doesn't have to mean having no heart, or violence for the sake of violence, but it's about being confident in yourself and competent in what you do and willing to use that in service of others who maybe don't have the capabilities you do. I admire warriors.

Female Healers are harder for me to think of in the stories I draw my myths from; female characters are often written as nurturing to the point of losing any independence (as Hapax points out is a failure mode of this type) or interesting plot of their own. So a lot of the healers I draw inspiration from are male (Dr McCoy!) and a lot of the interesting female healers you get are also warriors. But there's Nienna and Estë and Kai Opaka and Martha Jones and Faiza Hussain and Kaylee Frye (she fixes ships, not people) and Beverly Crusher and Deanna Troi. People laugh at Troi for being too emotional, but I loved the idea of empathy as a healing tool. I want to be someone who builds and heals and defuses flamewars. (Personally I'd colour this one blue and green more than orange--but that's because I love blue. :D Though there is the Red Cross.)

And Queen--queens are Galadriel. And Delenn. Varda and Yavanna. The Doctor Donna. Liz X. Haleth in the Silmarillion was a warrior, but she has the qualities of leadership and strength of will that I associate with a queen. Inspiring people. Seeing the bigger picture and being able to communicate that to other people who fight or heal or create or invent. Queens inspire worship, even as they need other people around them to keep them grounded at times.

So, yeah. This is the kind of thing that makes me love being a woman and shows me how to be a good person in the world. I think there's probably room in there for "creator" or "inventor", but maybe that's a subset of the Healer? In any case, lots of food for thought.
nenya_kanadka: Wonder Woman poster (kneeling with sword) ([CJC] baji-naji)
"This was the biggest political rally ever, in the history of the state."

Alaska Women Reject Palin Rally

Apparently not all women in Alaska support Sarah Palin....
nenya_kanadka: Wonder Woman poster (kneeling with sword) ([politics] fear itself)
Go, go, Randall Munroe, go!

As usual, xkcd gets it.

(Also, this is me. Without the yo-mama jokes.)


nenya_kanadka: Wonder Woman poster (kneeling with sword) (Default)

October 2017


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