Forum Reply

Female Heroism in Harry Potter

Original Post by Justin:

Our discussions concerning the role gender plays in Neverwhere got me thinking. Are there other stories that have an interesting set of roles? Which, as a result, got me thinking about Harry Potter, which I always seem to do in these cases. While I’ve always considered a character like Hermione Granger to be a clear-cut heroine it seems others out there aren’t so convinced that she was enough of one.

My Response:

First of all, great link. I found the article intriguing. I see no reason why Hermione Grange would not be considered a hero. She is the brain but she never backs down. If there is a fight to be had then Hermione is ready to help. Much like Joseph Campbell’s Hero With a Thousand Faces. Hermione goes through several obstacles and doing what she has to in order to help save the ones she loves. In fact you could take a look at what Jenny Weasley does and find her heroic too. Just because a character may have a more minor role does not make them any less a heroic that another. Both girls are strong and know how to handle themselves.

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Women Taking Men’s Roles in Film

Original Post by Paige:

We all have seen men cross dressing as women in movies: like Hairspray, White Chicks, Big Mama’s House, etc. What we see less often is women playing men. We see movies where a woman plays a role in which a woman dresses as a man to do something she thinks is important. But it’s not very often that we see a woman in a man’s role. There is a couple movies like this that I know of, but there could be more.
They are:
I’m Not There Cate Blanchett as Bob Dylan
I haven’t seen this movie yet, but from what I’ve seen, Blanchett has done a wonderful job!
and. . .
The Tempest In this movie adaptation of the Shakespeare play, Helen Mirren plays the sorcerer, Prospero. Again, I haven’t seen this film (yet), but I have read the play (in fact it’s one of my favorites). And I find it interesting for this character to be played by a woman, because he’s really not that feminine. But, from the trailer, it looks as if Helen Mirren does a great job!

I think that these a two a very good examples of women taking on men’s roles. If anyone can think of any others, please let me know!
My Response:

There does seem to be more male stars dressing as women then women dressing as men. While I have seen most of the movies listed through various posts, such as Gwyneth Paltrow in Shakespeare in Love and Barbara Streisand in Yentl. There are some that I would like to point out. In the modern area or current age of film making women are dressing up like men more often then people may realize. Cameron Diaz and Drew Barrymore are dressed as men during a scene in the first Charlie’s Angel movie. Angelina Jolie is dressed as a man in her movie Salt. Mariah Carey is also made to look male in the movie Obsessed. Hilary Swank in Boy’s don’t cry, Katherine Hepburn in Sylvia Scarlett, Glenn Close in Hook, and Julie Andrews in Victor Victoria. Throughout the years women have shown that they can act and switch gender roles.

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Immortals versus Twilight

Original Post by Rachel:

I was watching tv today, when a commercial advertising the new movie Immortals came on.

Not only does the video imply that all girls will want to watch Twilight and none will watch Immortals, but it also assumes a description of what a “real man” is. In light of our class topic and our recent discussions about Butler, I just thought I’d share. Anyone have any thoughts?

My Response:

I enjoy a good vampire story. Twilight however, is not. While I have never read the books I have seen the first two movies. I have friends that tell me all about these books. I am not impressed. The part about the vampires being sparkly in sunlight really makes no sense to me. A vampire should be more like the ones from 30 Days of Night.

I have seen the trailer for the movie Immortals. I have loved Greek mythology since I was a child. To date there has not been a good movie about any of the ancient gods. This movie seems to be designed for two things. The first is eye candy (beefcake) for women. The other is an all guy action and butt-kicking.

I can say that I might watch Immortals just to see how much of mythos they change. Other then that I think a good comedy for my inner child is in order. Puss in Boots gets my vote, Antonio Banderas has done a great job with the orange cat in the Shrek movies.

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The New & Improved Richard

Original Post by Justin:

When we reach the end of Neverwhere Richard ends his relationship with Jessica, telling her that he’s just different and that’s that. It’s a fair thing to say considering all that Richard went through in London Below. However, what specifically do you think Richard discovered about himself?
To me it seems that marrying Jessica would have been nearly impossible for Richard after coming to the realization that he’s able to operate as a single entity without the input from a second party. It was refreshing to not see him end up with Jessica and to blaze his own new trail.

My Response:

In the beginning of Neverwhere we find Richard in a very bad relationship. It’s like he is trying to find his place and does not want to be alone at the same time. The adventures in London Below teaches Richard that he can do things on his own. He grows as a person and learns to take charge of his own life. True, Jessica dumps him because he saves a girl instead of going to dinner. When this part happens early in the book Richard is still clinging to the life he as. In the end, when Jessica tries to get him back I believe that his experiences have taught him how to see the truth. Richard understands what kind of person Jessica really is and decides his life is better without her.

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Rescue Me

Original Post by Kevin:

Recently I was able to purchase two season of the show Rescue Me, at a great price I might add. Late in the first season, a new character is added to the firehouse. This causes tension in the house as the characters in the show learned of this new person an episode or two before it actually happened. Long story short, too late, the new person is a woman who got her position through a discrimination lawsuit against the department.

The members of the crew decide to shut her out completely, including the chief. When cracks begin to show in her foundation, after doing a bad job and then a good job and still not getting recognition, the chief returns but this time to offer what little support he can.

My father was a police officer, recently retired, and I tried to remember anything about seeing women police officers but I couldn’t think of any person. Most of the women who worked in the department were either on dispatch or administrative.

I have known about women being discriminated in these fields before and I could write at length about the term brotherhood when applied to these fields. Thoughts?

My Response:

I have an aunt that works for the local police department back home. She has worked with them for several years. While I know little about what kind of treatment the male officers gave her I know that it was not easy. When I asked her questions about the other officers she would give me some information about the few other women in her department. When asking about the men she would become very tight lipped. From her reactions I assume that they did not treat her well. She would always tell me that when I find something that I truly care about then I have to be willing to fight for it. While I still wish to know how my aunt is treated I can at the very least respect her for sticking with what she loves doing, police work.

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24 Reasons to Learn from the 1950’s

Original Post by: Melissa

As I was looking for some interesting links to submit for my Link-O-Rama, I found these really sexist ads from the 1950’s. It’s crazy to me that these actually existed! I’m definitely more naive than I though. Here’s the link to the site:

My Response:

Wow, I had no idea that the ads during the 1950’s were that bad. I know that everything kept pushing women as only being happy doing all the cooking and cleaning in the household. I just had no idea that these were that bad in advertisements. I think these are more sexist then anything I have ever grown up with. Thanks so much for the link.

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NPR Review of Twilight — Brilliant Analysis

Original Post by: R. Joy

Linda Holmes has written an extremely perfect review of the new Twilight movie. I have not seen the movie, but I have read the book (I sadly have read all the books, which I would regret terribly except that it allows me to legitimately complain about them), and her analysis is SPOT ON, in my opinion.

I would like to point you to the last three paragraphs of the review in particular, wherein she rips the movie a new one concerning the glorification of abusive, stalkerish relationships, and I love her for it.

Your thoughts?

My Response:

I must admit to never having read any of the books. I have a friend that read the first few books when the first movie came out; to date she has read all the books and seen all the movies. I willing watched the first movie and was forced to see the second. I have no desire to see or read anymore of these. A few of my friends have already told me about what the remainder of the storyline is anyway. After reading the article you posted and from the information from my friends I truly am glad that I have not read these books. It is good to know that from several posts that this article is spot on. I find it hard to believe that this has been allowed as a young adult book. It almost seems like the author is telling teenage girls that this sort of thing is alright in a relationship. This article is a brilliant analysis and I wish more people would pay attention to the fact this series should not be for teens.

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Star (Ponies) Wars

Original Post by Dr. Cadle:

I found this via io9. This You Tube mashup  does a side-by-side comparison of the Star Wars celebration scene. I’m not sure why I find this interesting, but I am sure you all may have something to say about this transposing of what is now a foundational heroic movie to a pastel, non-gendered version.

 

My Response:

Wow, this is so close this it is almost creepy. I know that in today’s world it is normal for pop culture to crack jokes. Others have already commented about this link. I can see how Star Wars has become ingrained into our minds. However, I wonder if the creators of this pony series just really loves and respects the Star Wars movies. Perhaps they were just trying to pay tribute to an existing story. On the other hand they could have been completely  lost on their next storyboard and flat out stole the idea from Star Wars because they were on a deadline. I have never watched whatever this pony program. I don’t know if they have copied anything else from Star Wars. I wonder if these creators copy other shows on a regular basis?

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She-Ra Rampage

Original Post by Heather:

In class and here in the forum we’ve had discussions on trying to define a hero, both in general and specifically female heroes. I was watching TV the other night, and I saw a clip that I wanted some other opinions about.

The clip is from Robot Chicken, a show on Cartoon Network’s Adult Swim. This show was created by two men, Seth Green and Matthew Senreich, (and I think they are the main writers too). It makes fun of everything and incorporates a lot of heroes from old shows because they have action figures. I personally think the show  is hilarious, but because of this class I started to think differently about this clip about She-Ra going on a rampage because of her hormones.

Here is the link to the clip. Caution: If you aren’t a big fan of crude humor, or stop motion animation with action figures, I don’t recommend watching this.

she-ras-aunt-flo.html

I just want to know what you all think of it. Does this clip demonstrate how women heroes are really perceived? Are women still being depicted as crazy and uncontrollable because of their biology?

My Response:

The class has watched an episode of She-Ra, I don’t know if it is possible to watch this in class to get everyone’s opinion. Adult Swim can be hit or miss with me depending on what they are doing. Some of their humor is not my style, however this is hilarious. The violence and crude humor of this clip would have any villain running away from all female superheroes. This should bring new light to not letting girls into the club. Thanks for the great link.

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She-Ra

Original Post by Rob:

Robservation of She-Ra: 1. She-Ra’s invocation with the sword is “for the honer of Grayskull,” whereas He-Man’s is “for the power of Grayskull.” Woman fights for virture, man fights for power. Hmm. 2. When she transforms into her heroic alter ego, her voice drops a couple of octave. Possible explanations: a. She-Ra’s vocal cords are different than Adora’s. b. like Batman, she consciously changes her voice to protect her secret identity. c. heroism necessitates a deeper, manlier voice? 3. Is Hordak meant to exhibit the worst of man? Snorting=male chauvenist “pig”

Wha’chu think, y’all?

My Response:

Having watched both She-Ra and He-Man as a child I can tell you that the changing from a higher pitched voice to a lower one takes place for both of them. When Adora’s twin Adam turns into He-Man his voice gets deeper. Perhaps in both cases it takes them from the innocent prince or princess and transforms their voices into more mature “Superhero” voices. Another fact about She-Ra is her hair. When she is Adora her hair stops right around her shoulders. When she changes forms to She-Ra her hair grows in length to below her waisteline. I do agree with you in the fact that He-Man is shown with fighting for power while She-Ra in meant for virture. To my memory He-Man never got into  a fist fight but he did throw things at his foes. She-Ra spent her time dogging and deflecting blows.

Having watched all the He-Man  and She-Ra shows as a kid I cannot look at Hordak as getting a bad rap for doing nothing wrong. To begin with, he kidnapped  Adora as a baby. Adora and Adam are part of some sort of prophecy and Hordak interfears with this. He spends his time keeping Adora under a spell so that she remains under his control. When she finally moves to the good side and becomes She-Ra of course he wants her back, better to control the enemy then fight the enemy.

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