Mar. 23rd, 2013

foxfirefey: A black and white drawing of a female angler fish, in red text: Behold the female (behold the female)
[personal profile] foxfirefey
‘Girls’: Are We Actually Ready for Female Anti-Heroes?:

Passivity, and dependence are all traits that we find humiliating, no matter the proportions they come in, while decisiveness, activity, and standing on principal are all traits we have positive associations with, and so we’re attracted to the people who exhibit them, even when they’re wildly misapplied. The former set of traits is coded as female, the latter as masculine. It’s one thing to respond to a female anti-heroine who is defined as such by her masculinized behavior, whether it’s Sarah Linden’s single-minded focus on her career and bad mothering in pursuit thereof, or Cersei Lannister’s impressive cruelty. Whether a mass audience is ready to embrace a female anti-hero whose anti-heroicness is defined by an overabundence of negatively-coded feminine traits is another question entirely. And it suggests that maybe we’d be better off if we found Tony Soprano’s murderousness less endearing as well.

'Breaking Bad' Recap: The Sky Is Falling:

This kind of reaction is not uncommon, for Skyler in particular and for women – often wives – on top-drawer TV dramas in general. Characters like Skyler become targets of vituperation unimaginable to their male counterparts, most of whom engage in vastly more destructive and immoral behavior every episode. By failing to indulge every whim of the the male antiheroes around whom their shows are built, the women become obstacles to those men getting exactly what they want when they want it at all times, which is the core fantasy of antihero fiction. Cold cunning, ruthlessness, rage, self-interest, a propensity for physical violence – we gender these unheroic characteristics as male, and celebrate them; passivity, bitterness, grief, emotional enmeshment, a knack for attacking and deflating egos – we gender these unheroic characteristics as female, and loathe them. ... Skyler White, Betty Francis, Megan Draper, Catelyn Stark, Sansa Stark, Cersei Lannister, Carmela Soprano: On the sole count of "being women," Fan Court finds you guilty as charged.


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The Bechdel-Wallace Test

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