Teresa Jusino: Writer, producer, karaoke enthusiast. I tell the truth by making things up. I want to leave the world better than I found it. This is the Tumblr feed for my main blog, THE TERESA JUSINO EXPERIENCE (teresajusino.wordpress.com). Formerly, The Gender Blender. Don't worry - I still care about issues of gender, which is why I'm incorporating The Gender Blender into my main blog! :)Ask me anything Teresa Wants To Know!
Hello everyone! I’ve been working on other stuff, so I’ve been sitting on these three links I’ve been meaning to write separate posts about. Now, that would be too much, so I’ll just post the links here w/shorter blurbs instead. Because it’s my Tumblr, and I can do that. :)
Disney’s Gender Roles Remain Un-Tangled (from Ms. Magazine’s blog): While it IS disappointing that Disney continues to choose retelling fairy tales in which all of these sexist things are true, I don’t see Tangled as particularly offensive. I just saw Tangled for the first time a couple of days ago, and for every thing this article (rightly) criticizes, there are things it either glosses over or ignores entirely. It is true to the original fairy tale, while modernizing as much as it can. Yes, we can balk at the fact that a MAN takes her out into the big, bad world, but the fact is, even if a woman took her out into the big bad world, she’d still be someone who’d been locked in a tower for 18 years! And she wouldn’t choose to do it on her own. Whether you look at her as the product of psychological abuse, or as someone who simply treasures a parent’s opinion above all others, she is the kind of person who would not leave on her own. Making her the kind of person who would be defiant from the beginning takes away from her journey. And where does she end up? She stands up to her mother (a fact this article mentions as if it’s “not good enough”) and is willing to give her life to save someone she loves.
My question is, why is “action” valued so much while emotional relationships are valued so little. We talk about equality and “strong” female characters while often criticizing the things that are different about women and make them strong. Of course there’s gender disparity in film, when even feminist critics see women doing “womanly” things as boring! Believe me, I LOVE when women get involved in the action (see my post on Haywire), but we shouldn’t be encouraging the idea that the “woman’s sphere” is less valuable or inherently weaker. Why do we continue to ask female characters to change, when maybe it’s male characters or male expectations that should change?
Women Have to Put Up With Male Perspectives in Culture, but Men Miss Out When They Ignore Women (from Think Progress): Alyssa Rosenberg’s article deals with that very issue - the fact that Hollywood seems hell bent on catering to men, because GOD FORBID they be asked to, you know, change their perceptions or try something new. You know, the way women are asked to ALL THE TIME. One of the benefits of privilege, I suppose. You’re never asked to change. The world changes for you.
I’m tired of it. I’m tired of women being seen as something alien when we make up more than half of the world’s population! It’s annoying, and it’s stupid. Guys, SUCK IT UP. There are women in the world, and our stories matter. And who knows? You might ACTUALLY relate to them more than you think!
But this is what sexism does. It limits both genders. It makes men afraid of venturing outside their comfort zones (well, it creates the comfort zone in the first place), because of the fear of being seen as less powerful. Even when they want to! That’s sad. Sexism keeps men from acting against things they KNOW are wrong. And for what? Approval from their bros? Is that really all that matters?
The Hunger Games Nail Polish Line Is Happening After All (from CinemaBlend.com): I don’t have exactly the same ideological issue that this article has with a Hunger Games line of nail polish. While I think that there is a way for nail polish to be incorporated into the themes of the film (relating the nail polish line to The Capitol is a great idea), I question the choice of nail polish at all. It’s one thing to have girl-focused merchandise - T-shirts that are cut for girl body shapes, perhaps some jewelry/accessories incorporating the Mockingjay - nail polish is something we don’t really need. A girl who reads and loves The Hunger Games loves it, in large part, because of Katniss Everdeen, and she is a girl who couldn’t give a hoot about makeup. If the book is brave enough to have a girl protagonist who *gasp* doesn’t care what she looks like, why create a product that encourages girls to care about what they look like. Accessories and clothing are one thing, because thye can make a statement, be symbolic. It’s very difficult to be symbolic with a line of cosmetics. What does your choice of nail polish say about you, other than perhaps what your favorite color is, or that you enjoy painting your nails.
I have an idea - if they’re going to continue to to market this nail polish idea, they should go a step further. Have a contest where girls can vote on a girl-related charity to which part of the proceeds from the nail polish can go. This way, when a girl buys this nail polish, she is making a statement about something she supports instead of just making a statement about a color/film she likes. I think that Katniss might approve.