Yesterday I wrote a very long, detailed feminist deconstruction of the movie Alice in Wonderland. It was great, but you'll have to take my word for it because it didn't "save." Which, technically, means that I probably got distracted, moved away from the computer and some little fingers experimented with the keys. Or something like that. I'm collecting clues to get to the bottom of it. So far I have tiny circles written in pen on the letters "F13" and "delete." I'll get back to you all on further developments as they come in.
The point of my blog yesterday was this: I'm tired of men (director Tim Burton) and women (screenplay writer Linda Woolverton) telling women "how to be awesome" today! I'm so tired of charming, sweet stories (Alice in Wonderland) taking on modern adaptations in the exact same way: making women be "awesome." As in, in order for them to have value, they have to be like men are, traditionally. They need to fight literal battles, be sexually provocative, and like what men like. If you like something traditionally female (marriage, having children specifically) the story will never, ever be about you. But you might get a cameo in the movie revealing that you are secretly jealous of the awesome woman, or just not as brave, smart, or self-aware as she is. And the movie won't leave you alone--they will pity you and use you as a cautionary tale until you're embarrassed to admit you would ever wanted any of those things. Pretty women are good, ugly women are evil. It's boring storytelling, it's lazy, and it's insulting. And it is the only message we have, or I seem to see, in modern pop culture.
There. I feel a little better. I got that out. Not exactly the literary prose I was looking for to express myself but, like most women, I'm tired. I'll let some of my sisters say it:
You don't have to be anti-man to be pro-woman. ~Jane Galvin Lewis
Men are taught to apologize for their weaknesses, women for their strengths. ~Lois Wyse
Instead of getting hard ourselves and trying to compete, women should try and give their best qualities to men - bring them softness, teach them how to cry. ~Joan Baez, "Sexism Seen but not Heard," Los Angeles Times, 1974
Feminism directly confronts the idea that one person or set of people [has] the right to impose definitions of reality on others. ~Liz Stanley and Sue Wise
All this pitting of sex against sex, of quality against quality; all this claiming of superiority and imputing of inferiority belong to the private-school stage of human existence where there are sides, and it is necessary for one side to beat another side. ~Virginia Woolf, A Room of One's Own, 1929