Monday, August 30, 2010

Are Action Heroines Dangerous for Young Women?

I really like what this blogger has to say. Read her blog responding to the question HERE.

Of course, since I consider myself something of a feminist and a critic and a lover of action heroines, this really got me thinking.

A.) If action heroines are dangerous, they are no more dangerous than the age old male counterpart, the action hero.

B.) I absolutely think you can check your inner critic at the door when you go to see something like, oh say...the latest Resident Evil film. Why? Because the key to action heroines, the key to any genre types, is the idea that we should have VARIETY. There isn't one magical standard that all action heroines should live up to, the more the merrier. The more diverse examples, the better. From those grounded in realism to those living in a candy-coated 3D world...bring 'em on.

After all, have we not had a plethora of diverse male leads in action films, or even dramatic films with moments of action, or comedies that spoof action, etcetera, etcetera? Women and men and critics alike want to turn the debate into a simplistic one. They want to point to one action heroine and say, "Be this!" Some see a successful action heroine as one who makes bank at the box office, others see a successful action heroine only if the female character is ultra-feminine, some think they should be more gender neutral in order to be fair portrayals. We all have a different definition of what makes a strong woman on film "strong".

How about instead of turning against each other in the debate, we embrace all the examples? I'm not saying we have to love them all, not all action heroines are my cup of tea. But does there have to be a winner? One that reigns supreme?

One of the reasons why I started this blog was to discuss the diversity among action heroines, who are only appearing in the media with more and more frequency. A fairly recent uptick when you look at our decades of history without them.

But anyone who would argue that action heroines are a danger to young women is sorely mistaken. The only thing that could be more dangerous to young women would be to stick to one type of female figure in the media. Or to tell them that there is one "right" way to be a woman, or to be strong, or feminine.

I guess I just don't understand why there wasn't this type of arguing over the Lone Ranger back in the day? Maybe there was...I just wasn't around to hear it. But I certainly never hear this type of outrage over G.I. Joe and little boys, so why should we be so worried about little girls running around pretending to be Tomb Raider? We shouldn't be...

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