Where are all the Badass Women?

The other day, and so this post begins, I watched Aliens. I was on my own, sitting/lying on my sofa engrossed in what was going to happen next and how Sigourney Weaver’s character, Ellen Ripley was going to handle it. As the film progressed it became more apparent how useless most of the men were and how pragmatic and badass Ripley can be. She was the reason the Mother alien (spoiler alert) was defeated; not only kicking her ass wearing a humungous metal power loader suit but also implementing a quick mind and assured authority to rally up everyone else to fight back too. It was a most joyous experience to watch and I fervently thrust my balled fist in the air when Ripley was victorious.

PowerLoaderMain

What struck me about this film was how surprised I was to see a woman dominate an action film so comfortably. Then I got angry. Why is it that woman are still not well represented in action films, or any film for that matter? According to a study (bit of copy and pasteage) by the University of Southern California Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism, of the 100 most successful films at box office in 2012, just 28.4 per cent of the 4475 speaking characters were female. This is a drop from 32.8 per cent in 2009. What the actual fuck? And aren’t women supposed to massive blabber mouths whose jaws must constantly ache from all the talking we apparently can’t stop doing?

Aliens came out in the 80s and films still rarely involve roles for females that are to equal men. Another film I watched recently got me tensing my fists for a reason quite the opposite to the Ripley punch. I rolled my eyes time and time again as the women were sexualised time and time again, very much not the same for their male counterparts. X – Men: First Class you are not in my good books. Almost every single female character was at least partially dressed at some point in the film, Jennifer Lawrence being totally nude because she was painted blue. Another mutant woman was a stripper for a living, another dressed in bra and pants to seduce an old man, I mean what the hell?!

You only have to look at this poster to understand what I’m talking about.

xmen#]

It is infuriating. Why oh why do women always have to be so sexualised? I’m sick of it and I know I’m not the only one. We seem to be so conditioned to this representation of women on screen that it mostly goes unquestioned by the actress playing the role and also the viewer. It’s just par for the course for ladies to prance around in their knickers and bras trying to get the male’s attention.

Salt was a refreshing antidote to this, as Angelina Jolie plays a character who is a highly skillful and formidable CIA agent. The fact that she is a woman isn’t questioned or made a massive deal like they do with other strong female characters; ‘look at this woman who is being brave and clever and cool as fuck and kicking the cack out of men left, right and centre, isn’t that a novelty’. However it should be noted that this role was originally written for a man, Tom Cruise I believe, and Angelina Jolie pulled it off brilliantly. It goes to show that characters aren’t just genders, they are people.

Also, Charlize Theron’s character in the new Mad Max aptly named Imperator Furiosa, drives an oil truck and shoots the bones off the enemies’ faces all with one arm, the other replaced with a manoeuvrable claw.  Every time I see a heroine like this I hail society for doing something right.

furiosa

salt

It is not enough though. We need more characters like Ripley, Furiosa and Salt not just in action films but all genres. And we certainly need to give female roles more words to say. Women should have more (there should be an alternative to the word ‘more’) control and involvement in the film industry; directing, interesting, strong, rich and multifaceted female roles written which actresses can get their teeth stuck into as well as the viewers, producing and all that malarkey.

Of course this is an issue in every part of life. Put some clothes on those women and let their personalities and own mouths do the talking. Yes, boobs are splendid but they aren’t the only thing a woman is. We should be defined by our minds and less so our bodies.

Well I think that about wraps up what I have to say. I’m sure I could write on about this until my fingers bleed, especially if you get me started on Bond girls.

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Can’t think of a snazzy Title; My thoughts about Appropriateness. It’ll do.

I’m finding it hard to concentrate while I write this. I’m in a café trying to figure out the most discreet way to release my bum expulsion and listening to Super Furry Animals. I’m uncomfortable due to the twisted air in my gut that seems somewhat confused as to how it wants to escape. The lyrics of the tunes in my ears are clashing with the words that I’m typing. The pleasant notes are distracting. I think the air has found where it wants to go; the sofa shall be grateful to receive it I’m sure.

You see, I’ve been thinking lately. I think sometimes, it can be very gratifying. There are lots of things that have run through my brain, like why the seagulls have seemed especially violent over the past few weeks and will there be a horrific seagull uprising and will that really be how we all die? Not nuclear war, not global warming, not mass social upheaval, but seagulls tainted by urbanisation and scrap chips in plastic trays. Seriously, we could have a Hitchcockian style horror on our streets and with the loss of so many telephone boxes we’ll all be done for.

The hip hop music shouting in my ear canals is making me feel like I want to jump on cars and howl to the polluted city sky but I’m actually rather fatigued so I’ll just sit here with my laptop on my lap looking at the sky through a half-ajar window.

There is still some anxious poo particles trapped. I hope they find the cheeky door soon.

What I really have been thinking about and what I wanted to write about is in relation to how I should present myself. You see, as someone who performs their work there’s a certain light you shine on yourself and people take from that what they will but…

I’m going to go to the toilet, it’s more than trapped air.

(I need to see a doctor)

…you have some control as to how people see you. My writing is concerned with truth at its core. I want to understand life authentically, to present my perception of what it means to live.

However, I think there are certain scenarios in which certain people expect a certain way of behaving. Of course, that is true and definitely needed at certain times with certain groups. But certainly not all the time.

Right, let me just try and get this more focused. The music is still very distracting and this thought seems particularly hard to express clearly and authentically and truthfully and honestly.

Now my severely tangled up headphone wires are asking to be untangled, really inappropriate timing. Just like how I am sometimes, inappropriate not tangled. It’s an integral part of my work, trying to understand the boundaries we construct so we can navigate social life and seeing how far I can push them.

Woah, Earth, Wind & Fire has just flattened my thinking ability to near deadness.

It’s not just in relation to my writing all this thinking about appropriateness is about. In everyday life I’m confronted with what social etiquette I should use. When can I swear, talk about my fondness of norks, express my distress at people’s treatment of animals, discuss my political views, my belief in God and how we should nurture the soul, itch my lady parts (front and back), my bleeding anus (that was what the ‘I need to see a doctor’ from earlier refers to) and my love of selfies…When, oh WHEN can I say and do all these things? It’s too much. People don’t like to upset the status quo, rock the boat and jiggle their hips in pedestrianised areas.

I know these unspoken rules are there for a reason, I duly respect some of them. Simulating an orgasm for my ‘Pretty Vagina’ poem should not be done to an audience of 5 year olds. And don’t flash your nether regions to people just trying to enjoy a panini al fresco. And don’t aggressively shout at someone for not doing the dishes who is already crying about their close friend who died in a grim car accident.

However, what I really feel is that the older I get, the less I care about fitting into this strict social mold of politeness and repression. We are human beings, vibrant with a vast multitude of experiences more varied than a Farrow and Ball colour chart.

What does everyone fear? That they will get rejected for singing in the biscuit aisle in Tesco. We should be able to express ourselves more freely. Even writing this I am somewhat apprehensive about some of the material; maybe it’s not formal enough or too personal or maybe some people reading it will take me less seriously and dismiss me for a silly young person or think my writing is cack and not want to see me perform and not want to read my work and aaahhhh!

What really is at stake? What y’all think?

(I need the toilet again, but it’s nothing solid this time, phew)

P.s. Hey Mum and Dad.

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Renn here, I am a Writer. This be my website.

I just wanted to let people know what I am about, what I am up to and share some of my writing.

I write about things. ‘T’is good.

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