Quick response

School started for me today, and starts for Maybelle tomorrow, so I might write something substantive about those two events sometime soon.  But not right now (except to say that my two classes are going to be great fun!).  For now I have a quick response to a reader comment:

JenB said:  "In our house it is the boy clothes I worry about, I allow no commercial imagery (no Star Wars or Spiderman!) or anything that looks like it reflects admiration for war or violence. I’ll have to ask you to send me to the feminist take on those! Or maybe you’ve already written on that!"

Alas, JenB, I'm not sure that I have a feminist defense of Star Wars.  I do have six Star Wars t-shirts, and in my office I have a Star Wars poster, a Star Wars lunchbox, and Darth Tater, Princess Leia, and teeny-tiny Han Solo who are part of a posse of feminist toys.  I did write a post back in 2007 considering Star Wars as a generational dividing line between second and third wave feminists, for what that's worth, but I don't have an effective defense.

Yep, they're violent.  And we get some pretty appealing hypermasculinity on display (hello, Han Solo.  And by that I mean, Hellooooooo!).  Princess Leia is incredibly tough and effective, but with meaningful emotions, so that's a plus.  The most effective power in the universe isn't embodied in a hypermasculine way (Obi Wan and Yoda sitting on a log together, musing about the future).  But the films certainly reflect admiration for war and violence.  At some point perhaps I'll try to muster an effective defense.  At this point all I have is infatuation.

Update 8-22-12:  Good grief, I forgot to mention my very favorite Princess Leia coffee mug.  I also need to clarify that I'm only talking about the actual movies, not the recent abominations (which truly do nothing but celebrate computer generated imagery).


Sarah said...

Eh, sometimes we have to pick our battles. If your love of Star Wars makes you happy and gives you the energy to tackle other big issues out there, then I am all for it. (To say nothing of the fact that I am all for Star Wars for its own sake!)

I personally think of something like Star Wars as a way of processing the very real violence that occurs in the world. The fact the the main event of the whole series is a man turning bad and then turning good again even breaks down the "good vs evil" dichotomy in a way that a lot of other movies/shows/books do not. In addition, there are "good" characters who aren't rebels and "bad" ones who aren't Imperial. There isn't even a whole lot of physical "othering" going on; I mean, check out the diversity!

I know this post wasn't asking for a feminist defense necessarily, but I feel compelled :)

Alison said...

Sarah, I agree with you about picking our battles. And I appreciate your thoughtful and accurate reading of the false dichotomies that the film breaks down, plus the diversity (nice theorizing!)

Elizabeth said...

I read this today and thought you'd enjoy it! It's an article about girls defying gender stereotypes. http://www.good.is/post/updated-dollhouse-lets-girls-play-architect-designer-and-technologist?utm_campaign=daily_good2&utm_medium=email_daily_good2&utm_source=headline_link&utm_content=Dollhouse%202.0%3A%20Roominate%20Lets%20Girls%20Play%20Architect%20and%20Technologist