Apr 17 2006

A Cinema Post

The eyewear of the revolution
The author models the eyewear of the New Twistolution

You know how I’m convinced that the patriarchy = the Matrix and that there is no escape short of an uprising of spinster aunts in total revolution, some of which revolution will of course take place in bullet-time slo-mo, but with different shades, since those Matrix ones are starting to look a little dated, and in cowboy hats, because why the hell not? And how my hypothesis suggests that all art and history and politics and that sort of thing are thoroughly marinated in patriarchal ideology, including such rafeblos (that’s “radical feminist blogs” to you non-spinster aunts) as I Blame The Patriarchy, and that you can talk all day long about how “empowered” you are (although I wish you wouldn’t) but it won’t make men hate you any less, which pretty much sucks for you because they’re the ones with all the actual power? Et cetera?

Where, you are undoubtedly yearning to know, am I going with this palaver? Well, reader Kim wants to know if there exist any movies her teenage kid can watch that don’t “see the world through patriarchal eyes.” I was about to send her a depressing email expressing my view that, since all eyes are patriarchal, all films necessarily capitulate in some way to The Man no matter what, and that post-patriarchal cinema can’t exist until the patriarchy doesn’t, but at the last minute I said to myself, heck why not ask the blamers? Those guys, I said to myself, are bound to have endless opinions on the matter.

So have at it.

Meanwhile, here’s a little film, courtesy of Flea (who, incidentally, does not endorse it as far as I know), I know you’ll love! It shows how women excel at following instructions.


3 pings

Skip to comment form

  1. I’m having trouble getting it. Later.

    I lead such a privileged life I’ve not seen the Matrix, or any other Hollywood movie for about ten years, until last month when I found out I could watch DVDs. ?! Someone talked me into watching Crash. It has the distinction of being the worst movie I’ve watched in living memory.

    The Company of Women is a fantastic little Canadian movie about a group of women on a ‘field trip’. You know, one of those seniors excursions. The broken down bus breaks down, and they have to survive in godknowswhere Ontario until the feisty female driver-cum-senior tour guide fixes it. The story is what happens until she does. It is amazing. Laugh, cry, cheer, and recognize every older female relative you’ve got, love and hate.

    It’s probably not at all what a teenage girl wants to watch.

  2. Well geez that’s what I get for wearing lipstick: dumb.

    Here’s the link for Company of Strangers. Which is all about women, cast of women. Perhaps one or two wearing lipstick or eyebrows. One bald. Definitely bald.


  3. I used to think the film, Go Fish, was mighty feminist but I haven’t seen it in six or seven years. I’ve become much more adroit at spotting oppression dressed up as liberation and misogyny dressed up as artsy-fartsy with age, so I could easily watch it tomorrow and think it sucks as much as everything else Rose Troche has done since, not least of which is The L Word.

    Pony, I totally get you about Crash. Horrible, stupid movie.

  4. I dunno. “Serenity” maybe? I wouldn’t say it’s highbrow, but it is humorous. Of course, there’s less development of most of the characters than in the TV show upon which it was based, and it would be good only if the teenager likes genre flicks. Miyazaki’s “Spirited Away”, perhaps.

  5. genderberg.com

    There’s a poignant and complex coming-of-age movie I love that almost no one else has heard of called Emporte-Moi (Set Me Free in English). Written and directed by a woman in 1999, it tells the story of 13-year-old Hanna growing up in Montreal during the early ’60s.

    Hanna craves love and she seeks it out from her parents, teacher, brother, and best friend Laura—these last two and Hanna make a touching love triangle. The way love isn’t so strongly attached to gender or family relations in youth is done very well. At 13, Hanna is searching for an escape from a claustrophobic and emotionally volatile household where her mentally-unstable mother works long hours as a seamstress and her father, a Polish Jew and angry aspiring poet, refuses to work a stable job. Seeking refuge in the cinema, Hanna becomes obsessed with the existential Parisian prostitute Nana in Godard’s Vivre Sa Vie, and excerpts from that film give this one a slight movie-within-movie feel as Hanna tries on identities to find out who she may be.

  6. educatinghercules.blogspot.com

    I recommend Antonia’s Line, a Dutch film that is one of my all-time favorites. Must-see. I suppose it’s probably polluted by patriarchy somewhere simply by virtue of existing, but I love love love that movie.


  7. though the women in it are certainly pleasing to the male gaze, “tank girl” flips off the patriarchy whenever it can. the l7 song (“shove”) in it is unbeatable.

  8. feministe.us

    Whale Rider. It’s about subverting the patriarchy, AND coming out a winner.

  9. politblogo.typepad.com

    Princess Mononoke? Lost in Translation?

  10. Man, just when you’ve strapped on your post-structuralist dildo-sword and are ready to try to throw Twisty down for putting a harsh on Everything so you can barely enjoy things like the Humpty Dance, and she goes and posts a picture of herself in a little ole stripey shirt and a cowboy hat—and all the bravado-armor just melts off and drips on the floor, where some woman will have to clean it up.

    Anyone ever see a German movie called “A Question of Silence”? Also, I’ve seen a film loop of a cat eating a flower and I distinctly remember thinking, “Well, surely this is outside of the Patriarchy?”

    Yrs, B. Dagger

  11. politblogo.typepad.com

    Why were the cat and the flower there anyway? There’s a good case for the patriarchal origins of the housecat, anyway, or so I’d imagine.

  12. nomorenuts.org

    Sad to say it, but I think I pretty much subscribe to the Matrix theory a la Twisty. I am simultaneously heartened and disheartened by the Foucauldian triangle of Knowledge/Power/Truth, as Foucault suggests that while the Matrix is unavoidable, resistance is always already present and doing its work to disrupt normative power arrangements, but dominant power depends on modes of resistance for its continuation. For this reason, Foucault calls not for revolution, but rather for more and better care of the self. In many ways it harkens back to what antelope said in another thread. She has arranged her life to avoid not continued existence within the Matrix (that’s not possible), but rather she applies certain techniques or technologies of selfhood that allow her to assert more of her own subjectivity within the Matrix. A somewhat grim state of affairs, but there ya have it. Still, I’m always up for a good revolution.

  13. nomorenuts.org

    Oh…and I guess that means I don’t know (well, I don’t know a lot of things), but I certainly don’t know of any non-Matrixelated films.

  14. faultline.org

    Princess Mononoke?

    OK, interesting suggestion. Worth consideration. The roles of the princess and the Iron Town chief woman could certainly provoke hours of late night graduate student conversation, at the very least.

    Lost in Translation?


    The one thing I will say about that movie, which was a nice surprise, was that it was about a friendship that remained non-sexual. I liked that.

    My suggestion: Rabbit-Proof Fence. My god what a movie.

  15. feminist-reprise.blogspot.com

    I second “Rabbit Proof Fence” and “A Question of Silence” as good films. I really really wanted to like “Company of Strangers” but lard it was so boring. I recommend “The Incredibly True Adventure of Two Girls in Love.”

  16. animeg.blogspot.com

    I liked Real Women have Curves and Bend It Like Beckham myself.

  17. politblogo.typepad.com

    Yeah, that’s why I thought of it. Also the scene where they leave the strip club in disgust might amuse some people here as well as the premium-fantasy-lip-my-stocking scene. Irony and all that.

  18. sashaundercover.blogspot.com

    I have one and only one. Daughters of the Dust is about 15 years old and not widely shown, but it is available for purchase or via Netflix. The reviews at Amazon, including the bad ones, should give you a good idea.

    I just checked it at IMDB. It has an overall rating of 5.6 (out of 10) broken down as 5.4 from males and 7.2 from females. (Lots more guys accounts for the weighting.) Us old broads — women over 45 — gave it a 9.7. Heh.

    Anyway give it a look. It is beautiful too.

  19. sashaundercover.blogspot.com

    I have one and only one. Daughters of the Dust is about 15 years old and not widely shown, but it is available for purchase or via Netflix. The reviews at Amazon, including the bad ones, should give you a good idea.

    I just checked it at IMDB. It has an overall rating of 5.6 (out of 10) broken down as 5.4 from males and 7.2 from females. (Lots more guys accounts for the weighting.) Us old broads — women over 45 — gave it a 9.7. Heh.

    Anyway give it a look. It is beautiful too.

  20. sashaundercover.blogspot.com

    Sorry about the double post. That “Blame” button is a quickie.

  21. nomorenuts.org

    I do like this flick http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0114243/ from China, however, because it points a big fat ugly finger at the patriarchal matrix, suggesting that the hateful deeds of the patriarchy are permanently inscribed upon us. There’s an argument that the flim offers up a fair amount of propoganda, nevertheless, I appreciate the high level of patriarchal blaming and shaming.

  22. Well you know, she could see Joy Luck Club. And Raise the Red Lantern.

    And Billy Elliot.

  23. jami: though the women in it are certainly pleasing to the male gaze, “tank girl” flips off the patriarchy whenever it can.

    Too bad it’s one of the worst movies I’ve ever seen. I mean sure, it’s got Ice T in a kangaroo suit, but that’s about it.


    You’re already keeping 4/5ths of the word in there, you might as well leave the “g” in too.

  24. feministe.us

    Ugh. I hated Lost in Translation. I still can’t figure out why people like it.

  25. And Saving Grace, a Scottish film about a woman who’s philandering husband dies and leaves her with millions of pounds debt which she doesn’t find out about until the estate agents come to turf her shortly after the funeral. But because she has a pothead groundskeeper and a huge greenhouse…

    It’s in most alternative vid stores.

  26. ingloriouslyhuman.blogspot.com

    I also hated Lost in Translation. Ick.

    I really have nothing to add, though. I am a Buffy fan, but I think we’ve been through the Buffy ringer here before. Clearly eye candy for the patriarchy. I do like the dialogue, though, so you should probably poke my ears out or something.

    The last movie I watched was The House of Sand and Fog. It was horrible in so many ways. It made me sad. And again, in so many ways.

    Ahem. Recommendations… I have no idea.

    Apropos of nothing – Twisty, you are beautiful.

  27. I’m thrilled that so many of the movies mentioned are on my Netflix queue. I’m less thrilled that I haven’t seen them yet. Darn “Alias” Season 2 is currently hogging the top of the queue. To be followed by “Inherit the Wind,” cuz I’m a science-type. Still, I think I’m going to have to boot “Whale Rider” to the top of the queue; I’ve heard such good things about it.

  28. barkbite.blogspot.com

    I heartily second Antonia’s line. Not perfect, but a wonderful movie and a hopeful vision.

  29. wolfangel.calltherain.net

    Seconding to Whale Rider and Saving Grace, And Rabbit-Proof Fence, but in a different way — that’s more whn you want to remember how totally horrible the world is.

  30. cypress.typepad.com

    oh yes, Antonia’s Line. it’s a dutch language movie, with pretty good subtitles, often misfiled at your/my local video store under german language films. a wonderful film about love – and family and how we can do it differently than we’ve been taught.

    done by marlene gorris, who did ‘breaking the silence’ i think it was called – another feminist film.

  31. Why, Aunt Twisty, I’m shocked that you have not already recommended the much loved teen flick ‘the Incredibly True Adventure of Two Girls in Love’.

    It’s got everything, without SO much patriarchy in it.

    If my niece, who is three, continues on her current paradigm-busting path, she will be ready for this movie by the time she is 14. Maybe 13. My daughter will be ready by the time she is 12, maybe sooner. That’s because my sisters and the other Aunts, known among our people as The Army of Ex-Lovers, have already begun to explain to my daughter that I was a little bit different than the other girls, even as a young child. This comforts the Phoenix Offspring when she feels I cannot grasp the importance of pink things and Hair.

    For the fact that said Offspring is fixated on pink, I blame the patriarchy.

  32. cypress.typepad.com

    yes, that’s it – a question of silence [not ‘breaking the silence’] – that’s the other marleen gorris movie – dutch it is. imdb.com > says 1982.

  33. windingroad.typepad.com

    The Piano is not shot through the male gaze.

    I am curious. Could traditional woman/man type relationships which involve some sexualized flirting–I am thinking/writing out loud here and may make no sense–is flirting the manifestation of childhood sexual abuse? Sexual abuse victims often sexualize their relationships with even non-potential partners. What we consider flirting–through the male gaze–may actually be a symptom of sexual abuse?

    I am thinking of sex goddesses made so by the male gaze–Rita Hayworth and Marilyn Monroe. Sex symbols and abuse survivors or victims. When they act “sexy” are they just saying, “Hello, abuse me.” Why do people flirt? It is not a real state of being is it?

    When I watch films I often related more to the male lead than the female role. This is probably the male gaze at work. Think of how many popular films would be through the eyes of women–Raiders of the Lost Ark through the Marion character.

    What about Silence of the Lambs–is that a man’s view of an agent that is female or did Thomas Harris actually capture something outside his gender and gaze?

  34. blinkandyoullmissit.typepad.com

    Many a filmstudies prof would tell you that ‘Gentlemen Prefer Blondes’ is actually a feminist film.

    See Lucy Arbuthnot and Gail Seneca’s essay “Text and Pre-text in Gentlemen Prefer Blondes” if you can ever get your hands on a feminist film reader, and then compare and contrast with Laura Mulvey’s classic piece on scopophilia, “Visual Pleasure and Narrative Pleasure.”

    Perhaps not to great for a youngish teenager mind you.

    I second those who pointed out Hayao Miyazaki’s movies tend to feature young female protagonists — I think ‘Spirited Away’ and ‘Princess Mononoke’ and ‘Nausicaa: Valley of the Winds’ are probably the most overtly feminist. I really enjoyed ‘Howl’s Moving Castle’ too but it’s a little more conventional in terms of the love-story narrative it follows. But certainly these movies treat their female characters as human people, which I think is a good place to start.

  35. Yes, yes, everything here so far. (It is good to know you are all out there, written by a woman sitting in far northern remoteness) but also these:

    Ma Vie en Rose


    The Nasty Girl

    Bagdad Cafe



    I’ve Heard the Mermaids Singing

    My Briiliant Career

  36. The one about the life of Isadora Duncan with Vanessa Redgrave?

  37. Rocky horror picture show?

    I’m not sure Leon: The Professional is patriarchal, though I’m not sure if it attacks the patriarchy either, it is a pretty good movie, though I can stand to be corrected on its non-patriarchiality.

    jami: though the women in it are certainly pleasing to the male gaze, “tank girl” flips off the patriarchy whenever it can.

    The trouble with tank girl the movie is that it had a plot.

    Tank Girl Plot = suckage, except Tank Girl’s Odyssey (a comic/graphic novel thingie), which borrowed the plot from ulyssey and Homer’s Odyssey, so it would have required awesome skill to fuck up, and it had goths being eating by sharks and constantly mocks the movie (“Hey I know you, from that movie, what’s its name, runt girl?” “something like that”).

    Anything that starts with the main character having a shit before mocking dieting and bulemia and killing a lot of bohemian guitarist poets with a tank is good, it’s the most basic rule of life, that and the ratio of peri-peri seasoned tofu/mustard in a sandwich (1:3).

  38. In addition to many of the movies listed here, I loved _The Snow Walker_, directed by Charles Martin Smith (2003) whose Inuit protagonist is particularly wonderful. It’s inescapably patriarchal in the way that so many stories are, but it’s also beautiful

  39. I second the nomination for Rabbit Proof Fence, about the Stolen Generation, because the main characters are all real girls and women, and they are strong against the racist patriarchy. Also, the history it tells is something we can only get close to comprehending through stories like this.

    I also second the nomination for My Brilliant Career, because it subverts the cinderella story.

    Good luck getting either of those outside of Australia.

  40. norbizness.com

    Anything by Luis Bunuel, right?

  41. faultline.org/place/toad

    Norbizness, I slice your eyeball for that.

    Which is not to imply that I didn’t get a giggle out of Bunuel now and again.

  42. The Piano has a rape scene in it. A classic rape scene. The guy rapes her, and she falls in love with him.

  43. faultline.org

    year, ykcir, I heard a few feminist-oriented women saying nice things about The Piano, and then I rented it, and was pretty much saying “What The Fuck” through the entire damn thing. If it wasn’t the rape scene, it was the ominous Maori darkies, or the whole “mute woman” conceit, but not in a good angry way. Feh.

    Aussie Liz, Rabbit Proof Fence has actually been on Pay Per View on cable here. And one can Netflix it.

  44. sybil.wordpress.com

    I LOVE this flick from flea.

  45. Howdy Chris,

    That’s the last flick I was made to watch.
    The Aunties produced it, even if they did so from within the Matrix.
    If it makes anybody more awake to the big lie of colonial fair-treatment of aboriginal peoples then I like it.

    But it’s hard not to choke with shame when you, one of the people, see your people bow down to the bosses; when you see their already degraded material circumstances shown plain like that.
    Shame, its particular meaning amongst colonised native peoples, is the hardest thing to explain and is the biggest barrier to understanding between us and those further up the Patriarchy’s ladder.
    Shame has a lot to do with why my family never spoke up voluntarily about their history.
    Shame means that my grandmother died without telling where her mother was born; without knowing her brothers and sisters.

    I suppose that Shame is also a lot to do with class differences.
    And it may be why I am shrinking about writing this in public.
    I’m not sure.

    Read Doris Pilkington Garimara’s book for a better song.
    Nurses make wonderful mature writers. **nods to Ron**.

    And just to finish the blatant political comment of the year, this site is maintained expressly as a journalist’s resource for European sensibilities.
    It’s a good introduction for literate blog-readers to the particular problems we people are facing as the lowest of the lowest in the Australian version of the Patriarchy.

    The last flick I got no bad taste in my mouth about was Coup de Foudre, directed by Diane Kurys; friendship and ultimate solidarity between women in the face of the deadbeat and the controlling men that are the Patriarchy’s darlings. With the inevitable wreckage and a few jabs at class and race prejudice along the way.
    Of course I saw it in Paris when I was a lot younger so it may have become a little hors de la mode.
    If it’s still in print.

    And what’s this IMDB anyway? I don’t recognise the flick I saw in the reviews.

  46. What? No “Thelma and Louise”?

  47. Gas, Food, Lodging is one of my favorites with a teenage woman lead. http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0104321/ I’m a sucker for a bit of melancholy. It’s been several years since I’ve seen it; before my patriarchy-blaming developed, so I can’t vouch for it’s feminism, but it’s thoughtful and unsentimental.

  48. As a male, The Piano was a big part of my feminist awakening. I loved it. It came out when I was visiting Paris, and I saw it twice.

    Then, in grad school, I heard one of my fellow grad students do a paper on it, pointing out the rape stuff, and I was like, holy shit, she’s right, what the hell’s wrong with me? It was my introduction–much to late in life–to the favorite patriarchal trope, the woman who is raped and wakes up smiling the next morning ala Scarlett O’Hara in Gone With the Wind.

  49. faultline.org

    Darkymac, thanks for saying that. It is, of course, an expression of the privilege I enjoy that the closest parallel in my life to your story – the film Brother’s Keeper, which will tell you a lot about where I’m from, if perhaps more closely allied to the neighbors than the Ward brothers – brings mainly pride, and your reaction hadn’t occurred to me.

  50. faultline.org/place/toad

    ykcir, that trope gets really weird sometimes, as in “Welcome to the Monkey House,” for which I have never forgiven Kurt Vonnegut even when I liked him. You’ll notice in that one that Vonnegut also conflated not-being-raped with Puritanistic “frigidity,” and sexism with sex. Having had to wade through that mess a few times is why some of us alleged First-Wavers (I’m glad somebody thumped on that one) get real real skeptical when we get the “Oh, fishnets are empowering” stuff from the rollerderby kids. Cripes! What could be more Victorian than thinking a woman has to get raped to have sex, and that bizarre, class- (as in The Sex Class) tagging clothes on women have anything to do with fucking? Or anything but class-tagging? And you start with that, you end up a fashion victim like those boys stumbling around holding their sad pants up with one hand. It doesn’t work too well as irony till it’s Over. Funny, I had this discussion with my grandniece about “gay” as a putdown word.

    (Who gets to fuck? What’s the male equivalent of fishnets? Who wears it/them?)
    (If I seem obsessive about fishnets it’s because I actually wore a pair a couple of times, back in the day. God damn they were nasty-feeling. Ouch. I assume they don’t actually have knots at every crossing anymore, but I think they’d still feel creepy.
    OTOH, oddly enough, while I was actually a Catholic schoolgirl for 16 years I never did wear a plaid uniform.)

    darkymac, (bows) why thank you. I’ve thought about family silences. Lots of that in my own family. Stuff my mom’s mom and grandmother never said, or anyway Mom never told me about. Mom’s maternal GM, who was evidently fairly ferocious, came over (I think) from Ireland directly to the Pennsylvania coalfields. Why, what happened, from where, why/who(other than surname) she married, how that was for her, all that stuff, I don’t know. Lots of the family stories I don’t know, and I’m the storykeeper in my generation. I had tell people on Dad’s side why his brother Tom doesn’t have a gravestone, e.g. On Mom’s side, I do think silence and social class are related. And sex, sex (gender) as class. The women are being silent in all subjection. Is it withholding, silent rebellion, or is it acquiescence? I don’t know.

  51. DarkyMac

    I can understand your discomfort saying. It’s my experience you get one of two responses: outright racism, and meant-well racism. {In no way to put people here down. Just speaking truth).

    How far we’ve come and how far yet to go.

    I look, now, white. But when young I looked very ‘Indian’. As soon as men knew I was Metis, it was assumed I was a raging slut. The best I worked out was a trophy. Kind of like a pair of mocassins they bought when on vacation. I couldn’t say which was preferable, that or the condescension from some others. Like maybe their wives.

    And you?

  52. reneenault.com

    Twisty, you look awesome. These sparse posts are killing me! I miss you so much I de-lurked!

  53. What was so horrible about “Crash?”

    Certainly not a PLEASANT movie and not exactly subtle or intellectual, but it did sort of point out (a) racism is everywhere (b) said racism is also endlessly evil and poisonous (c) individual people are not as simple as racist vs. non-racist.

    Surely Joe and Jane Q. Public could stand to have that pointed out to them, oh, about 17,000 more times. Or am I missing something?

  54. bitchphd.blogspot.com

    The films of Murasaki are really good–Kiki’s Delivery Service, Castle in the Sky, etc. Gorgeous animation, plus they all have girl protagonists and the conflict is mostly psychological (not in Castle, though), requiring bravery and determination for the girls to overcome it. Also, the girls often have friendships with boys, who are supportive and helpful to them.

    I’m a fan of Girlfight, too. Yes, in the end the girl gets the boy, but I have always read that film as a refreshing *girl’s* fantasy fulfillment story: she doesn’t have to give anything up, and *he* learns to accept *her* as she is. So nice.

    Also, Bagdad Cafe. Swoon.

    And hey, Buffy! My god!

  55. palimpsest.typepad.com/frogsandravens

    Any of the Miyazaki’s films would be good.

    Also, how about Harold and Maude?

  56. nomorenuts.org

    I’m just sorta wondering something…if some filmmaker self-consciously makes a flick that seems to somehow manage non-Patriarchal-Matrix status…(ya follow me here so far? I had a job interview in pantyhose this morning, and NO coffee yet! Jeesh!!!) Anyway, suppose such a film existed. Wouldn’t the fact that the filmmaker had to consciously assert anti-patriarchal ATP to create the film ultimately reaffirm Twisty’s matrix theory? When you are trying to subvert Big Daddy doesn’t that mean in his prickish reality that you know he controls everything?

  57. genderberg.com

    I came across this site in January, which is coincidentally the last time it was updated, but I recommend it to people who want to investigate movies they think they want to see but are concerned about possible triggers from graphic rape or assault scenes.

    Movies That Trigger

  58. Crash:

    The message has said before and much better, and still doesn’t seem to be getting through. But this was a particularly bad saying. Not only as message, but as film.

    As for message, it was like “Hey Look What We Just Found Out About Ourselves”. That America (not individual American persons, especially here on IBTP) is self-absorbed, self-congratulatory, ignorant about the rest of the world and happy to be so–and completely lacking insight has been known to the rest of the world for sometime. There are many things I didn’t like about Crash, but off the top of my head, and apropos the topic of this blog, it catered to the idea of women and women of colour needing honky to save their asses.

    It was so badly and pathetically over-acted I nearly puked. Matt Dilon is the only actor in it who managed some integrity.

    For the type, I’d say see Do the Right Thing.

  59. Interesting site Sam.

    I’ve got a question: I was just looking at the “movies that trigger: In Theatres” section, and noticed that Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire failed the trigger test… I haven’t actually watched the whole movie, but I’ve read the book a few times. Could anyone who has seen it tell me what the hell they did to the movie to make it a sexual violence trigger? I admit it’s been a year since I read the book, but I can’t remember anything…

  60. Arianna,

    I poked around the site a little because I’m bored.

    Try this page.

    Scroll down

    “HARRY POTTER AND GOBLET OF FIRE (2005) (Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson) (PG-13)
    *Harry (a teenager) is naked in the bath. A female ghost manifests in the bathroom to talk to him. He’s obviously uncomfortable with this and she tries to see his genitals through the water.”

    Moaning Myrtle? Looking at other examples, it usually takes more to fail the trigger test.

    P.S. Let’s all see if I truly can link!

  61. Maybe they’re trying to err on the side of caution, to avoid potential lawsuits from the wingnuts.

    Seems to me impossible to avoid *all* triggers, but prudent to warn of something obvious, or something someone has complained about. Particularly in the latter case, you may open yourself to litigation if you say oh pshaw when someone complains about something, and then someone else has the same trigger and thinks you were advised but didn’t care enough to act on it to protect *them*.

  62. genderberg.com

    Many sexually abused children are molested in bathtubs by caretakers bathing them. Now I’m having flashes to the Barbara Streisand movie Nuts, arguably a feminist movie but I’d have to see it again with my year 2006 eyes before deciding.

  63. Sam, I get it now. Sorry. That just really didn’t occur to me.

    More to learn!

  64. More votes for the aforementioned:
    Whale Rider
    Rabbit Proof Fence
    gas food lodging (and snaps for Mi Vida Loca and Grace of My Heart and forgive Allison Anders for her involvment with Sex and the City)

    And I’d also like to submit a few high water marks out of the Matrix:
    Party Girl
    Passion Fish

    And this German movie just because I liked it:

  65. Oh, forgot to second Kiki’s Delivery Service although I’m not sure all teenagers would find it entertaining – great for gradeschoolers though!

  66. Ok, I just thought it was rather silly that it failed with no mention of why on the main page, while some *passed* with a disclaimer “oh, but it does contain a woman being taken hostage, tied to a bed and having her legs spread forcibly with a knife so she can be tied up”. I had, however, forgotten about Moaning Myrtle.

  67. Ok, I just thought it was rather silly that it failed with no mention of why on the main page, while some *passed* with a disclaimer “oh, but it does contain a woman being taken hostage, tied to a bed and having her legs spread forcibly with a knife so she can be tied up”.

    That was why I first said it looked like it took more to fail the trigger test.

    Certainly an interesting resource. What’s up with the hate mail?

  68. What’s up with the hate mail?

    Harry Potter fans can be pretty militant :P

  69. The film industry is just another boys’ club. I have never seen a film that didn’t spew at least a little patriarchal ideology. I have never seen a film centered around strong, interesting female leads, with flitting male roles that were passive and supplimentary to the women’s roles. It’s always the other way around, isn’t it? And how many movies perpetuate the stereotype that women are hysterical, weak, dependent, in need of saving, witless, flawed, incapable, boring, and uninteresting?

  70. piigpen.blogspot.com

    I second Sasha on “Daughters Of The Dust.” It’s simply spectacular. Julie Dash is an amazing filmmaker.

  71. Pony, can I have some specific gripes with Crash? People who don’t like it never seem to cite anything specific, just say it was bad. Maybe I have a high tolerance for melodrama (I am Italian after all) but the acting certainly didn’t seem any worse than other Hollywood movies depicting people in VERY stressfull or fraught situations (talk about damning with faint praise).

    I think it is cool to have a big, popular Hollywood picture depicting racism and sexual assault as real, pervasive hand horrible. It may be doing it at the 2nd grade level, but it is DOING IT.

    Again, it maybe hamhanded, but it makes these points without being a polemic that moderates or conservatives can just write off as lefty bullshit. The racist cop isn’t just a charicature of evil, though he does horrible things. To me this shows the risk of thinking you are a good person, doing the right thing yet you can still be capapble of awful prejudice.

  72. tonypatti.com

    I noticed a long time ago that many hollywood movies represent sexual passion in this quick, urgent, violent manner. It got to be almost funny – the typical hollywood kiss is an assault that leads to instant pumping.

    My theory was that the men in Hollywood are the most privileged men you could ever imagine, catered to by ambitious women who have been taught from birth that to serve men is the key to success. I’m sure none of them have the slightest clue as to what a satisfying relationship with a woman might be like, so how could they ever film it?

    Then I started to get angry at all the obligatory rape scenes at some point. They throw them in to make a character more evil and to gain our sympathy, sure, but they mainly do it because they love writing and filming rape scenes.

  73. “I have never seen a film centered around strong, interesting female leads, with flitting male roles that were passive and supplimentary to the women’s roles.”

    What about Triplets of Belleville?

    That’s an animated film about an old woman who helps her grandson train for the Tour de France. During the tour, he is kidnapped, and so she follows the kidnappers to the North American city of Belleville. There, she meets up with three elderly nightclub singers (The titular triplets) and the four of the have to go up against the mob the rescue the son.

    The son is pretty much entirely passive throughout the whole movie, and the four women are fascinating and tough enough to beat the mob.

    I was just going to suggest this one as a film that’s not particularly patriarchal, but maybe it’s more overtly feminist then I thought.

    The last time this subject came up I believe I also mentioned Kung Fu Hustle, a film that has a lot of patriarchal themes, but also has a GREAT character in the form of a take-no-shit landlady who also happens to be one of the most powerful martial artists in the world.

  74. Pony– sorry, forgot to address your “honky” saving women thing.

    Maybe I am just not very bright but only one woman was saved by a white guy in the movie, but she was also raped by him earlier. She certainly didn’t “need” him to do that. White guys do a lot more harm than saving in the movie.

    White gun shop owner starts essentially unprovoked racist fight.
    White cop kills black cop.
    Asian man traffics in slaves, white fence is willing to traffic in slaves.
    White cop shoots hitchhiker.
    Black man maims, almost kills Asian man.
    Two white cops demand to shoot black man and have to be talked down by the cop with the guilty conscience.
    Iranian man is prepared to shoot(?) or at least threaten Latino, almost shoots his daughter.

    If anything, this movie sends the message that men are dangerous or at least volitile, particualrly when enraged by racism or their reaction to racism. The honky savior message did NOT come through to me.

  75. superbabymama.blogspot.com

    I’d probably vote for Born in Flames, an early Lizzie Borden movie, for an example of a truly feminist, non-patriarchal movie.

  76. i’m pretty out of it, as far as movies go. sometimes my teen daughter and i see a movie together, but they are tame ones because i hate gore. we both hate ooky sex/romance stuff, and action/adventure boy flicks. gotta bomb? we hate it. stupid women doing dumb things for idiot men? we hate it.

    harry potter — we laughed at the bath scene with moaning myrtle. not that anything could be seen except embarassment, but it was a twist on the whole leering thing.

    i’d forgotten about the triplets of belleville. but it is so goofy! hard to adopt that as the queen-mother film of patriarchy-blamers, but ok for what it is.

    sheesh, one of these days, i’ll get out more.

  77. I’m sorry kreepyk. I’ve done about the best I can. If we could sit down and (gag) watch it together I could try to say.

    Did you ever read Blink? That’s me. I’m really not sliping past you on the right. I can’t without it in front of me.

  78. “Fargo”, anyone?
    Frances McDormand is the hero, she’s in charge, she kicks butt (metaphorically), and although she’s married and pregnant, her condition is totally incidental to the plot….

  79. blinkandyoullmissit.typepad.com

    Darkymac’s post reminded me, obliquely, of another film. Not to do with her post, much, but with the words she used.

    If any of you ever get a chance to see Australian film “Shame” you should do so. It’s not completely patriarchy free but it does depict a woman, a sexually ambiguous motorbike wearing lawyer, riding into a country town ala a hero in a western, and rescuing a young girl from packs of violent thugs. It makes some devestating points about rape culture as well.

    Warning, though. It is a very disturbing film and does probably contain triggers for many survivors.

  80. Well and then there’s the fascinating frightening and totally screwed up Prime of Miss Jean Brodie. Shudder. I mention it in honour of the author Muriel Spark, who died this week.

    Here’s a quote from an unsolicited testimonial:


    “Miss Jean Brodie is a dangerous, hypocrite(sic) and narcistic(sic sic) woman,…”

  81. No one has mentioned The Handmaid’s Tale. Why has no mentioned this ball busting patriarchy shaming and blaming movie. From uber feminist Margaret Atwood’s Mac.

    I fear I am veering off into movies only meant for full fledged patriarchy blamers. But she should be by now shouldn’t she? There are 701 movie suggestions cleverly escalating in hysteria.

    So I go right to the most gawd awful patriarchy hate inflaming movie I can remember. And Ron? There’s something here for you too.

    Angels and Insects.

  82. meh. plot. “tank girl” was fun and it rocked and these are suggestions for a teenager are they not?

    continuing in the vein of fun to watch, i second “triplets of belleville” and “kung fu hustle,” with the strong proviso that i still don’t know what to make of the opening scene with the dancing Black lady in “triplets.”

    i haven’t seen most of these others, but “fun” and “rocking” didn’t come to mind the many times i picked up the video case for “antonia’s line” back when my favorite video stores were pushing it.

  83. I just watched “Searching for Bobby Fischer,” which I think would be acceptable and not very blame-worthy for a teenager to watch. About a kid chess whiz who decides to have a life and play chess, too, and it turns out to be a good idea. Okay, yeah, it’s a boy, but it is based on a real person, and there are lots of girl chess whizzes at the tournaments.

    Oddly, sometimes those movies with mostly male actors offend me less because at least the female roles aren’t *offensive*. This movie centers around a boy, his dad, and his two chess mentors, both male, but his mom is a strong and positive influence.

    It ain’t earth-shattering but it’s not overtly blame-worthy, either, and it’s appropriate for a teenager.

  84. I did not like Crash, in fact I couldn’t sit through it. I thought they took every negative stereotype from every point of view, shook it in a bag and presented it in an over the top manner. At first I thought it was bad acting. Then I thought it might be the Director. Then I realized they really do think we are so stupid we have to have everything spelled out in high drama. Then I left the room to see what everyone was talking about at Twistys place.

  85. faultline.org/place/toad

    Oh yeah Triplets of Belleville! I love it. Couple of good friends must have,too; they bought the DVD and they don’t have a DVD player. Or a TV. (I think it’s like having really great dishes for friends’ potlucks.)

    And! Maureen Gosling’s Blossoms of Fire. Hard to find, but gorgeous and definitely nonpatriarchal.As much as possible etc. Google it for more detail. Documentary, not a plot exactly, but great fun.

    Gosling worked with Les Blank for years, and his doccos are fun too. Especially if you get to see them in Smellaround. I think the back of my head is in one of them, a short one, Werner Herzog Eats His Shoe. Anyway, Joe and I were there and saw Werner Herzog eat his shoe.

    It occurs to me that Errol Morris has made some interesting stuff too, and ya know? He doesn’t piss me off. (Herzog ate that shoe at the premier of Gates of Heaven, Morris’ first movie. We were there by accident.)

    (Clarks’ desert boot, simmered in garlic broth for several hours by Alice Waters and washed down with lots of Heineken.)

  86. flyinfur.blogspot.com

    I loved Triplets of Belleville. The black lady dancing is supposed to be Josephine Baker, who went to France because it was a much freer society for people of color in the 20s than it was here. What an incredible woman — she later was a part of the French Resistance during WWII, and adopted a large number of children of all different races.

    Anyway, the purpose for her being there (I think) is to set the time period for when the triplets were young.

  87. flyinfur.blogspot.com

    Plus Josephine Baker could dance in France in the 20s, wearing only a skirt of bananas, and be hailed as an artist.

    Here and now, she’d probably be raped by lacrosse players.

  88. Hi Pony,

    I’m an Australian with skin so dark that I can hide in the shadows if I keep my mouth shut and my eyes squinty.
    But it’s not so dark that wadjalas won’t give me their kiddies to teach music to.
    Most Australians fear the darkest skins; apartheid is strong here, even if unacknowledged.

    I’m sorry that I can’t discuss my sex life or such, but I don’t quite understand the level of interest that seems to be the norm in North America.
    With my friends and family, just about all our time is taken up with clearing up the damage that our own men do to our women and kiddies so I’ve never had an unbiased and free attitude to taking a partner. And so I never have lived in the same place as a sex partner and wouldn’t begin to know how a whiteman would see me.

    I never walk anywhere without my dogs.

  89. Pony-

    Is Blink a blog or a book? Last I heard it was a 90s alterna-band. ; )

  90. nomorenuts.org

    Pony, darkymac, either of you ever read Daughters of the Dreaming by Diane Bell. If you have, I’d be curious about your take on this study of aboriginal culture and ritual as they are confronted with postcolonial/neocolonial fallout:


    Jodie: “Plus Josephine Baker could dance in France in the 20s, wearing only a skirt of bananas, and be hailed as an artist. Here and now, she’d probably be raped by lacrosse players.” —Yeah you’re right, that or she’d be taunted and shamed for pandering to the male gaze. UGH! Definitely the Matrix!

  91. Well, I can’t add to any of these movies but I can throw in some comic books.

    The Losers. This comic has the toughest women ever. Nuff said.

    The Sandman: the kindly ones. Very good story about the furies(the kindly ones) seeking revenge for the theft of a womans daughter.

    And honorable mention for writing: Ghost. This one’s a shame because the art is completely standard male gaze comic fare, but the story and the shit the main character deals with is completely patriarchy blaming. Unfortunately it’s all hidden in a bunch of cleavage. Funny thing about this one, I bought all the issues of it that I have back when I was a young and stupid high schooler and completely missed the feminism. I was looking through all my old comics recently and started reading them and was thuroughly suprised by the content. Might have been the biginnings of my feminist awakening.

  92. feministe.us

    A really weird one that ended up being surprisingly good is “Series 7: The Contenders.” It’s shot like a reality tv show (on digital film as well) and the story takes place in one town in which people are selected at random to kill one another. Last person alive wins.

    The part that rocks? The protagonist is an ass-kicking, single, eight-months-pregnant woman with guns.

    Such a funny parody — and I adore the main character. I’d love to see a feminist analysis of this one.

  93. arsepoetica.typepad.com

    #35 miscellaneous, you and I could hang out. I second your whole list. “The Nasty Girl”! Damn, I loved that movie.

    And, Chris Clarke, right on w/ “The Triplets of Belleville.” Fun soundtrack, too.

  94. arsepoetica.typepad.com

    P.S. Twisty, you are rockin’ that look!

  95. kreepyk

    I found this for you. I think it touches on a lot of what I sensed while watching Crash. Jensen talks about America, and Americans, but what he says holds true for Canada too. And why not, since Paul Haggis, the director of Crash, is Canadian.


  96. Reb

    surely i will be lambasted over a raging fire of feminist anger here–but–
    Clueless is a fantastic movie for the teen set.
    watch it again if you’re ready to burn me for saying that. memory gets polluted with all the horrid other inane teen movies that have come since, but this one is satisfyingly nasty and filled with chances for you, the viewer, to enjoy your superiority/distance from Cher and crew. the filmmaker meant it that way, too.
    i mean, it ain’t no Rabbit Proof Fence… but sometimes one wants entertainment, no?
    maybe it’s in the same category as roller derby–but it’s intelligent lowbrow, not inane. methinks.

  97. “9 to 5,” with Lily Tomlin, Jane Fonda, Dolly Parton, et al. (watching it again right now on CMT).

  98. madsheilamusings.blogspot.com

    Did anyone mention ‘Looking For Alibrandi’? I see that a few Aussie & Enzed films have been mentioned; it would be a shame to leave this one out!

    Don’t know if anyone’s still reading this, but Looking For Alibrandi is a good film about a teenage Italian-Australian girl struggling to find her place in the WASP community as a legitmiate Aussie, as well as within her own community as a bona fide Roman Catholic (she was born out of wedlock). LFA was based on the novel by Melina Marchetta. Great film, great read.

  99. Movie to anticipate in your area:


  1. Feminist Law Professors » Blog Archive » On Following Instructions

    […] Here is a short documentary film that presents a little bit of empirical evidence that women seek out and follow instructions better than men. It apparently orginated at this website.  Oddly, it is entitled “Why Women Should Be In Charge.”  But if women were in charge, we would be issuing instructions rather than following them, right? In any event, the wmv file is here and I instruct you to watch it! But only if you want to.  I learned about it via Twisty, who got it from Flea. The film’s narrator, David Fineg, also surfaced today in this post at Pen-Elayne. […]

  2. phx internet

    phx internet…

    abrikoskos 2623333 Good information about phx internet….

  3. interior sliding glass door

    interior sliding glass door…

    The best of interior sliding glass door….

Comments have been disabled.