Tuesday, March 22, 2011


I know absolutely nothing about Suckerpunch except that it's a Zach Snyder joint, so guilty pleasure material, and it's got teeny girls kicking serious ass. And though my inner feminist is usually on a hair trigger, I'm going to drag a companion to see this movie even if it's terrible. But even if it is awful, I'm not sure that this is a really good basis for saying so:
[T]he petite bloodthirsty girly-girls of Sucker Punch still bare their midriffs and cleavages even in what is supposedly their own fantasy scenarios. Maybe I’m alone here, but when I am imagining myself kicking some high-fantasy ass, it’s sheathed in the sort of Kevlar weave, full-body armor that would put a Nolan-verse Batman to shame. Leather hot-pants, after all, have a tendency to ride up when one is jumping out of bomber jets into frenzied combat.
I fail to see the problem. It's not like male avatars of superherodom aren't fit and muscular and don't take great pains to highlight their secondary sex characteristics through inches of steel/rubber/Kevlar. And if you are willing to suspend disbelief in order to make yourself a 100 lb girl ninja paratrooper, are wedgies really a reasonable sticking point? If you want to get all buzz-killer about it, how do you go to the bathroom in Batman-style body armor? Might it not cause you to overheat? Hot pants: Not so much.

If you are fantasizing, why not have perfectly smooth airbrush-tanned legs that bad guys barely have time to salivate over before you kick them in the face? There is no universe where incredible fighting skills + attractive is not >>>>> than incredible fighting skills. What exactly is attractive about a Kevlar jumpsuit? That implies you might get hit. A crop top and daisy dukes says "you will never, ever touch me (unless I want you to)."

(Now the whole bit about male-gazing and using sexual abuse for audience outrage and titillation, probably a good call. But in the grand scheme of things, I am less troubled by obviously fantastical sexism than I am by, say, the pernicious and horrible sexist influence of rom-coms and reality TV. And this has swords and explosions.)
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