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Food for Thought

I've spent several free minutes today downloading pictures of Hit Girl.  (How else am I supposed to make that costume?) In doing so, I came across an article that truly intrigued me. This is an excerpt:

The final issue at hand involves the somewhat preposterous fear that young girls will find a way to see and decide that Hit Girl is a role model for their play fantasies. Damn right they will. And you know what? Who cares? We have no qualms about young boys idolizing murderous womanizers like James Bond or Tony Stark. We never bat an eye when an eight-year-old boy wants to dress up as that genocidal, galaxy-destroying, slaughterer-of-children known as Darth Vader. And that's not even counting the countless fantasy games based on horror-film boogie-men of the moment. More than once, I dressed up for Halloween as an undead former child molester turned murderer of teens who sliced and diced innocent kids using a glove with knives for fingers. I turned out OK. As I wrote last November regarding the Twilight series, no one complains when our nation's boys emulate somewhat immoral male protagonists from various mainstream blockbusters, but we're up in arms about the questionable morality of female protagonists. Let's trust our young girls just a bit more. Any young girl who watches Kick-Ass and thinks that she wants Hit Girl's life is probably just as wrongheaded as the countless young boys who grew up really wanting to be Batman or Spider-Man. Which is, of course, partially what Kick-Ass is really about.

The entire article is worth a read, and it can be found here, but I have only two things to say about this. One, bravo! And two, fucking A for mentioning Tony Stark. I swear to Steve the Fruitbat that if I come across one more "Tony is all reformed now that he has Pepper" story anywhere on the internet, I'm going to implode. So. Not. EVER. Going. To. Happen. (And if it did, Pepper would be dead within two issues. Just sayin. And any of you who read Invincible Iron Man - don't spoil! Yes, I have read the World's Most Wanted storyline, and uh...guh!  But really. Don't spoil.) Oh, and three (because it's my LJ and I can do what I want): I role played James Bond as a kid. Who didn't? And Bruce Wayne was awesome! I didn't meet Tony Stark until high school, but I liked him, too, thanks. Smart engineering types who could build their way out of anything and didn't have superpowers per se was my secondary MO. (My first, of course, was bad-ass martial artists.) And those were my choices. There weren't too many cool girl characters out there. So I say thanks to Hit Girl for giving my nieces gender-appropriate kick-ass (ahem) characters to play with. And you know what? I'm the cool aunt. Maybe in a few years, I'll let them see Kick-Ass. After all, my dad let me watch RoboCop and Platoon one weekend when my mom was out of town. That was a great weekend.

Also (yes, that's four - what's your point?): thanks to the writer of this article for knowing how to use hyphens in superhero names and representing both Marvel (my life's love) and DC (my first love). Here's to parity!

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( 8 comments — Leave a comment )
poisonyoulove
May. 28th, 2010 10:52 am (UTC)
Good article! I actually hadn't heard any complaints about Hit Girl except that some people were offended by her language. Apparently killing is fine as long as you don't use the C-word? Silly.

I watched tons of violent movies as a kid and I'm not screwed up. Well, not screwed up because of that. :) And it's not only boys who dress up as Freddy Krueger for Halloween, I did it!
jackwabbit
May. 28th, 2010 01:06 pm (UTC)
Oh, they're out there. Read the Ebert review. That's just the most famous example, but a lot of peeps were put off by the violence, too, simply because it comes from an eleven-year-old girl.

You know it's funny. Since the dreaded "c-word" is said every day in my house, I simply can't get too worked up about that. *grin*
poisonyoulove
May. 28th, 2010 08:34 pm (UTC)
Wow, it made Ebert sad. (well, his insisting that video games can never be art made ME sad, but I digress . . .) I can see how it wouldn't be everyone's cup of tea, but I have a problem with people pushing that on others, saying kids shouldn't see it and all that.

Oh, I curse like a sailor in real life. XD I try not to online because I feel I come across as angry when you can't hear the tone of voice.
jackwabbit
May. 28th, 2010 11:49 pm (UTC)
Yeah...I'm with you on the games thing. They can be art, IMHO. But that's just it, isn't it? IMHO. I'm fine with Ebert's opinion because he is very honest. I'm okay with honest. I like that he says he's simply not interested in inhabiting my world. That's fine with me. I can't imagine living in his. To each their own. But yeah...don't preach and don't judge, please.

As for cursing, I go through phases. Right now, I'm in a pretty good filter stage, meaning I can turn off my cursing at work but of course still put up blue streaks at home. But my filter will break eventually. It always does. Then I start cursing like crazy at work, too, and I have to consciously reel myself in a bit. That whole "professionalism" thing. Dammit. Then I start all over. *g* But in my own home? I can say what I want, thanks. I tend not to curse half as much online/in writing as verbally, as well. For the reasons you mentioned.

But I'm a pirate, through and through, and I sound like one at home. (And that "c-word?" Yeah...that's what hubby and I call our youngest (and most favorite) cat.) Honestly, though, hubby and I don't really believe in "dirty words," so whatever.
curuchamion
May. 28th, 2010 11:56 am (UTC)
Ooh, that's fascinating. I'm not sure I agree with everything the article said, but it's definitely food for thought.

'I role played James Bond as a kid. Who didn't?'

Me. *g* (I was too busy RPing Davy Crockett, and later Aragorn. Different "secondary MO", same basic thing.)

There still aren't a lot of cool girl characters around - and at the risk of getting into essay-for-my-own-LJ territory, I think the ones there are have trouble balancing the feminine and masculine stereotypes they deal with. The madonna/whore thing gets mixed up with the male soldier/healer thing, and we wind up with either "tough, sexy, kickbutt" women or "sweet, feminine, compassionate" women (who are then vilified for not being feminist-friendly or some such). It'd be nice to see more women who can both take down a kidnapper, for instance, and comfort a frightened child; goodness knows I can think of enough male characters who do both.

(Okay, partly because I have rather an eye for guys who like kids, but that's beside the point. Point is, male characters of that description exist.)

At least there's Sam Carter and Janet Fraiser...
jackwabbit
May. 28th, 2010 01:04 pm (UTC)
Indeed. I do not agree with everything, either, but again, it's food for thought.

And I RP'd Davy Crockett, too! I forgot about him and Daniel Boone and all that! Whee!

And yes, thanks to Steve the Fruitbat for Carter and Fraiser. We could go on about your fourth paragraph all day, but frankly I don't have time and I did it too much when I was younger to want to go too in depth now. Suffice to say: yes, this. Amongst other things.
lemonpiefirefly
May. 29th, 2010 02:42 am (UTC)
What, they weren't talking about Spiderman, the Jewish superhero? ;)

And yes, Kick-Ass is awesome for many reasons. One of my favorite? She's young enough that we aren't burdened with the super-curvaceous, best-hair-ever, and fights in 8-inch stilettos bit.

She's just A COOL CHARACTER, and has her feminine fun bits about her (effing. LOVE. The. Purple. Hair.)
I mean, with the male characters, rarely is it a major point of the storyline that they run around Being Hot and Snaring People (except Bond. But ya gotta love Bond. Connery's Bond. Ehem.). And though, yes, she did move the plot forward in the film by looking lollipop-lickingly innocent at one point, it was just awesome to have an assassin-style killing machine in a little daddy's girl package.

If I were younger, thinner, and a lot shorter, I would be proud to cosplay HitGirl. Because she is one cool C*** !
jackwabbit
May. 29th, 2010 04:02 am (UTC)
Very good point on the whole stilettos thing. There's none of that bullshit, at least. As someone once famously said, wear good shoes.

You know...it does occur to me that you are tall enough to, um, pull off Big Daddy. Just sayin. *iz a bit disturbed*

To quote Stephen Lynch: strangely compelling.

Also?

"Under control? You're getting a fucking bazooka!"
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