Navigating the Manic Pixie Dream Minefield

Hello fellas.

Look at your woman. Now look at this article, now back to your woman, now back to this article. Sadly, this article isn’t a woman, but it was written by one, and I’d to talk to you men, and ladies, about that most crafty of stock women, the infamous Manic Pixie Dream Girl.

I am speaking as one of the cynical converted. I had my phase in my mid-teens. Oh, most women do these days. It starts small, with an unrealistic obsession with The Smiths and anime, and ends with being so hyper and peppy and quirky and kitsch that, apparently, everyone in the universe can’t help but fall in love with your girlish charm.

NOPE NOPE NOPE

NOPE NOPE NOPE

For those not in the know, TV Tropes does a wonderful job of mythbusting this type of woman wide open, and but in a nutshell, I posit that you can define your average MPDG as thus:

“A cutesy, hyperactive and shallow woman, that doesn’t have any defining personality types apart from being “bubbly” or “quirky”, often infantile to the point of ridiculousness, who displays a general inability to handle adult situations or behave in non-childish manner.” – B. Smith, 2014.

It’s a sickening trope so overused in modern cinema, literature and TV that, chances are, she’s up there with the 19th century Fallen Woman or the film noir Femme Fatale – the Manic Pixie is the archetypal 2D woman of the 21st century. No longer are women simply muses, they’ve got to be “quirky” muses.  Think the myth of Pygmalion, except the statue has an unhealthy obsession with New Wave English bands, Spongebob Squarepants and dip dying her hair a crraaaaazzzyyy colour!

The MPDG – not only is she attractive, but she’s so quirky and cute and desirable! She loves whacky adventures! She probably can’t define irony! She LOVES exclamation marks! What’s more, her existence will stop you from your faux-depressive funk and encourage you to love life again! The only catch is that she’s a detrimental fantasy that will unequivocally ruin the wellbeing of the woman in question, the relationship you’re having with her, and generally your understanding as to how real, functional adult people work.

 

ALSO NOPE NOPE NOPE

ALSO NOPE NOPE NOPE

I’d argue that there are two branches to the stock MPDG character:

1)    Women who genuinely aspire to be manic pixie dream girls, or, in a twist of fate,

2)   Men who project the manic pixie dream girl image onto desirable women;

There’s a reason why most MPDGs are cooked up by male scriptwriters looking for a new ideal of woman: the fantasy that a single person holds the key to all personal and romantic salvation.  Your MPDG isn’t merely your love interest, she is the reason for your creative flair, your rediscovered happiness, your sense of purpose etc etc. Women might have their men in shining armour; but men have their manic pixie dream fairies, always giggling, always twirling, twirling.

But it’s that second type of MPDG – the projected MPDG – which might be the worst kind. Ladies and gentleman of the jury, I present you with the archetypal case of the “projected” MPDG – Summer Finn from 500 Days of Summer.

Oh hai, Zooey DeschaDreambait

Oh hai, Zooey DeschaDreambait

 

For those who haven’t seen the classic romcom, go do so. Because I think it might be the most effective debunking of projected MPDGs that has so far been displayed on screen. Throughout Tom’s narrative, we’re led to believe that Summer isn’t really a person. She is a perfect MPDG fantasy, quirky and cute and nothing else.

Only the twist is – and it took me multiple views of the film to realise this – that Summer is a real person. She makes stupid choices like the rest of us. I wouldn’t be surprised if she has a solid education, strong views on ethics and morality and a subscription to TIME magazine. The problem is that both Tom, and the scriptwriters, never let us see that. We only see Summer as Tom wants to see her – all sepia tinted shots, super close ups, and lots and lots of innocent blue ribbon *cough* *SYMBOLISM* *cough*.

It's EVERYWHERE... Oh god, not the blue dress, NOT THE BLUE DRESS! BLLAAAAAAHHHHH! IT'S IN MY EYES, MY EYES, MY EEEEYYYEESSS!

It’s EVERYWHERE… Oh god, not the blue dress, NOT THE BLUE DRESS! BLLAAAAAAHHHHH! IT’S IN MY EYES, MY EYES, MY EEEEYYYEESSS!

Perhaps she has a really cool hobby or interesting anecdotes about her childhood. Perhaps she studied in a really prestigious college, perhaps she has radical political opinions, and perhaps her favourite style of cooking is something other than “baking”. We’ll never know. All Tom knows is he loves her “smile”. We only ever see the film through Tom’s perspective.  “Summer”, Tom’s ideal of true love, is a fantasy without any real voice in the movie. But Summer, the reality, is only ever depicted off screen. Her real desires and dreams don’t correlate with Tom’s fantasy childlike woman, so we are never allows see them.

Ultimately, the MPDG is defined by arbitrary choices, like a hello kitty backpack, a necklace, a hipster ironic kindle cover. Her view of the world isn’t a genuine wonder or excitement but a kind of hyperactive squeal, pointing out Smiths Vinyls and American chocolate and with equal measure ditz and quirk. What does she think about, besides her comic books and hair dye? Not much, apparently. You’ve got to ask yourselves – are these kind of relationships, these inevitably artificial relationships based on a legacy of male wish fulfillment, what you want for yourselves?

Now ladies and fellas, look at yourselves. Now look at this article, now back to yourselves, now back to this article. Are you, or are you dating, a MPDG? Are you and your relationships made of about as much empty sugar, hollow air and artificial pink flavourings as so much candy floss? If so, it might be time to give 500 Days of Summer a rewatch. I’m on a horse.

For more more detailed analysis of Zooey Deschanel, damaging stock characters or more successful parodies of the Old Spice Guy, you should follow VFM on Twitter or Facebook. Alternatively, you could try jumping on a trampoline and screaming very loudly while trying to inspire a man having an artistic crisis, but it’s not the recommended method of getting in touch. 

#TwitterFeminism – The Feminist Twitter Accounts You Should Be Following

I love twitter.  I love it and cherish it like the son or daughter I will probably never have. I am glued to my phone, frequently commenting on essays, books, David Cameron’s shiny shiny forehead.

However, if there’s one great use for twitter, it’s spreading the feminist joy. Twitter, if used with great responsibility, is a handy political tool – and that doesn’t mean taking selfies of yourself with fancy burgers or tweeting “Ed Balls”. With hashtags like #RapeCultureIsWhen, #FeminismIsForWhiteWomen, #MyFeminismLooksLike,  twitter is basically awesome for feminists who want to hear from all sides of the world and all sides of the argument.

Sometimes the internet can be a minefield of "What-the-actual-hell", but feminism on twitter is alive and well!

Sometimes the internet can be a minefield of “What-the-actual-hell”, but feminism on twitter is alive and well!

For those uninitiated into the world of Twitter feminism, here’s my top list of feminists who you should follow on twitter. Feel free to comment below with your own suggestions!

A HANDY GUIDE TO THE TWITTERY ACCOUNTS THAT YOU SHOULD FOLLOW:

@VagendaMagazine, @theFwordUK – the general go-to accounts for light feminist articles in the UK (besides VFM, of course). The Vagenda in particular has a great (and responsive!) twitter account.

@EverydaySexism and @NoMorePage3 – leading campaign sites for contemporary feminist issues. Don’t forget to check out their prospective websites too!

@feminsthulk – because smashing the patriarchy is always better in capital letters.

@WhiteFeminist, @feministkanye, @feministswift – parody accounts which will make you laugh as well as think. All are both sadly truthful and hilarious.

@CaitlinMoran@lenadunham, @wmarybeard – awesome ladies who are famed for light, funny feminism. And Mary Beard says such intelligent stuff that blows your mind, that I’d follow her regardless of political orientation.

@femfreq – if you’re into gaming and feminism, this is an awesome place to start.

@VictorianPrude, @monaeltahawy – awesome activists in America. Sarah Slamen is currently fighting against the changes to abortion rights in Texas. Mona is particularly into Muslim and Arab feminism as well as Isralei/Palestine conflict.

@VFMArticles – just in case you forgot to add us 🙂

Don’t forget to also follow VFM on Facebook if Twitter isn’t your cup of social networking tea. Incidentally if you want to follow me and suggest I add to the list, my twitter handle is @BethSaysThings

A Birthday Blog: 5 Things for Feminists To Actually Do In Their Twenties*

*If they want to, I mean. This is the end of the Third Wave/start of the Fourth Wave and all. Who the hell am I to tell you what to do?

So, today, the 20th March in the year 2014, is my birthday. I am twenty years old. Woo.  

OHEMGEESITSMABIRFDAY

I thought I’d take some time out of my day to reflect on a little internet nugget that has been floating about on my Facebook feed for a while now. No, not that somewhat well intentioned yet misguided “No make up selfie” one, there are enough blog posts criticising that right now. I mean the now infamous “X list of things to do when/before you are Age Y” article.

In particular, now that I am an official member of the twenties club, I’m focusing on a particular article on Thought Catalog that’s done the rounds of late, “Five Things women need to do in their twenties or else the suffragists died for nothing” which is a sort of lovechild subgroup of the horrific “things to do in your twenties” brand of buzzfeed/studentbeans articles. Because if there’s two things that generation Y loves on the t’internet, it’s a) pointless lists and b) THINGS WHICH MAKE YOU FUCKING PARANOID ABOUT WASTING YOUR PRIME ADULT YEARS.

100% Accurate Venn Diagram Lovingly Crafted By Yours Truly

100% Accurate Venn Diagram Lovingly Crafted By Yours Truly

Anyhow, days after people flagged out the obscenity of this article, it turns out it was written by a guy for a joke.  If that information doesn’t point out how shitty and poorly researched the world of ThoughtCatalog is, I give up with you people.

Anywho, in light of my new age group and the busting of the article, here’s I think feminist women should actually do in their twenties. If you want.

1) Vote, and Be All Political and Stuff

Hey! Voting is fun. Women threw themselves under horses and starved themselves so you could have the right to do this, so why not actually fucking do it rather than complaining. Turns out the suffragists were not so much about travelling and getting a tan so much as using your political autonomy to have a say in how your local and national councils represent you both nationally and internationally. Whodathunkit.

She knows where it's at.

She knows where it’s at.

And if you hate politics, why not do something about it? Don’t “forget” to vote or be too apathetic to bother. Campaign for a better system. Make signs and stand in public places and shout for a bit. Petition councils and governments. Get mad. Do stuff. Don’t sit there on your arse.

2) Know Stuff About The World Around You

That means actually knowing stuff that’s happening which can have an impact on a global scale, e.g. that situation in Ukraine’s that’s a been a bit whacked up recently. Do you know what’s going on like a well-informed and person, or are you too busy to care?

Likewise, there are issues that are not traditionally associated with western Europe but still occur here and worldwide such as FGM, forced marriages, lack of access to education, lack of access to knowledge sources, lack of political representation etc etc etc. Go read a few books, watch the news, know stuff. Then think and act on’t.

3) Actually Like Your Body For Once

If you treat your body gently and with respect then you can look however the hell you want to. Fat? IDGAF. Skinny? Likewise. It’s high time for the fat tummy and chubby arms appreciation society. Knowing yourself and respecting yourself is an important step on the way to adulthood. Go do that.

When I Google "Happy Women" a Lot of Stock Images of This Kind Show Up. Don't Be  a Moron and Jump About in Cornfields Like a Pleb (Unless You Want To). Just Be Happy In Your Own Skin.

When I Google “Happy Women” a Lot of Stock Images of This Kind Show Up. Don’t Be a Moron and Jump About in Cornfields Like a Pleb (Unless You Want To). Just Be Happy In Your Own Skin.

4) Know That Intersectionality Exists, Work Towards Understanding It

Being an intersectional feminist does not mean “I am privileging race over gender”. As a white woman I occupy a certain area of inherited privilege. If I understand when I fuck up and use that privilege unknowingly, apologise, learn from it, and do my best to not do it again and help understand and help improve experience of women who occupy a more discriminated sphere than myself (trans women, black women, Asian women, disabled women), then I’ll have at least done something. Privilege is a real shitty thing in this society which we need to change. One of the first things you can do is understand that notion of “privilege”, how you are “privileged”, and how that relates in real time in society.

5) Understand that You Have Rights and Responsibilities, and That Action Must Be Taken When Necessary to Protect Them.

If you don’t pay the slightest attention to anything else in this article, then read this point.

As human beings, we all have rights and responsibilities. I have the right to be safe, healthy, well represented with an autonomous voice – and the responsibility to use them to the best of my ability, and not infringe the rights of others or be an arse to anyone else. If my rights or responsibilities are threatened, or if the rights and responsibilities of any other group I know are being threatened, it’s my obligation to give a crap. Again, whether that’s signing a petition or standing on a picket line, THE TRICK IS TO AT LEAST DO SOMETHING rather than writing a Facebook post about it.

Here’s to doing something decent with the next ten years of my life.

You could always follow VFM on Twitter or Facebook if you don’t like lists OR posts about Things To Do In Your Twenties. Because most articles on here aren’t that. Promise.

Veronica Mars: The Bitch is Back

'A long time ago, we used to be friends...'

‘A long time ago, we used to be friends…’

It’s a perfectly good Saturday night and I could be anywhere (in any of my local old man pubs or studying at home) but I’m in a cinema in the middle of nowhere with a bunch of strangers watching the Veronica Mars movie. Veronica Mars, for those of you not up to date with your 2004 American teen noir, is a teenage detective living in the corrupt town of Neptune and played by Kristen Bell. She’s less Nancy Drew and more Nancy Screw-you (because you don’t mess with the Mars) and she’s back after nearly a decade of silence, thanks to the life-giving powers of Kickstarter.

I’m not sure how much there is in the film for casual viewers, but for fans of the show and noir, there is a lot to enjoy here. The film suffers from a slight lack of pacing, and probably one too many cameos and injokes (did James Franco need to be there? That is the question you ask yourself) but it delivers jumps, laughs and one liners to an engaging degree. So, to all involved in the film- well done! You didn’t waste all that Kickstarter money on a private yacht party. In fact, the lack of faux-gritty handheld camera shots attests to a significant part of the budget being spent on tripods, which I heartily commend.

But because I’m churlish and a general party pooper, I have three questions to ask of the movie.

***WARNING: Though I’ve tried to not give too much away, the following does contain some mild spoilers***

1. Is being true to the fans and being true to the story and characters the same thing?

Brooding, steamy glances are present and accounted for.

Brooding, steamy glances are present and accounted for.

While Kickstarter campaigns for films are not a new thing, Veronica Mars was certainly the most high profile, having broken several records with the campaign. Warner Brothers were not exactly bending over to finance a cancelled teen show from yesteryear, but the fandom came through. Sourpusses like me were concerned that because of this the film, in trying to please the fans who had paid for it, would become little more than Logan and Veronica fanfiction. Just some backstory here: Peeps hate Piz, Veronica’s boyfriend at the start of the movie, because he’s just so nice and loving and generally not getting accused of murder. Logan on the other hand is the series’ Heathcliff; he’s broody, he’s full of passion and wild love, and oh yeah, he’s psychotic, violent, and keeps winding up with a dead ex-girlfriend. What a catch!

However, despite my misgivings, the film actually did a decent job of treading the tightrope between wanting to deliver the best film possible to the fans who had paid for it, and pandering. It gave the fans (and let’s be honest, who else is going to be watching the film?) exactly what they wanted; with a side helping of doom, gloom and ‘things will probably go downhill from here’. It’s a pretty sweet ride, with undertones of tragedy. I concede that the fans knew what they were doing: Fans 1 : Sourpusses 0.

2. Can a film ever really capture all of the magic of a good TV series?

Veronica Mars: the only franchise where a woman lurking in a corner with a camera makes me feel nostalgic.

Veronica Mars: the only franchise where a woman lurking in a corner with a camera makes me feel nostalgic.

Making a film of a TV series is not a task for the faint hearted. In one medium you will have had seasons and years of character development and storylines, with time to build it all up convincingly, while in the other medium you are necessarily condensing it all into something easy to digest in under two hours. I was worried that Veronica’s contradictory, flawed and oh so badass character was going to get shrinkwrapped into little more than a caricature- but she survived largely intact. If there was one thing they had to jettison to streamline the story it was all of her random acts of kindness. Casual viewers will probably be left more afraid than enamoured with Veronica, but you can’t help but for feel for the girl when Madison Sinclair is a Mega Bitch at the reunion.

The film couldn’t provide all of the complexities and characterisation of the TV series (there is just not enough time to do that), however, it did top the TV series in one very important facet- with the removal of the white knight figure. Veronica’s one tough cookie, but eventually (and almost always in the series finale) she’ll end up alone with a psychopath and needing rescuing from either Logan or her dad, and it hasn’t always sat right with me. Guess who rescues Veronica from her inevitable brush with a psychopath in the movie? Veronica. Boom. Sisters be doing it for themselves!

3. How much Veronica is too much Veronica?

Will we be seeing all these lovely peeps together again soon?

Will we be seeing all these lovely peeps together again soon?

So- is this the end of the line for Veronica or is a Kickstarter campaign for a sequel hovering in the wings? The story was left deliberately open ended to allow for such an event. Do we need another film? Did we need this one? One of the reasons I wouldn’t want a sequel is because every Veronica vehicle tends to end in the calm before the shitstorm- the girl can solve crimes, but only by booking herself and her friends and family first class tickets on a trainwreck. Veronica spent so much of the series trying to get out of her hellhole of a town and getting over her feelings for Logan- if she goes back to it all it is just not going to end well. I love the character so much that I’m not sure I can sit and watch her torture herself over endless sequels.

Who am I kidding? Of course I can. Like any addict, if there’s Meth going, I want some. Whether it should be on offer is another question.

In conclusion, its not often that Veronica Mars makes me less cynical, but this film did a good job of, if not silencing my inner critic, at least stuffing my inner fan with so many marshmallows that it was a worthwhile trip back to Neptune. Now, where’s the Meth at?

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A Women’s Best Friend Part One: Standing up for friends

Dogs-dogs-16697078-500-375

In the media dogs have not had a great time: with reports of dog attacks, the branding of certain dogs as dangerous breeds and the demonization of their species, over the past few decades. Once described as man’s best friend these creatures have found themselves slowly becoming ostracized from society by humans, with many being abandoned, put down and left to become aggressive. So who will come to these canines’ rescue? How about women?

Growing up I made a lot of assumptions of how humans view dogs, believing that the rest of humanity viewed them in the same way I did. Not once in my childhood did I see dogs as aggressive, only as protective; never as dangerous, only as powerful; never as monsters, only as friends (and some of them as jack asses). It also never in a million years crossed my mind that my gender would be a problem when it came to owning a dog. Growing up with and around powerful breeds, I never thought being a girl would disqualify me from owning one of these breeds. However as an adult not only have I been warned against adopting powerful breeds, due to the fact that as a woman, I would be too weak to control one. I have also been told quite frankly that as a woman, I should never own a dog, as woman can never really train any dog without a man.

In these collections of articles, I want to put my argument forward as to why women (without male supervision) not only should adopt dogs, but also why women should consider adopting some of the more powerful breeds. I also want to  set the record straight about the myths about breeds, why some dogs become aggressive,  and how it can easily be prevented. Dogs can bring so much to a human’s life, why can’t they be our best friend too?

9 Things I Learned From Masters of Sex

Hardly conventional Christmas fare, but I love it.

Hardly conventional Christmas fare, but I love it.

Well, the first series of Masters of Sex has come to a close this week, leaving me mournful and sullen. What on earth will I do this Christmas without weekly updates from William Masters and Virginia Johnson, my favourite sex researchers? But this show wasn’t just about boobs and butts. There was a lot of important information that I learned throughout the series- and here it all is. Warning: contains mild spoilers.

1. Masters is a douche.
Seriously, I know they’ve spiced things up to make the series more interesting, but the way the character is written, it feels like the main reason Masters went into gynaecology is because he likes hanging out with other twats. This is a man who lets his wife think that she’s infertile, when the reason she isn’t up the duff is because he’s shooting blanks. What a douche.

michaelsheen

2. Douches can be beautiful.
But then Masters helps that black lady have a baby, and the prostitute who thinks she’s dying of a brain tumour, and he is one of the nicest, kindest, most awesome human beings ever. And then the douchery comes back! What is this?? Damn you three dimensional characterisation!

3. Hospital canteens in the 50’s have the best food ever.
The real porn in this series is the food these docs are tucking into! In one scene Hoss complains that all he had to look forward to was a Welsh Rarebit for lunch from the canteen? ALL? These people eat like Gods!

4. Freud, you card!
Oh Freud, keeping women down with penis envy and labelling female masturabation as immature! What are we going to do with you? Let’s play this at him obnoxiously!

5. The tits to wang ratio on this show is ridickulous.
I understand that in a show about sex, nudity is necessary for the storytelling yadda yadda yadda but almost every major female character (in fact, make that most women with more than six lines) has had a nude scene so far in this show, and not a single bloke has had his dick out. Eventually it’s going to stop feeling necessary and important to the storytelling, and going to cross into leery.

lizziechaplain

6. Barry Bostwick is still a fox.
Nearly forty years after Bostwick played Brad Majors in The Rocky Horror Picture Show, he’s back as an elderly lothario who still has plenty of sugar to go around. Frank-n-furter would be so proud *sniff*.

Oh, Brad!!

Oh, Brad!!

7. 1950’s Housewives must have been bored out of their perfectly coiffured skulls.
Master’s wife Libby does nothing but plan parties, shop and watch the fifties equivalent of Strictly Come Dancing. It’s a miracle she hasn’t gone batshit crazy and burnt all of Master’s research, before splashing naked in a fountain and yelling ‘I’m a Kraken from the sea!!’ Masters won’t even let her wank for his amusement. THE WOMAN NEEDS A HOBBY, MAN!!!

All I want for Christmas is a sense of purpose!

All I want for Christmas is a sense of purpose!

8. The return of the good feminist versus bad feminist.
What is with today’s media? I know not every feminist can be good, but it feels like it is impossible for television and film to have a strong, feminist, beautiful woman with a sense of a family without then also adding a frigid alternative. Lillian DePaul has a lot of characterisation, and you can love her crusty soul, but yeesh! So she doesn’t wear makeup or want a man. She’s a gynaecologist with cancer in the 50’s. She has NO TIME for your shit. Not every feminist can be a sexy, friendly lass with a love of family- do you know how hard it is to do all of that?

Spot the bad feminist. Hint: the bad feminist is the one you don't want to shag.

Spot the bad feminist. Hint: the bad feminist is the one you don’t want to shag.

9. Never, ever, EVER, EVER type Masters of Sex into image search for pictures to accompany your article. DO NOT DO IT.
I think this one is fairly self-explanatory.

mastersofsexcast

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Frozen: Snow Queens with Attitude!

Tangled, Brave, and now Frozen– no, it’s not just a trend of adjective titled films, but big animated productions from Disney and Pixar which have made a conscious effort to have strong female protagonists. Disney and Pixar are arguably the most dominant forces on the animation market, and since The Princess and the Frog we’ve had a host of ‘princesses’ who are not just your average royalty, Boo-Boo.

'Don't believe everything you read in fairytales, Boo-Boo! Some women are pretty strong... and some can even read!'

‘Don’t believe everything you read in fairytales, Boo-Boo! Some women are pretty strong… and some can even read!’

In a year where I considered myself spoiled with female buddy movie The Heat, in came Frozen, the pinnacle of western animation’s feminist journey so far. Tiana was ambitious, Merida’s story revolved around her relationship with her mother instead of her relationship with boyz, and Rapunzel was so much feistier than the Auroras and Cinderellas of yesteryear. But watching Frozen, I felt more affinity with Anna and Elsa than I’d had with any Disney princess. That’s not to say their fore-runners haven’t had kick-ass qualities that I wanted and wished to have- but here were two women who felt like women, and most importantly they shared traits that were less ethereal and more realistic. Sorry Eilonwy, but Anna, with her incredible social awkwardness, is so my Disney Princess.

Sorry Eilonwy, but NO ONE cares about Black Cauldron. Apart from me, obvs.

Sorry Eilonwy, but NO ONE cares about Black Cauldron. Apart from me, obvs.

The songs are great, the jokes are cracking, the animation was sumptuous (and the ladies were obligatorily pretty, Lino DiSalvo) and I didn’t want the film to end. For the first time since my childhood, a Disney twist was actually surprising. The film transported me back to my own childhood. For you see, readers, I have a sister, and Frozen showcased a complicated, positive sisterhood tale that rang true. It was heart warming, and then it was heart melting, and by the end of the film I was a gushy puddle, as was my friend who grew up with no sisters.

 
What I really found interesting (and I promise you this is not a spoiler) was the opening of the film, where Elsa’s power is established, and, after a HEARTBREAKING ACCIDENT, we see her lock herself away in a room. The idea of Anna wandering around and growing up in a castle with an unknown and largely forgotten sister hidden away, reminded me strongly of Jane Eyre.

 
However, unlike Mrs. Rochester, Elsa is mostly a positive metaphor for female sexuality (her power is her sexuality, if you will follow me down the garden path of feminist theory). Yeah, Elsa is a party pooper, but because of the rich characterisation, you know she isn’t the bad guy (girl). In fact, she also seemed to be giving new insight into older Disney villainesses like Maleficent. Rather like Polly Teale’s stage adaptation of Jane Eyre, the separation of the innocent, virginal Anna from the mature, loose haired and slit skirted Elsa, only causes trouble and bother.

Jane Eyre and Mrs. Rochester in Teale's adaptation.

Jane Eyre and Mrs. Rochester in Teale’s adaptation.

This film isn’t just breaking new ground in animation with its more realistic female protagonists and feminist themes, but it also feels like an age since I saw two strong positive female characters in any film full stop. Yeah, The Heat and Frozen are both great sisterhood movies, but since we doin’ so well with the girls on film, let’s not be contented with two a year. Let’s get bigger and better. Let’s keep this thing going!

Sisters are doing it for themselves!

Sisters are doing it for themselves!

Or snowing, if you will.

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