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June 1994


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Denise Bryson <[log in to unmask]>
Reply To:
Film and TV Studies Discussion List <[log in to unmask]>
Sat, 18 Jun 1994 21:38:35 CDT
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>   Any thoughts (not about me).... are there too many films from
>Hollywood in which the powerful woman is the evil one, and the wimpy
>woman is the "good" one?
>   P.S. I do remember a discussion a while ago (either here or another
>list in which _Thelma And Louise_ was used as an illustration of trend
>Rick Gibbs
Well, it DOES seem awfully hard to be evil without some kind of power,
doesn't it?  I'd argue (if indeed you would like your daughter to grow
up watching anything BUT Thelma and Louise) that this trend (simpering
wimp=good, powerful person=evil) is NOT something that's mutually
exclusive for women.  After all....even in The Lion King, it's the
powerless cub who's the good guy, and his ferocious and powerful uncle
who's the bad guy, right?
"Power corrupts" is a popular theme among MANY H'wood portrayals.
The fact that Snow White is female seems somehow tangential here.
And, once again, we're faced with a movie from a bygone era, judging
it by today's standards, and finding it wanting--only this time, we're
dealing with gender instead of race.
Speaking personally, I can't say that watching Snow White when I was
a tiny girl has made me a wimp--in fact, as was recently pointed out,
I tend to *gasp* speak my mind on occasion, and not be the docile,
fragile creature society wants its inhabitants to be.  So, all in
all, I'd tell you to go ahead, watch Snow White with the kid, and
enjoy it.  3-year-olds don't spend a lot of time analyzing gender
I'm still trying to think of an instance in which the good guy/gal
is powerful....maybe Glinda in _The Wizard of Oz?"  But she had a
counterpoint in the WWo'theW.  Maybe Willie Wonka?  Certainly none
of the characters in _The Little Mermaid_ or _Cinderella_.
And when we get to _Wall Street_ and _Fatal Attraction?_  Forget it.
Still thinking.......
 Denise M. Bryson, Northeast Missouri State University            
 Division of Language and Literature                              
 Kirksville, Missouri  63501                                      
 [log in to unmask]                       
 "Truly, you have a dizzying intellect."  Westley, aka The Man    
                                          in Black