Watch Men save the planet March 17, 2009Posted by Sarah in random, women.
Tags: books, film, rant, sci-fi, watchmen, women
I saw the film Watchmen last week, the adaption of a classic in the graphic novel genre with the same title by Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons. It’s pretty enjoyable, especially if you’re in the mood for some great visual effects and gore. Lots of blood and bone-crunching. I’ve never been a big comic or graphic novel fan but I decided to read the book and in fact it’s really good! The drawings are beautiful and the writing is very imaginative with lots of depth. So if you want to know what the hype is all about but aren’t a fan of severed limbs and arteries then I recommend the book. I do want to say something about the female characters though.
<soapbox> Many writers, particularly in the sci-fi and fantasy genres, come up with really imaginative scenarios and storylines. The US wins the Vietnam war with the help of a superhero created in a freak quantum physics-y accident. Nixon is President of the US in the 1980s, serving 5 terms. Is it really too much to ask that some of them try applying that imagination and creativity to their female characters?! Even in this ground-breaker of its genre, women are prostitutes, lesbians (-> promiscuous -> prostitutes), paranoid, jealous, narcissistic, drunks, and sexual assault victims who later sleep with their assailers and later still reminisce fondly of the time they were beautiful enough to be, you know, sexual assault victims. And they do all this in holdups, stiletto boots and leather suspenders.
One of the female characters is a nuclear physicist and clearly this makes her intelligent enough to be truly vindictive and evil, rather than just pathetic and stupid or a prostitute.
Dear Mr. Moore & Mr. Gibbons: Are you kidding me?
A few (of many) excerpts…
[Dr. Manhattan:] Outside, Janey accuses me of “chasing jailbait”. She bursts into angry tears and, asking if it’s because she’s getting older.
[Rohrschach:] The first Silk Spectre is a bloated aging whore, dying in a Californian rest resort.
[Hollis Mason:] After that, things deteriorated. […] the Silhouette was with another woman in a lesbian relationship.
Interestingly, Alan Moore’s latest work is a pornographic novel (/pornographic graphic novel/porno graphic novel?!) that the Guardian calls equally “groundbreaking”. Hmmm.
On a related note, Juliet Lapidos reports in Slate how one of the only woman-friendly sci-fi series, Battlestar Galactica, is losing its feminist credentials.
OK, back to astronomy now.