Happy New Year, everyone! I'm back from surprisingly snowy England, fresh from days of tea and sudoku puzzles, and starting off the year of blogging with (surprise) ranting. Woo!
It's timely to me because lately I've been going through another bout of "Damn, seriously, where are the movies for women who like sci-fi and fantasy?" All of the classic science-fiction and fantasy movies - if the women exist at all, it's in a Smurfette capacity, one women to a bunch of guys. Boys who like to play-act can be Luke, Han, Vader, Obi-Wan, C3PO, R2D2 ... girls can be Leia. Woo hah. Hope there aren't two or more girls who want to play girls like themselves. It's a matter of projecting into fantasy worlds - if you like a world, you look around it for people like you, for your potential place in it. Apparently I'm asking a lot when I look for sci-fi and fantasy females who aren't just "the love interest" and who aren't the only woman in the film.
This flipped scenario has been running in my head:
Picture this movie, The Lady of the Rings. An evil queen creates a dark magical ring. Eons later, a halfling lady finds it. Her niece and three of her niece's girlfriends team up with the lost human queen, fending off nine undead queens to get the ring to the elves' safehaven, while a powerful gray witch and white witch fight about it themselves. At the elven house, the elf lady declares that nine of the women will set out on a quest to destroy the ring. You want men in this film? Well, there's a nice elf lord with some screentime, but he's mainly the love interest of the lost human queen. Plus there's an ancient elf lord in this one other scene, and some guys in the background in the village in the beginning.
Would people watch this? Would people expect men and boys to project onto the movie and play-act the characters? Would defenders justify it by saying that the story comes from old-school source material that we should respect and preserve?
I know that this is a bit of a simplistic take on it, that the marketing forces and the 18-35 male demographic and Hollywood business play into it, cash money, etc., etc. But it's still frustrating. Why am I expected to roll over, accept that there aren't people like me in the movie, and be grateful to get any fantasy movie at all? Why am I supposed to "lie back and think of sci-fi"?