Drama queens: why the theme of women and power is so popular on screens
From The Game of Thrones by George Martin to The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood Fiction, which unfolds in “alternative reality,” has recently become incredibly popular, which is not surprising in the modern post-truth world. Over the past ten years, it seemed that practically nothing was made in Hollywood except for movies about superheroes from comics that struggle with painted evil: Thor, The Incredible Hulk, Captain America, Iron Man, Superman, Batman, Spider-Man, X-Men, and even Ant-Man. Some may frown, deciding that this is already too much: they say you want to see a real man, look at our super-duper heroes. Even in groups of superheroes (in Guardians of the Galaxy or Fantastic Four, for example), a “female quota” of a maximum of 25% remains. By the way, the closest thing to reality in superhero cinema is the fact that all power is concentrated in the hands of whites, which means that physical laws are violated, but political ones remain unshakable. However, women are gaining ground in the cultural space. Last summer, “female” Ghostbusters appeared on the screens, and this was Wonder Woman, which jumps from a cliff with a bow raised, landing unequivocally among a crowd of men. From the Hunger Games to the Game of Thrones, the audience eagerly watches allegorical stories of women endowed with political or moral authority. Finally! – after fifty years on the screen and its 12 incarnations, Doctor Who becomes a woman. A movie about superheroes constantly talks about what “power” is, its sources, how to manage it and use it. These are fantasies about superpowers. To the delight of the viewer, Wonder Woman is different in that the story focuses on the woman’s attitude to power. The film, created by a woman with the main character, a woman, was a huge commercial success, and this, it would seem, is the only thing that excites Hollywood today. At the same time, the film sparked a wave of discussion of allegories of female power. This year the series “The Handmaid’s Tale” was released, which is also permeated with the theme of women and power, but in a different vein – it’s about what happens when women are deprived of economic, legal and political rights in the patriarchal world. And now, the seventh season of Game of Thrones, where women and power are equally important, has come to the joy of the fans. Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman. Photo: Clay Enos / AP All these stories have caused a lot of controversy: are they as feminist as they think, or as the audience think, and simply they should be considered as such? In such debates, there is a litmus test, which, like a lasso of the truth of Wonder Woman, is capable of measuring the level of feminism in history. At the same time, feminism is not a monolithic system; in order to belong to him, the women with whom and whom he speaks do not need to pass any tests. It is rather not even a “movement”, but a set of ideas and questions. Feminism is rather an attitude or lifestyle, no matter how pathetic or impudent it may sound. Therefore, it would be more correct to call it a “point of view”, the essence of which is that the gender balance in power is not respected and that this situation should change, but how, to what extent and with what intentions is a completely different question. Feminism can only be multifaceted – it is an attempt to think systematically and critically about the relationship between power and the female half of humanity. It is difficult to generalize, even if the heroine is a demigodine, the daughter of God and the Queen of the Amazons. At the very beginning of the film Wonder Woman, the paradise feminist island where Diana lives is shown. Amazons perfectly exist without men. 20 minutes – this is the maximum that Hollywood can allow a man not to be in the frame – and some man appears on the island, and Diana also decides to leave (out of altruistic motives, but still). Given that she had never seen men before and was never under their power, it is difficult to understand why she is so meekly submissive to Steve Trevor throughout the film, for example, when Trevor says that Diana needs to get dressed. The filmmakers have fun “dressing” Diana in all these absurd crinolines, hats and corsets, which she hates, and, instead of admiring her outfit, prefers her traditional strapless corset and boots. But even this caused a wave of heated discussion: her own outfit is exclusively sexist, designed to show that Diana herself “chooses” the role of the object of male desire, or, nevertheless, she rejects stereotypes about traditional women’s clothing, preferring to fight in almost what mother gave birth to (considering screen rating 13+)? However, Diana is not the only woman endowed with power in this movie. Robin Wright, who plays the aunt of the superheroine, eclipses everything in the initial scenes of the film, and at this time the female antagonist, Dr. Venom, plans malicious genocide.