Sunday, November 29, 2009

Apocalyptic Flicks: Manly Men, Helpless Women

Well done: The Washington Post's Monica Hesse's deconstruction of movies about the end of the world (Sunday, Nov. 29, 2009) reveals themes and characters that depict women as useless in the face of threats. In these films -- not just recent releases such as "2012" but throughout the whole genre -- Hesse says, "Unfortunately, there are no women at the end of the world. There are men, there are children, and there are helpless damsels who beg to be rescued. But there are no women. Sorry, women." Hesse says this is true of "every apocalyptic movie ever," with the possible exceptions of Linda Hamilton's character in the "Terminator" movies, and Tina Turner's character in "Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome." Most of these movies, along with video games such as "Grand Theft Auto" and others consumed by male audiences, feed a cultural theme of feminine weakness that works to the detriment of women and girls.


  1. Yes - this is so true- it also works to the detriment of anyone who wants to survive. I have been reading a lot of material about the survivor personality. Ladies, it's us. We do this every day. The was we are depicted in this genre is totally wrong. I guess the only thing to do is continue to keep it to ourselves and form a women's colony after "the end of the world"... with the smart men who stick with us.

  2. So right. There IS precedent that heroines can work - witness the 3 Alien blockbusters with Sigourney Weaver. (Technically not apocalyptic.) But Hollywood is run mostly by white guys, so there you go...