Saturday, March 02, 2013

Feminist Film Moments - Rules of Engagement

In celebration of Women’s History Month 2013, I’ll be posting what I call a Feminist Film Moment every Tuesday and Friday for the month of March. I welcome comments and suggestions. However, I ask that you keep in mind the following rules of engagement.

  1. A selection is not an endorsement of the overall film in general neither with respect to content nor craft.  Chances are if I deeply appreciate the film, I’ll most likely say so in my summary.  If I can’t stand the movie otherwise, I’ll probably say that, too.  Suffice it to say, the only thing you can presume is I do appreciate the moment as an image that advances gender equality even if that's all the movie has going for it. 
  2. Don't assume that the clip I selected is reflective of the film's feminist bona fides.  This moment might be all the film has to offer in that regard. And it may just be the case that if you put the moment in its narrative context, it just might not be that feminist at all. None of this means, however, that the film lacks other elements of sociopolitical or artistic merit. 
  3.  Just because I deem this to be a feminist moment does not mean it gets a pass with respect to other social constructions and identities.  Sometimes I'll speak to this in my summary if I have the time and inclination. I'd like these posts both to be short and leave room for discussion. Hence, my intention is not to write thorough cinematic essays that cover all the intersections or lack thereof.  If anything, I encourage you to post comments and have discussions in that regard.  All I ask is that you don’t assume that by my posting the clip and not commenting on something like race, class, sexual orientation etc. necessarily means I missed it. I mean, I might have...  which is why I invite you to comment. What you're not allowed to do is attack me on the assumption that I don't "get" it.
  4. You’re not allowed to attack me or anyone else at all. Point, blank, period. Respectfully and even vigorously disagree, question, challenge… all of this is a great. If I think your tone or language is any way trolly, I'll publish your comment just to call you out and warn you to check yourself. I won’t boot you without a warning, and I'll do my best to be nice about it, but you’ll only get that treatment once. 
  5. I like the Bechdel test. As a screenwriter, I use it. I’m not using it, however, to choose clips.  While a good exercise to begin discussion, it's not a fail-proof litmus test for rating the depth of female characters in film.

6.  The clip may be a spoiler or contain triggers. When it comes to the latter, I'll make a good faith effort to consider that and warn you. As for spoilers, you read the blog and watch the clips at your own risk. We’re grown here.

7.  By all means, share and comment via Twitter. Please mention me @sofiaquintero so I see it and use the hashtag #feministfilmmoment. If you’re inspired to elaborate on your own blog, awesome. It’d be a tremendously appreciative show of integrity to acknowledge what sparked your musings with a mention and link back to the posting. 

8.   Have fun with this! Sure, I’d love for these blogs to be a springboard to thorough and critical discussions about media literacy, depictions of women in popular media, and all that good stuff. There’s no reason, however, that we can’t have a few laughs as we respectfully push each other to expand our understanding of these things.

9.  The rules of engagement are subject to change because, you know, it’s my blog and shit.

10.  Of course, I welcome suggestions, especially those that are strong on intersectionality, complexly depict underrerepresented communities, are well-crafted etc. I mean, just because I’m not going to narrowly restrict myself to these criteria (‘cause you know what that’d mean if I did) doesn't mean I don't care about these things. So if you have a recommendation fill out this survey. Please be concise and precise.

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