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tropes

  1. “Excuse Me, Princess“: The Princess Type, for Good or Ill, Part 2

    Venture again into the pretty pink minefield.

    Princesses, despite what we may think of their relevance, seem to be everywhere we look. In movies, in television, in products aimed at young girls, the trope of the princess is going as strong as ever, often as an old type wearing a new costume.

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  2. “Excuse Me, Princess“: The Princess Type, for Good or Ill, Part 1

    Venture into the pretty pink minefield with us!

    How do we create a complex woman character who can give girls a choice in who they identify with, but that Hollywood will still regularly produce? And how can we do it while encouraging the qualities of modern feminism, instead of diminishing them?

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  3. Changing the Face of Women in Anime: The Importance of Ugliness

    Essay

    Since the “girl power” wave of the 90s and early 2000s, many media-makers stateside have been much better about including diverse female characters in media directed toward a younger audience. But while Sailor Moon was one of the forerunners of this well-intentioned movement, much of the material from Japan which has been licensed for release in the States is marketed toward boys or men, and magical girls have fallen out of popular favor (recent reboots notwithstanding). Needless to say, when there are female characters in this kind of media, they are often a love interest, and they often fall into one of a handful of anime stereotypes.

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  4. Tropes vs Women In Video Games: Ms. Male Character and the Smurfette Principle

    This Exists... Because of A Lady

    Anita Sarkeesian is back with the fourth video in her Tropes vs Women In Video Games series. We've moved on from Damsels in Distress to a pair of separate but related tropes: The Smurfette Principle and Ms. Male Character. Ms. Pac-Man, this one's for you. Previously in Tropes vs Women in Video Games

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  5. Pacific Rim Is Not Your Average Action Juggernaut

    Essay

    The dismal state of this summer’s blockbusters is multidimensional: not only did big-budget films generally perform poorly, but they also were conceptually and emotionally hollow. The Lone Ranger didn’t seem to understand why Johnny Depp in redface could possibly be a bad thing, and the failure of the Smith-Smith-fronted After Earth to draw in crowds boggled the minds of film studios everywhere. When the promising prospect of Elysium turned out to be a moralistic bull in a china shop, the summer sci-fi set seemed doomed.

    Is there anything to salvage from this black hole of summer cinema? I think there is: Guillermo del Toro’s Pacific Rim, which stands out from the crowd of half-baked action/sci-fi juggernauts for one reason: it knows what it is. It knows that it's a visually-amazing action flick-- but what's even more interesting is that it knows how to subvert pieces of the genre other films blindly pay homage to. In particular, Pacific Rim has a way of smashing gender-based action movie tropes like they're Kaiju skulls.

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  6. Tropes Vs. Women in Video Games: Damsels in Distress Part 3

    This Exists... Because of A Lady

    Welcome to the third installment of Feminist Frequency's investigation of gendered tropes in video games, where we're still, probably not surprisingly, covering all the bases of the Damsel in Distress: including the not-quite-equivalency of role reversals and the unhelpfulness "ironic" sexism. I know from personal experience that the latter is one of those concepts that still escapes a lot of folks. Enjoy! Previously in Tropes Vs. Women in Video Games

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  7. Anita Sarkeesian Presents: Damsels in Distress Part 2

    This Exists... Because of A Lady

    From Anita Sarkeesian, the woman behind Feminist Frequency, comes Part 2 of her Kickstarter based series Tropes vs. Women in Video Games (get caught up with Part 1 here). There are tons of video games examined in this latest video (check out the description on the YouTube page for a very nice list showing which ones may be spoiled for you if you watch), from 1988's Splatterhouse, to the more recent Borderlands 2. Sarkeesian's first entry in this series received over one million views on YouTube and like before, comments are wisely disabled on this latest installment. If you need a reason why, shortly after the video was uploaded, Sarkeesian tweeted this message, "Looks like my harassers abused YouTube's flag function to get my new Tropes vs Women video removed. Not the first time it's happened." [Editor's note: We'd hoped the video would be back up already but it's not. We will update as soon as it is. In the meantime, you can read the transcript.] [Edit: The video is back up!] Trigger warning: the video contains scenes of violence against women. Are you following The Mary Sue on Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr, Pinterest, & Google +?

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  8. Gwyneth Paltrow: “You Can Only Be the Damsel in Distress for So Long”

    Supergirly

    Will we ever get tired of hearing Gwyneth Paltrow talk about suiting up for Iron Man 3? Probably at least not until we get to see the movie this weekend.

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  9. Tropes Vs. Women in Video Games: Damsel in Distress, Part 1

    and let it be known

    Anita Sarkeesian runs a blog called Feminist Frequency and a long running, fascinating webseries of the same name where she examines the ways in which media and most often modern popular culture subtly and not-so-subtly support and perpetuate misogynistic ideas. I love her videos not because I necessarily agree with everything she's ever said ever (you know, because we are not a single consciousness) but because when I do disagree with her, her detailed approach prompts me to calmly, privately examine why. This is not the case for 100% of human beings, however, and when she began a Kickstarter campaign to gain the means to expand her series to cover video games, it became the go-to example of overblown, vicious, flailing hate directed at a woman by self-identified members of the video game community. The net result of the harassment campaign (in numbers anyway, which is not to discount important qualitative things like personal peace of mind, or the outside perception of the video gamer community) was to encourage others to fund her campaign more than twenty-six times over what she'd initially asked for. Naturally, the first video in her series is great: slickly edited, reaching back to Greek myths and forward to modern remakes of classic games, and she opens it with an idea that we here at The Mary Sue are all to familiar with: "Remember that it’s both possible and even necessary to simultaneously enjoy media while being critical of its more problematic or pernicious aspects." Are you following The Mary Sue on Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr, Pinterest, & Google +?

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  10. It’s Friday, Time For Another Installment of Battlestar Galactica: Blood and Chrome

    All this has happened before...

    In which Battlestar Galactica finally makes good on the plague promise of all space operas: making its characters navigate a room full of giant, deadly, moving pistons.

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