Hollywood's 5 Saddest Attempts at Feminism

Hollywood has a dilemma. Its blockbusters are all written by men, but to make the real money, they have to sell some tickets to females, too. What to do? Let a woman write a blockbuster? Ha! Of course not. Just insert a feisty woman into the story who won't take any crap from men in a really formulaic way! That should please the feminists, right?

Well, when you look at the results, you see they probably shouldn't have bothered.

#5. Eowyn (The Lord of the Rings)

Eowyn is introduced in the second film as some sort of princess. Actually, we're really not sure; we sort of drifted off when there weren't stabbings going on. But we're reasonably sure she is related to that crazy dude that was the King, and that makes her a princess in our books.

Supposed to be a Role Model Because:

In the movies we see that she's an able ruler, and a trained warrior. Eowyn is told to stay behind and help protect the women and children of Rohan while all the men go off to ride horses and stab things.

As girls are wont to do in stories like this, she instead decides to abandon her responsibilities and run off to play with the boys. She disguises herself as a dude, which we noticed is sort of the opposite of how Legolas operates.

The "You Go Girl!" Moment:

While in battle, she manages to catch the fearsome Witch King off guard and stabs him right in the fucking head. The exchange plays out something like this:

Witch King: No man can slay me! Mine is an evil laugh!

Eowyn: Behold my vagina!

Witch King: * dies *

Take that, patriarchy!

The Problem:

Aside from the fact that she ran off with the army because of her hots for Aragorn (who sadly only had eyes for the hobbits) thereby making her central motivation to get the approval of some filthy male, she rather quickly gives up her warrior woman ways and pretty much marries the first guy she sets eyes on after Aragorn gives her the "It's not you, it's me" speech.

Luckily for her, it turns out to be a poor man's Sean Bean, but it could've been the burned out husk of Denethor. We're just saying.

The lesson here, impressionable young girls, is that playing soldier is all well and good in emergencies, but you're not really complete until you land a husband. Any husband.

#4. Padme Amidala (Star Wars Prequels)

Natalie Portman's Padme shows up in the Star Wars prequels as the Queen of some intergalactic backwater. Not only is Padme the youngest elected Queen in history (eh, we'll have to do another article on George Lucas's poor grasp of what a monarchy is) but she's a certified kicker of asses.

After three movies, we know she is stern yet beautiful, driven equally by her duty and her love for a whiney Jedi wannabe who's totally half her age.

"It's fine, we can just keep having picnics until you're old enough to drink."

Supposed to be a Role Model Because:

In The Phantom Menace we see her equally at ease arguing the finer points of Robert's Rules of Order on the Senate floor and personally leading a raid to bring down the brutal Gungun occupation of her homeland. In the second movie, we see her flying a jet and fighting off a brutal monster in some sort of alien gladiator contest. Plus, she's Princess Leia's mom, and we all know badassery is carried on the X chromosome.

The "You Go Girl!" Moment:

Anakin: You call this diplomacy?

Padme: No, aggressive negotiations!

*stuff blows up*

The Problem:

Padme does just fine as an ass kicker until she starts using her uterus. As everyone in Hollywood knows, a uterus makes women do crazy things. In movies, pregnancy makes a heroine into a useless, whining, fragile creature (ok, other than Juno).

The pregnant Padme spends most of the movie crying and wondering when Anakin will come home. After confronting her baby daddy about his experimentation with the Dark Side, she's injured and goes into labor. While giving birth to future ass kickers Leia and Luke, Padme decides to die.

Seriously, the movie makes it pretty clear: she just gives up. No serious injury, no difficult birth, no blood spurting onto the table.

What about the two children she has to live for? Nope. She'll have none of that. The uterus will not allow it.

#3. River Tam (Firefly/Serenity)

In the Firefly universe, River is the genius kid sister of Serenity's ship's doctor, Simon. Lured away from her family at a young age with the promise of advanced schooling, River has been tortured and programmed as an assassin and possible psychic. Her abilities include mind reading, precognition, advanced weapons training and ballet.

Supposed to be a Role Model Because:

Since Firefly was created by Joss "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" Whedon, it's pretty much assumed that all the female characters will be ground breaking paragons of feminist virtue. Maybe this is because Whedon genuinely respects strong female characters, or maybe he's intimidated by a cult fanbase that demands every show of his have another Buffy in it.

River, with her acrobatic fighting moves and penchant for exsanguinations, would seem to be a perfect fit.

The "You Go Girl!" Moment:

After her brother is gunned down by bad guys, River proclaims "My turn", then proceeds to gleefully and gracefully mow down every last one of them with a mother fucking sickle.

The Problem:

Despite River's inherent ass-kicking abilities, she rarely uses them to the benefit of the crew. The character has been driven insane by her experiences, and therefore she spends most of her time saying crazy things and throwing up in her brother's bed.

In fact, protecting River forms the backbone of no less than five out of thirteen episodes, plus the theatrical movie. That's an awful lot of rescuing for a feminist hero.

Many fans noticed this, too, and expressed their outrage on their Livejournals:

"... I'm not sure that I will recover from the shock of watching the malicious way in which Joss stripped his female characters of their integrity, the pleasure he seemed to take from showing potentially powerful women bashed, the way he gleefully demonized female power and selfhood and smashed women into little bits, male fists in women's faces, male voices drowning out our words."

Holy crap! They make it sound like the movie includes a 20-minute montage of Whedon pimp-slapping every female on the set.

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