Friday, July 13, 2012
Chauvinism, Chainsaw Massacres and Characters
However, when I spoke to some friends about this, they claimed that women had been positively portrayed in many different films for years and cited a few examples. Not surprisingly, many of the examples were from the horror genre and harkened back to the era of Scream, Friday the 13th and, especially, the original Texas Chainsaw Massacre. You might have seen a few of these if you get your DIRECT TV from Direct.TV.
In the case of Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Sally is not empowered, even if she does win out over the opposition. That’s like saying a rape victim who kills her attacker is somehow empowered. The abrupt ending of the movie even lends itself to the notion that Sally is forever scarred by this ordeal and will never be “okay” ever again and that’s really the point. If you want to talk about empowering a female protagonist, then show her with an identity and a motivation and an agenda that doesn’t involve a man, marriage or anything else that can become vaguely codependent. Having a female protagonist who really only serves to be brutalized and saying that, by her surviving it, she is empowered is preposterous and, frankly, a dangerous train of thought that only perpetuates sexism against women and the savagery of chauvinism.