Monday, July 19, 2010

Angelina Jolie and the Female Warrior

Tight leather pants, black leather corset top and surprisingly feminine army boots are just some of accessories needed to be a good female action star. This hyper-sexualized “my gun is sexy” stereotyping of the female action star is incredibly predictable, yet continues to rake in millions at the box office. However, perhaps we should ask the question, are these women true action heroes?

Recently Yahoo featured an article on its homepage about the new Angelina Jolie movie, Salt. The article made a brilliant point, Angelina Jolie is the first female to transcend the gender block on action films. Apparently her new movie, Salt was originally written for a man as the starring role, Tom Cruise no less. Yet, the script was rewritten for a female, the first time that has ever happened.
To check out the article yourself, click here. 

Now I don’t know how much of a female role model Angelina should be, we can all attest to the weirdness in her past, her marriage to Billy Bob Thorton and their matching bottles of blood hanging around their necks comes to mind. However, the fact that a woman has officially joined the ranks as crossing the gender of the action film, strikes me as an incredible move for the women’s movement. That women can be seen as powerful, dangerous, and basically kick-ass (pardon my language) makes me excited. I’d like to think of this as a landmark, just as Sigourney Weaver in the 1979 Alien was the first feature of a truly strong woman, surviving and taking care of business, now Jolie has crossed over into the lyrics of one of my favorite songs, “anything you can do, I can do better.”

Now all we need to work on is the idea that a woman must still be sexy as she blows up the car and Hollywood might actually move up a little in my estimation. For another interesting article on Jolie’s B-A-ness in Hollywood check out this article from the Huffington Post.

I’m also curious to know what you think about Angelina Jolie and other famous female action heroes (Sigourney Weaver, Kate Beckinsale, etc…) and their role in the women’s movement. Do they have a place in the women’s movement? Do they merely cater to male fantasies? Or do they produce good role models for girls?


  1. The article about Jolie and Thornton comments on how five divorces is bringing Thornton close to Elizabeth Taylor's divorce record. My grandmother was divorced four or five times. Her last marriage and divorce happened when she was older too, in her sixties.

  2. Have you ever seen the South Park episode from season 4:Chef goes Nanners? (If not, go here: The point of this episode is that sometimes we perpetuate ideas because we are looking for it. When I go to a movie, I am not asking myself, "Does this story have an empowered female lead?" I am saying, "I hope this story is awesome." I could care less whether the lead is male or female, and if she is female, she doesn't have to be sexy, I just want her to be interesting and be entertained.

    If you're missing out on some great movies with female leads though, I suggest the following perscription: Kill Bill, Resident Evil, Romancing the Stone, La Femme Nikita, Run Lola Run, The Brave One, and the TV series Alias.

  3. The truest hero I have ever laid eyes upon is my sweet, sweet mother. I would be nothing without her influence. As they say, they brought you into this world and they can take you out of it. I'll take her over Angelina any day :D