My Life As A Feminist – Super 8

November 26, 2011 by and tagged , , , ,

So I watched Super 8 in between grading. The movie is directed by J.J. Abrams, but Steven Spielberg has his hands all over it, especially with all the kids stuff. Not to spoil anything but Super 8 = E.T. + Stand By Me 2.0. It is a mix of scifi, disaster / scary monster /coming of age film. Therefore, it is patriarchal through and through:

1. Mothers die or leave (Joe’s and Alice’s mothers)… and Charles’s mother cooks a lot (the kind of mothers that always has food ready for the dang neighborhood) and is very, well, motherly.

2. Failing fathers (Joe’s through his inability to bond with his son, Alice’s father through his drinking and irresponsibility) will learn to become “real men” again thanks to a disaster.

3. Smart Alice is relegated to a comatose role waiting to be rescued by a boy and his boy friends.

4. Drugs and alcohol are bad (because they render men less manly… either stone or irresponsible), but pyromania is a useful skill.

5. A boy becomes a man by letting go of his mother and finding his bond with his father.

Posted in Gender, Movies, My Life As A Feminist, Patriarchy, Sexism | 5 Comments »

5 Responses to “My Life As A Feminist – Super 8”

  1.   XKCD Says:

    Seriously ?

    Maybe my sarcasm detector is off but I thought this post was a joke about irrational feminist self victimization. Then I realized it wasn’t.


    •   SocProf Says:

      Your sarcasm detector is thoroughly malfunctioning. The sarcasm is directed at a trope I have followed in films for some time. Exactly, what is irrational and self-victimizing in what I wrote. What is factually incorrect in my post regarding the film content?

      I thought your comment was going to be insightful and witty. Then I realized it wasn’t.


  2.   Beatrice Says:

    Yeah XKCD, seriously. In addition to Soc Prof’s points, male characters in the film out number female 5 to 1. If Abrams and Spielberg wanted to remake ET and Stand by Me in 2011, why not bring gender roles into the present. I recommend watching Unstoppable instead.


  3.   Kevin chamow Says:

    I think these are legitimate critiques of any movie acting as a parable. We shouldn’t just digest the parable and social norms reinforced by it.

    Kevin Chamow


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