Thursday, March 26, 2009

Is There a Feminism Backlash?

So my husband and I watched Twilight this weekend so we could make fun of it, and played a drinking game that involved taking a swig of beer every time Bella flips her hair, every time Edward tells her he's "dangerous," and every time he tells her to go away and then obsessively stalks her. I'd hoped the movie would be in the "so bad it's funny" catagory, but..... yeaaaaaah. It was just one of those things.

The movie did make my husband bring up an interesting point. Since this movie/book series has gotten a lot of criticism for being anti-femenist, we wondered, is this part of a cultural backlash against feminism as a whole? These things have happened before, after all.

I read another book lately, Kushiel's Dart, which is also fairly anti-feminist with a softish courtesan as the main character. She doesn't fight even though she's in the middle of a war, and she's actually a masochist. The theme of the book is summed up in the quote "that which yields is not weak," and the story relishes the idea that being pliable is a good thing for a woman. I enjoyed it, but I felt myself frustrated by her weakness throughout the story.

Is this a backlash trend we're seeing? We know this happened in the '80s when there was a very conservative cultural movement as a backlash to the free love of the '70s. Is this our generation's backlash? Are we tired of warrior princesses and power suits, and are looking for a good man to take care of us again?

What the hell?

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