Not Your Feminist Daddy

Canning, Laura ORCID logoORCID: and Sweeney, Sheamus (2015) Not Your Feminist Daddy. In: Console-ing Passions International Conference on Television, Video, Audio, New Media and Feminism, June 18-20 2015, Cornwall. (Unpublished)

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Abstract / Summary

Writer/director Joss Whedon occupies a prominent position in cult film and television, from his creative role in the seminal Buffy the Vampire Slayer to more recent mainstream success with the Avengers franchise. Receiving considerable adulation for the female
characters that figure prominently in his work, he has in addition made well-publicised discursive interventions into the wider narrative around gender representation, including the response to his own imagined query as to why he writes such strong female characters:
“because you keep asking me that question”.

While acknowledging the positives in Whedon’s contributions to film and television, this paper argues that his representations of women have long been problematic in their monofaceted nature, centred on a limiting focus on physical strength and “kicking ass” or the conflation of assertiveness and mental instability.

This paper explores the problematic nature of Whedon’s characterisations, and considers the extent to which these representations are bounded by the accommodations made with media networks, in a manner which has undermined whatever progressive role may be claimed for the narrative. It also explores whether Whedon’s attachment to an ‘uncontroversial’ white,
liberal, affluent feminism not only denies the movement its name, but erases the history of feminism and the multiplicity of its expressions.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Subjects: Film & TV > TV > Foreign TV
Film & TV > Film > Hollywood Film
Courses by Department: The School of Film & Television > Film
Depositing User: Laura Canning
Date Deposited: 03 Mar 2017 12:26
Last Modified: 23 Nov 2023 13:32


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