Last year I wrote a blog about the movie Kick-Ass and in particular about the character Hit-Girl. I enthused about how great a role model she was and how great it was to see girls represented in a refreshing way in films. Recently, another film was released called Hanna. Hanna is about a girl raised alone by her father, who basically teaches her to be a killing machine – again, a character in the vein of Hit-Girl, although Hanna is a more serious film.
I think Hanna is a great character, but an article in the UK paper The Guardian starts off imagining a film that celebrates an adolescent boy “who’s trained from birth to kill other people.” The journalist continues by remarking that there would be outrage at a film like this but because it’s a girl there isn’t.
This article brings up a few interesting points. Is it sexism that we make cult heroes out of girls like Hanna and Hit-Girl, when there is the possibility that outrage would arise if there were male characters of the same ilk? Do we celebrate these roles because female characters like these celebrate empowerment? Or is there cause for concern as these may merely be the product of masculine fantasies?
In the first blog I wrote about Hit-Girl, I talked about how characters like her were good role models over someone like Hannah Montana, but should we be worrying about the effect someone like Hanna or Hit-Girl is having on young girls? Could these roles be implying that violent behaviour is acceptable because they are female? Do women deserve to be violent because it is their turn? What do you think?
-Julie Anne Young
Girl Museum Inc.