Defrosting the Women: For All the Ladies Who Deserved Better
After having spent the summer watching a lot of TV, I want to talk about women in refrigerators.
First, a brief explanation for those who are unfamiliar with the term “women in refrigerators“: the phrase originates from an incident in Green Lantern #54 in which the titular protagonist, Green Lantern Kyle Rayner, comes home to discover that his girlfriend Alex has been killed by his enemy and then stuffed in a refrigerator. Gail Simone coined the term to describe the broader trend in fiction of women being killed off in order to further a man’s storyline.
But when I say, “I hate it when women are fridged,” it’s not because I’m angry about the slaughter of so many female characters. I’m certainly angry, but it goes a bit
I have seen movies that made me feel lousy, like I didn’t measure up to some impossible standard of beauty, or grace, or humor. I have seen movies that make me long to be pretty, to be elegant, to be a good singer or a talented musician. I have never before seen a movie that made me want to feel powerful. Brave did.
Since I was young, I have loved “girl power” stories. Not the girls like Kim Possible with impossible animated bodies and fancy gadgets, but Matilda and her books, Tamora Pierce’s female knights and mages, Hermione Granger, and, most recently, Katniss Everdeen. But until I saw Brave, I had never sen an animated “princess” movie that made me feel like “strong” was a desirable quality. I grew …
Joss Whedon (creator of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Firefly, and many more) was once asked “Why do you write such strong female characters?”
“Because you’re still asking me that question.”
So, why are we still asking that question?
Lately, “strong female characters” in fiction seem to be on the rise. Hermoine Granger. Lisbeth Salander. Katara. River Tam. More recently, Katniss Everdeen and Merida from The Hunger Games and Pixar’s Brave, respectively. My question is, why are these characters such a big deal? Why is it still a surprise to people that women in fiction can be action heroes, no questions asked? And furthermore, when a “weak” female character comes along (first one that comes to mind is Bella Swan from Twilight) why are we so quick to tear …
Glennis McMurray is the founder and editor of the website, G.L.O.C. (TheGLOC.net) the first large-scale blog by and for all the Gorgeous Ladies of Comedy. Glennis is a seasoned musical improvisor having started and starred in the acclaimed I Eat Pandas (Time Out New York Critics Pick, ECNY Award-winner: Best Improv Group). She can now be seen performing with the NY cast of Baby Wants Candy every Saturday night at the SoHo Playhouse. In January 2011, her solo musical Disco Balls: Into the Light debuted at the Charleston Comedy Festival, and she was recently seen as Coach Betts in Half Straddle’s production of In The Pony Palace/Football at the Bushwick Starr. In addition to the two variety shows she produces, Dream Role and Supercream Supreme!, Glennis can …