OKAY, INTERNET. I have to complain about something that’s been bothering me about movies.
SASSY GIRL SIDEKICKS.
I like girl characters. I like action movies! I like girl characters IN my action movies. Unfortunately, many of the girl characters you see in action movies are of the dreaded SASSY GIRL SIDEKICK variety. I think the SGS is sort of the action version of the manic pixie dream girl.
Sassy Girl Sidekicks do things like slap the antagonist across the face and then spit at him without fear of reprisal. This is how we know they’re sassy, you guys. Obvs.
The problem I have with the SGS type of character is that they’re presented as being strong and tough, girl-power-minded chicks. But really that’s total bullshit and it’s all a barrel of anti-feminist weirdness, because when a woman slaps a man with a kind of smug “Hmmmm?!? WHAT ARE YOU GOING TO DO ABOUT IT????” attitude, that’s really a person who believes herself to be protected from being smacked back by her femaleness… which is not girl-powery at all. Or if a girl is captured by pirates and spits at the lead pirate and then glares in pouty fashion, that’s also because she believes that her being-female protects her. This isn’t feminism, it’s dressed-up Victorian sexism about the women being so delicate and in need of protection, and it’s stupid.
Also, more terribly, it’s super dull.
A character who’s flouncing around pouting cutely and slapping people and not really being afraid, because she knows that men will always protect her=snorefest.
A character who’s captured by pirates and knows that she’s on her own and is so pissed off she still spits in the guy’s face even though she knows nobody will protect her and that little act of defiance could lead to her death=okay, I’m paying attention.
I find this to be a particular problem in period pieces set in eras wherein women didn’t even have the vote or the right to hold property in their own name… and yet, somehow, they are often written to be all HUZZAH I AM WEARING PANTALOONS AND STOWING AWAY ON SHIPS, NOW I AM HARANGUING THE HERO IN A WAY THAT IS SUPPOSED TO BE FLIRTATIOUS.
So I guess what I’m saying is: stop doing that. If you don’t mind. People who have to listen to me complain, like my husband, will thank you.