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[personal profile] dr_von_fangirl
Can I just be done with being sick already, please? Ungh.

Anywhoodle doodle.

My brain is somewhat understandably fried from the now fourteen day long fever (BLEH!), so I hope you'll forgive any fever-induced nonsense that sneaks into this post purple monkey banana raffle.

Last week, the fourteen minute long Catwoman short hit the internet, but I didn't want to bring it here until I was sure that everyone could watch and discuss it. I also waited until there was a super high quality video available, because who wants to watch crappy, choppy quality footage, right?

So, I encourage you to watch the following, and then we can discuss.



That was boring as all hell.

Interesting that they used the original Catwoman logo for this, though. I also like the kitty in the opening.

And how about that strip scene, huh? The one that lasts for four minutes? In a fourteen minute short? I mean, counting from the second the first dancer does a full routine, to the moment Catwoman zips up, we're talking almost a third of the short dedicated to boobies-boobies-boobies. For crying out loud, the Jonah Hex short was nearly four minutes shorter, had a seductive Old West sex worker in it and it had less actual sexual material in it.

Le sigh.

You know, if you need to put Catwoman someplace seedy where she can confront gangsters, I don't see why it has to be a strip club. Not only do strip clubs have a bad enough rap as it is, which greatly affects the working/living conditions of the women employed by them--consider for a moment that if strip clubs are considered trashy, then so too are their workers, and that incredibly hurtful, negative stuff really needs to stop--but there are other places where Catwoman could hop onstage and stop the presses. I mean, I defy you to tell me that those four minutes of stripping are half as sexy as this:


I also like seeing Holly, but I don't like the portrayal of sex workers in jeopardy. It's an old, tired trope that needs to be retired, because it's been used so often, and just like the strip-club-as-den-of-sin, it suggests that there's something dirty and wrong with sex work of any kind. This short is pretty much the opposite of sexually liberating and feminist with its subtext that women who are openly, genuinely involved with sex in some way (as opposed to Catwoman, who's just pretending to be sexual) are bad somehow, be they the associates of criminals or victims.

Going on record now: personally, I'm a big fan of sex worker rights, and support the decriminalization of sex work (please note that we're only talking about freely consenting adults here, not anyone who'd been coerced, forced or is under age), because I think we should all have the right to do whatever we want with our bodies so long as we don't hurt others, and it makes no difference to me if you want to earn your living wage behind a desk or in a bed. There's something off-putting about seeing that in media, All Sex Workers are Victims in Need of Rescue, always. If it were All Business Women are Victims in Need of Rescue, Always, or All Female Cops are Victims in Need of Rescue, Always nobody would stand for it, but we kind of ignore it with sex work because the trope is so much a part of our culture that we don't think about it.

Not only do I not like just accepting conventions that are never questioned, I also don't like anything that characterizes a large group of people as one thing or another, because it robs people of their individuality...and that just sucks for everybody. It also comes down to the idea that I don't think anyone should have the right to force their morality on another and make them act in accordance with it, beyond the fairly basic "Don't hurt anybody" rule. Sex workers, from burlesque dancers to dominatrixes to everyone in between, are people and I'm getting really sick of seeing them portrayed or treated as subhuman because of their jobs. ARGH.

...sorry, apparently that's become one of my biggest pet peeves lately. Being a Catwoman fan in a universe where many of her most outspoken supporters hate her sex worker origin just because it involved sex work, disregarding all its merit as a positive example of a well developed female character with human motivations and desires, has made me a little bitter, I guess. Not to mention the real people who are hurt by those kinds of attitudes every day.

Le sigh. Again.

All in all, I don't consider this short much to write home about. It's four minutes of stripping and like, eight minutes of car chases, which leaves about a minute and a half for character development. What little we get at the end is heartwarming, but though it makes the whole short, it feels like this could have been half as long, more tightly paced and been twice as affecting. I do so hate to see potential wasted like this.

Please, discuss!

As always! Please remember that this is a safe space for everyone and thus, I firmly enforce my rules about hurtful language in the comments. If you ever want me to protect you if someone calls you names here, you've got to help me protect others! If you want to discuss sex workers, call them sex workers--not 'prostitutes', 'whores', 'hookers' or anything similar; and don't use words that are slurs towards women: 'bitch', 'slut', etc. (Modified versions such as "bitching" and "slutty" and so forth are obviously extensions of this rule. I know you're more creative with your vocabularies than that! ^_^)

The little old lady rule is in effect: If you wouldn't use it in front of your significant other's adorable little grandmother the first time you meet her, please don't use it here.

on 2011-10-21 09:01 am (UTC)
Posted by [identity profile] surrealname.livejournal.com
i'm not watching this. i feel like it will make me stupider.

on 2011-10-21 12:15 pm (UTC)
Posted by [identity profile] about-faces.livejournal.com
I'm annoyed by the chase scene too, and what it represents. Whether it's here, in Spectacular Spider-Man, or countless other superhero shows, I'm just so BORED the second the chasing/fighting starts. It never feels like there's anything at stake, or anything interesting happening, or even any impressive techniques on display. It's all so rote, so toothless. Is this what non-fan people think of when they think of superhero comics: pointless scenes of fighting and chasing? God, I hope not.

...sorry, apparently that's become one of my biggest pet peeves lately. Being a Catwoman fan in a universe where many of her most outspoken supporters hate her sex worker origin just because it involved sex work, disregarding all its merit as a positive example of a well developed female character with human motivations and desires, has made me a little bitter, I guess. Not to mention the real people who are hurt by those kinds of attitudes every day.

I completely agree, and I increasingly wish that I could just link these people to a smart, well-written, entertaining, and pwn-tacular essay to show them the error of their ways. If only someone would write it! ;D

on 2011-10-21 03:15 pm (UTC)
Posted by [identity profile] eyeofthedivine.livejournal.com
I must admit I'm not surprised but in my heart of hearts I am disappointed there was no substance to that 14 min clip at all ; _ ; It told me nothing about catwoman and quite possibly it just feeds stereotyping.

Why couldn't it just be a nightclub? There was no purpose for it being a strip club at all. I know people go to them sure I'm not that stupid and I have no issues with them or the people that work or frequent them. I just fail to see the point of that scene.

On the upside though I do like the fact that she isn't put across as this all powerful woman that can beat the crap out of everyone. She does have to work hard in her fights; which does give it an element of realism because women are not always as strong as men.

on 2011-10-22 12:23 am (UTC)
Posted by [identity profile] captaintwinings.livejournal.com
Catwoman is very physically impressive, both in her work on the pole and her dodging bullets immediately after. I also like the way some parts of the chase were choreographed, like the whole thing was some sort of violent ballet. If it had been trimmed and tightened, it would have been nice to watch.

I like that Selina takes a beating here, and also gives as good as she gets. I'm sick of seeing women who "fight" like dainty little princesses. And I'm sick of seeing men who are perfectly willing to exploit, traumatize, and murder women for some reason balk at hitting one. Fight scenes with women--that involve actual fighting--are rare enough that I'll take one wherever I can get it.

I wish Dushku were a better voice actress. She would have a wonderful Selina voice if not for the lack of depth in her reading.

So. Meh. Your son threw up on me. He really liked the dancer in red. I liked her shoes.

on 2011-10-22 02:11 pm (UTC)
Posted by [identity profile] big-wired.livejournal.com
As soon as you said that the stripping was 4 minutes of a 14 minute short, I knew I had to skip it. That's 28 percent of the entire thing devoted to showing how sexy Catwoman is, and when you're telling people how sexy someone is, then you're missing the point.

Show, don't tell, yah know?

Well, I might watch it at home where I've got better bandwidth, as I'm stuck in Tumbler Ridge with the crap connection.

I also admit I didn't read your work on the origin of Catwoman, so I didn't know about her sex worker origin, but I have seen that trope around a lot as well. It seems to be tied into the whole bit about how women who have sex for any other reason aside from procreation are bad, when they're, well, people who do what they do for whatever reason.

Still, I just never saw a reason for Catwoman stripping aside from useless fanservice, as though the only reason why men (because the really cynical part of me thinks that anyone who worked on this believes that women could like comics) would enjoy this character is because she's sexy, which I find sexist too.


This is the back-up account for what I hope will be the Ultimate Catwoman Fan Blog--Dr. Von Fangirl on LiveJournal. You should go check it out over there. I much prefer the original article.

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