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Morality and Sexuality May 1, 2007

Posted by jenniferlewk in alias, james bond, morality, sexuality.
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In response to Linda’s morality comment in class–James Bond does not have to be moral for him to be the good guy and to be well respected, whereas Sydney in Alias, Jordan in G.I. Jane and other strong female characters must show the utmost morality in order to be granted the same agency as their male counterparts–I would like complicate this idea of morality with the idea of sexuality. James Bond loves sex. Women love him, he loves them, and every movie reveals his latest sexual conquest. We as viewers, however, accept this hyper-sexuality of Bond because for us, part of what makes Bond powerful is his heightened sex appeal. Saving the world is a sexy adventure, so he should get some side benefits as well. Moreover, because of the historicity of sexuality and women’s placeĀ  in the world of sexuality, women can not be as sexually liberated and as sexually motivated on screen as a male can. If they are, they are immediately viewed with distrust. Indeed, instead of being viewed in a positive light, these women would no longer be possible role models, strong female characters, or committed to their jobs. They would be criticized for their overt sexuality, called weak because of yielding to their emotional side, and considered irresponsible and not fit for the job. I find it interesting that even though we know Sydney, for instance, is a sexual creature, her love affairs thus far have been monotonous and ones that have a future (instead of Bond’s glorious one-night stands). Thus, I think that very much tied to the idea of morality is sexuality, and I doubt that this tie will break soon.

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“New” girl power??? April 30, 2007

Posted by kelly in alias, bodies, controversy, Female Power, feminism, Girl Power.
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I just read this article from New Zealand, it’s called “Sass to Sleaze: new girl power.” The author, Kevin Airs, writes of a significant shift from the Spice Girls brand of girl power, to the recent more sexualized versions of Beyonce, Christina Aguilera, and Lindsay Lohan. (more…)

Alias and Humanizing People April 30, 2007

Posted by andyw in alias, Ethics, Female Power, feminism, gender, general considerations, jennifer garner, marketing gender, Power, The Human.
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I want to advocate that Jennifer Garner can be subversively read as a human being, and not as a female character.

lindamc made some good points about how the episodes purposely showed Garner as soft and feminine. She explains that there is a strange cycle (more…)

Alias Episode 1:2 Scared vs. in Control April 30, 2007

Posted by lindamc in alias, attitude, Female Power, gender, imagery, La Femme Nikita, the state, tv.
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I found these two episodes of Alias very interesting in terms of the depiction of Sydney. Sometimes when she is at her work she looks scared and lost (much like Nikita) that she is fumbling to figure out what to do. While other times, she seems very much in control and confident: when she tells the men that are pulling her teeth as torture to “biteme.” This cycle occurs again and again, (when she is having a flashback to buying guns in the middle east and the guy that is selling them shoots his comrade when one gun doesn’t work: she looks scared (turning her head and wincing even though I’m sure she’s seen people shot on numerous occasions: she has even probably shot a few herself) and then in control with a tough face spewing Arabic. On another occasion, before she gets caught and her teeth pulled with the red hair, she is being shot at from over the counter (very Femme Nikita) and looks terrified and lost, there is another shot shortly after that where she clutches what she stole to her chest and hides behind a part of the lab tables looking completely terrified, but then stands up to declare: Over here boys, in a voice that reeks of control and arrogance. I found these scenes as direct evidence that the produceers and directors of the show are making sure the (more…)

Balanced life?? April 29, 2007

Posted by jenniferlewk in alias, jennifer garner, motherhood.
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Motherhood and the corporate world are two themes that have been discussed recently on the blog…how fitting that we are watching Alias for Tuesday.

There is nothing soft about Jennifer Garner. While the scenes we watched are pre-Afflect and pre-baby Violet, I still could watch the episodes without ever registering that Jennifer Garner is, in fact a mother. I was refreshed by this observation, because usually, a women’s profession and her decision to have a baby are usually at odds. For me (even though I am all for “having it all”) there is always some little part in my mind that reminds me of the actress or actor’s status (no, you can’t have Brad, he’s married. Or wow, Angelina looks disgustingly amazing after her baby was born). After hunting around on the web, I couldn’t find much angst about Gardner’s decision to take time off after having a baby, which surprised me. In Hollywood, it seems as though one is a mother or a high-profile actress, but usually not both. Suddenly, it all made sense. Jennifer Garner took a measly 3 months off after having her baby. No wonder no one got huffy. Although there were some complaints about Gardner’s not performing at 100 % and not being able to do stunts like she used to, the articles were largely complimentary. The other minor complaint was her inability to lose the baby weight fast enough. Like any other Hollywood star, Garner simply got a trainer, cut out the carbs, and got back to normal with seemingly little drama. Beautiful baby, husband, house, and career. It seems as though Garner has it all, or her publicists make it appear as though she has it all.

The scenes we watched, however, (more…)