On The Hunger Games and general female badassery.

We saw The Hunger Games on Sunday — and oh my God.

That’s kind of the sum total of my review, because, dudes: Oh my God! So good!

Sosososososo good!

Ok, there could have been a few fewer hand-held close-ups — but mostly they worked. And ok, Gale should have somehow been given a few more minutes to establish just how close that relationship is. And I’m not sure Lenny Kravitz was really meant to act.

But other than that? OH MY GOD. (And come on come on, the 12 of you who are silly enough to have any Josh Hutcherson [Peeta] hate. He.was.perfect. Haterz to the left! Done).

Plus, bonus: We didn’t go on our own. We brought the boy (who got me into the books in the first place) and one of his closest friends — two seventh grade boys absolutely determined to see a girl with a bow kick some serious ass on opening weekend. They loved it. LOVED it. The boy’s one critique? “Jennifer Lawrence was great and everything – I just wish Katniss could have been even fiercer, somehow.”

The times? They are achangin’, my friends. (And they and the husband were kind of pumped about the Snow White and the Huntsman trailer, too).

I, of course, have long been a fan of badass women. And of geekry (such as that inspired by these amazing books) of all kinds.

The only problem is that in most fantasy worlds, women are not, actually, badass. And unlike Katniss in both book and movie, they are all too often clothed in a fashion that would not only render badassery impossible, but sheer survival would be tough.

So, yes. Part of why I loved this movie so much, and the book, is the sort of thing that I hope will one day be entirely unremarkable: Its main character behaves and dresses as a person in her position actually would. This is also part of why I’m so excited to see Brave, and so loved its trailer (below), wherein we see the main character literally rip her dress at the seams, so that she may shoot her arrows.

And it’s part of why I, too, was totally pumped to see the Snow White and the Huntsman trailer — because this young woman

will not be fainting onto a dwarf’s bed and awaiting salvation anytime soon.

It’s also why I love this

source; artist

and this

source; artist

and this

source; artist

so very, very, VERY much.

It’s why I could flip through sources like the Women Fighters in Reasonable Armor tumblr (my source for the three above images) for hours. I am hungry to see women who look like what my dreams look like, who look like what we really are, who look like they could stand their ground and win the day.

We so rarely see such women in our culture.

But in the wake of The Hunger Games, and in advance of Brave and Snow White and the Huntsman? I do wonder if the times might be changing for more than just my boy and his friend.

I may have to take up archery.


  1. Darth Thulhu

     /  March 27, 2012

    Don’t forget Rue, who I experienced somewhat as a throwback to Newt from Aliens: Physically frail in contrast to Katniss/Ripley’s badassery, but still highly competent.

    She doesn’t murder fools, but she cleverly, carefully, relentlessly survives. She’s skillful, and quietly, matter-of-factly worthy of great respect.

  2. darththulhu

     /  March 27, 2012

    If you like fantasy female art of non-cheesecake warriors, Magic: The Gathering has usually been pretty good about depicting angels as capable badasses. The upcoming May expansion, Avacyn Restored, has a world of nightmarish gothic horror getting saved by a returned Archangel (Avacyn). She and her host: kind of badass.


  3. dmf

     /  March 28, 2012

    may we have done the work needed that they don’t have to grow up to be actual warriors in their lives.

  4. I felt like there wasn’t enough shown of the life in Distreict 12…and Tucci was too Carson Daly-esque, and not Ryan Seacresty enough.
    But otherwise, right there with you.

  5. Judging by the awesomeness that I’m hearing from all my internet friends, I can’t wait for The Hunger Games to come out here. I mean, yeah, I’m kind of surprised it’s even being released in China, but whatever, I’ll take it, even if it isn’t coming out for another month.

    I second your love for Women Fighters in Reasonable Armor (especially the second gal, whoo-ee!).

  6. cofax

     /  March 28, 2012

    Still haven’t seen THG, but Emily, I can totally recommend Haywire to you–although you will probably have to wait for it to come out on DVD. In it, Stephen Soderbergh cast an actual female mixed-martial-arts star (Gina Carano) to play a private security operative who gets betrayed by her own people and has to do a bunch of awesome spy-type-stuff to save herself.

    She kicks the asses of Channing Tatum, Ewen MacGregor, and Michael Fassbender quite convincingly, and does almost all of it in jeans, a hoodie, and flat-heeled boots.

    It’s a smart, small, briskly-paced little film, and I liked it a lot.

  7. SWNC

     /  March 28, 2012

    I am also too, too excited about Brave and Snow White and the Huntsman. Love the fierce ones!

    I just finished a looooong trilogy by fantasy author Robin Hobbs. One of my favorite things about her is that she explores all the different ways that women can wield power in an essentially patriarchal society: as bad-ass warriors, but also as matriarchs, savvy politicians, wise advisors, etc.

  8. Blogfloggery: for the original assertive woman, see this post: http://facelessbureaucrat.blogspot.com/2012/03/how-to-be-assertive-woman.html (which leads you to Volokh and Ken Anderson’s post of a declaration of war (by Joan of Arc).

  9. There was a period of about 20 years when every senior girl at my high school was required to take 9 weeks of archery. If we get to the zombie apocalypse, here’s a few thousand women in my home town who are prepared to defend the City walls with bows. (We’d have to build walls out of abandoned cars, but you get the idea.)

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