Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Women, violence, sports, and popular culture

I've written quite a bit on the different ways that women's MMA has reproduced gender roles in society, both in covert and overt fashion. Now the "face of women's MMA," Gina Carano, is starring in an upcoming movie titled "Blood and Bones."

Check out a short snippet from the film, below:

Obviously, there is a lot of material to unpack here. In the way this scene is constructed, who is in the audience? What qualities do the female fighters possess (why was Carano in particular selected to star in the film over someone like Christiane Santos, who just defeated Carano in real sport)? How are women used in this context, and what are the similarities/differences to how men are used in these types of films (e.g., the movies, Fighting and Fight Club)?

Also, it appears two young men will have significant roles in the film. Notably, they are both men of color - a Filipino American actor and an African American actor. Will their ethnicities and genders fulfill conventional notions of race and gender in American media?

I suppose we'll have to wait and see. (For a promotional video that is perhaps an even better example of how emphasized femininity is perpetuated and challenged, see here).

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1 comment:

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