Episode 45: Feminist Kryptonite- Musicals!

Join Lindsay and Malia as they discuss one of their other favorite “Feminist Kryptonites,”  Musicals and show tunes.  Trigger Warning: Discussions of rape, abduction and violence. 

Music as bumpers: “Anything You Can Do” from Annie Get Your Gun and “Impossible Remix” from Brandy’s Cinderella.

FEMINIST INFO RATING SYSTEM:


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  1. I actually wrote my main paper for my Film Musicals class in college about how Julie Andrews was so successful (mostly in Mary Poppins and the Sound of Music) because she managed to both uphold and subvert the status quo of the patriarchy/culture of the 60s. I loved researching it. She is a goddess!

  2. So glad that you talked about 7 brides, it’s so popular among Mormon women and it is absolutely horrific. There is nothing romantic about being kidnapped. My sister used to bemoan the fact that so many of her roommates at BYU owned it, loved it and watched it all the time. I don’t think that you have to be a feminist to realize how wrong it is, though I’m sure it helps.

    And I’m glad that you didn’t talk about “Meet me in St. Louis” because it’s my fave and I’m not ready to think about it’s problematic parts today. ;)

  3. My thoughts when you were talking about the Sound of Music and “Sixteen going on seventeen” was that when I was younger I neither had a person sit down with me and say this model Rolf is outlining is neither good or right, nor did I realize on my own that it was satire/irony. However, in the end I did see that Rolf turned out to be a Nazi that betrays the family. So, I felt that the movie did a good enough job discounting Rolf and his message.

  4. I’m currently getting my master’s in Musical Theatre, so this post was particularly intriguing to me. Besides completely disagreeing on the point that musicals require stock characters simply because they are musicals (which is another discussion entirely), I do think it is interesting to note that musicals that tend to depart from stock characters also tend to have stronger women and represent feminist values. For example, modern musicals like Next to Normal, The Last Five Years, and even Wicked all arguably have strong feminist undertones. So, perhaps this means that the further we move from archetypes, the more we see women worthy of looking up to as role models?

  5. Re: rap music (which feminism has totally ruined for me, thanks a lot, FEMINISM)… Salt N Pepa. They make me wanna shoop. Plus there are so many other female rappers – Lauryn Hill? Da Brat? Lil Kim? Does Ke$ha count? Nicki Minaj? Queen Latifah? Sheesh, you could maybe do a whole podcast just on female rappers.

    And then of course we have the traditional Snoop Dogg, Dr. Dre, Eminem, Jay Z stuff. Also, Beastie Boys. GIRLS!

  6. I am very late to this discussion, but just listened to the episode and really enjoyed it. One thing that I think is particularly difficult when analyzing whether films/novels/other forms of media are pro-feminist is trying to discover the underlying message behind the content. For example, the hosts discuss how in West Side Story the Jets harass Anita. It could be argued that this is actually pro-feminist or at least neutral because the film is not promoting this behavior, but rather, showing the problems with it (the Sharks’ and Jets’ racist hate of each other, and racist and sexist treatment of Anita leads to Tony’s death in the end). However, other people may interpret this harassment differently, so perhaps the message about the harassment is unclear. Overall, I think it is important to disambiguate content from message (which I admit can be really difficult). Films can certainly be pro-feminist while including harassment, racism, misogyny, etc. It just depends on how the film addresses these topics.

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