50 Shades of Grey vs. The Bronze Horseman

24 Apr

LIH is very supportive of getting women actors and directors quality roles and scripts.  We are tired of seeing the same stereotypical, sexist roles over and over.  We want audiences to help empower women in the mass media by supporting films that feature strong leading and supporting actresses.  First let’s define empower.

Empower: to promote the self-actualization or influence of[1], give someone the authority or power to do something.[2]

If we encouraging the strength of women’s natural attributes and give her the opportunity to pursue her interests, it doesn’t mean she has to give up the qualities that make her feminine.  It’s a matter of being self confident and standing up for what one strongly believes in.  Unfortunately there is still a large portion of the free world that believes if a man is confident and bold he is aggressive.  If it’s a woman, she’s considered a b-tch.

Second, is it men holding women down or women holding women down in HW?  That’s for you to decide.  Here are some characters that are strong, self-assured women who find no harm in being vulnerable as well as gutsy.

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Ellen Ripley

Ripley is one of the best female characters in Sci-Fi.  She’s not a bombshell, doesn’t need a man to give her an identity, isn’t a “damsel in distress”, and behaves as a real person.  She’s smart, confident, and is not afraid of playing with the big boys.  She gets angry, can be rude, doesn’t need to know special kung fu moves to kill her opponents, likes who she is on the outside and inside, and yet is still very maternal and loving.  She was also written by six MEN.[3]

The women of Steel Magnolias

M’Lynn, Truvy, Ouiser, Annelle, Clairee, and Shelby offer southern warmth but are not afraid to get in your face and tell you what is up.  The characters are flawed but they know it and don’t try to hide it.  They are real women with real problems and dealing with what life throws them without sacrificing who they are.  They are smart, witty, sarcastic, loyal, have a strong sense of morals, and self-reliant.  They don’t need to show skin, get involved in abusive substances or lifestyles to find themselves.

******

In a previous article, “50 Shades of Grey” Coming to a Theater Near You!, we discussed the future possibility of the film.  We have also discussed The Bronze Horseman being made into a film.  Both books feature a female lead that many readers look up to, but for completely different reasons.

5SoG: Anastasia Steele (aka Bella Swan in a fan fic called Master of the Universe)

Anastasia Steele is an innocent, naïve, virginal college student who turns “a reluctant, possessive man into the so called dream man.  As important as it is to see the good in someone, when you put your safety and health at risk, there’s a serious problem…enduring a partner’s controlling behavior in favor of trying to change him[4] is old as time and never works.  There actually isn’t a whole lot of character development with Ana, and her insecurities of not being worthy of Christian are annoying.   She gets a job courtesy of her billionaire boyfriend, and for the most part, the girl really has no “growing pains” except for nipple clamps and whatever other kinky stuff Christian is into using on his loved one.   Read more here about Ana’s personal qualities.

TBH: Tatiana Metanov

In the first book, she starts off as a very naïve teenager who just does not grasp the effects the war is having on her country.  By the end of the novel, Tatiana has been forced to grow up and deal with the realities and brutalities of losing all the members of her family, starving and watching others turn to cannibalism, risking her own life and being wounded to try and find her brother, and leaving her husband behind and travel to a new country where she will give birth to their child and raise him on her own.  She is flawed and eventually acknowledges her flaws and what she must do to become stronger.  I’m not sure how much Ana grows and develops over her trilogy, but Tatiana, I can say for certain, goes above and beyond—dealing with a husband who has PTSD, suffering a decade or more of infertility, working at a time when it wasn’t considered good for a woman to be out of the home, surviving an affair, and dealing with the problems of her children.

Which character should consumers support when these films come to theaters?  Who truly embodies what it means to be empowered?  Who will set a better example for our young girls and teenage daughters?  Which one has a stronger, positive influence?

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72 Responses to “50 Shades of Grey vs. The Bronze Horseman”

  1. Open Book April 25, 2013 at 1:31 PM #

    LB- AWESOME article! I love it. Can’t wait to discuss tonight.

    • littlebells April 25, 2013 at 3:10 PM #

      Thanks OB! I know there are many other strong female leads, aside from the ones I mentioned, so hopefully we can discuss them as well. 🙂

      • Open Book April 25, 2013 at 6:37 PM #

        Hi LB!

        I’m here and a little early.

        • littlebells April 25, 2013 at 6:56 PM #

          Hi OB!

          • Open Book April 25, 2013 at 6:58 PM #

            Hi!

            How do u feel?

            • littlebells April 25, 2013 at 7:03 PM #

              Good, I just got a two hour nap!

              • Open Book April 25, 2013 at 7:48 PM #

                Great! So how long can u last with that? 30 to 40 minutes? Let me know. No worries if u have to go.

  2. Open Book April 25, 2013 at 6:53 PM #

    “Who will set a better example for our young girls and teenage daughters?”

    IMO Tatiana is of course the better role model hands down. What I like about Tatiana is her authenticity. Like u stated so well she is flawed but she does grow. As she matures she becomes stronger, confident and a leader. She is a problem solver and does not wait around to be rescued or taken care of.

    • littlebells April 25, 2013 at 6:59 PM #

      I agree. Particularly when she is in the US. She learns the language and slowly steps into society. I forgot to mention that she does make some really poor decisions, but again, that’s real and normal. Who hasn’t? You experience the consequences, which is important because then you can learn from them.

      • Open Book April 25, 2013 at 7:02 PM #

        Exactly, u do see her deal with the consequences of her bad decisions which I think is key when making a character more three dimensional.

  3. Open Book April 25, 2013 at 6:57 PM #

    I think the lure of Twilight and 50 SOG is the need to be wanted by men. Why do u think women want to be desired so much today?

    • littlebells April 25, 2013 at 7:02 PM #

      Yes, I agree for the need to be wanted by a man. However, there are other ways to fulfill that need and BDSM and subjecting yourself to danger and possible suicide.

      I think we all have a need to be desired, and men aren’t as emotional as women. How they think we need them is different then how we actually want to be needed. That’s why it’s key to communicate and key to understand.

    • parisienne April 25, 2013 at 7:09 PM #

      I don’t think its a need to be wanted more so than a need to be CONTROLLED.

      • Open Book April 25, 2013 at 7:16 PM #

        Ah! Yes! CONTROL why do u think some women need and want that today?

        • parisienne April 25, 2013 at 7:18 PM #

          because something similar like that happened in their childhood and instead of overpowering and helping others in similar situations they choose to put themselves back in that situation. they also have low-self esteem issues.

          • Open Book April 25, 2013 at 7:28 PM #

            Wonderful observation and explanation. Do u think also its because they lack faith and its easier to go with the familiar than to step out into the unknown?

            • parisienne April 25, 2013 at 7:31 PM #

              Yes, they lack faith as well. I think though that they go back because they were trained from little on that they aren’t worth anything as far as society is concerned.

              • Open Book April 25, 2013 at 7:43 PM #

                Wow! U are hitting it out the park tonight. That is so true. Who do u think is more sexist toward women today filmmakers or consumers of 50 and Twilight?

        • littlebells April 25, 2013 at 7:53 PM #

          I get that. But in my experience its more of Man taking over things I can already do myself. For example I find it extremely sexy when my husband decides to do all the dishes without me asking. Also he has planned a secret night away for our anniversary next month. In our ten years of marriage THIS IS A FIRST! Much more arousing then him whipping out nipple clamps, IMO. 🙂 haha!

          • Open Book April 25, 2013 at 8:08 PM #

            Hahaha! What? Nipple clamps aren’t a turn on LB?

            I know for me it’s the little thoughtful things he knows I only like that are my aphrodisiac. Like trying my Goji Berry concoctions. Hahahaha!

            • littlebells April 25, 2013 at 10:27 PM #

              Um, no. 🙂 Pregnant boobs are bad enough. A foot and belly rub on the other hand? Total turn ons or should I say make me fall asleep. 🙂

              • Open Book April 26, 2013 at 10:05 AM #

                Hahahaha! U fall asleep. Well u know it’s the thought that counts.

  4. littlebells April 25, 2013 at 7:04 PM #

    OB,

    What other female lead roles/supporting roles have you found that are empowering to women and maintain a sense of morals and standards?

    • parisienne April 25, 2013 at 7:07 PM #

      Hello Ladies!

      • Open Book April 25, 2013 at 7:09 PM #

        Howdy Partner! LOL!

        • parisienne April 25, 2013 at 7:11 PM #

          LOL Hi!

      • littlebells April 25, 2013 at 7:37 PM #

        Howdy!!

        • Open Book April 25, 2013 at 7:44 PM #

          Ah! Howdy to u to partner! Lol!

    • Open Book April 25, 2013 at 7:25 PM #

      I love Princess Leia- I identified with this woman who was struggling for freedom in an oppressive environment. She stood up to Darth Vader and refused to betray her beliefs. She wasn’t afraid of anything. Princess Leia wasn’t the normal damsel in distress.

      • parisienne April 25, 2013 at 7:28 PM #

        Nope she wasn’t but neither was her mother. 🙂

        • Open Book April 25, 2013 at 7:33 PM #

          Hahaha! That’s right the apple certainly does not fall far in their case.

      • littlebells April 25, 2013 at 7:55 PM #

        Princess Leia is great. I also liked Sally Field’s true life character in Not Without My Daughter. There are many women in real life who go through this ordeal. They are very brave and courageous.

  5. Open Book April 25, 2013 at 7:07 PM #

    “Which character should consumers support when these films come to theaters?”

    Obviously, women should support TBH over 50. Simply because unless they have some internalized sexist agenda then it makes no sense after seeing Zero Dark Thirty and Brave they would support anything else. And please spare me the excuse about 50 being about women embracing their sexuality crap. The truth is sex is way better if both partners respect and love each other not just physically but spiritually as well.

    • parisienne April 25, 2013 at 7:11 PM #

      That’s true!

    • littlebells April 25, 2013 at 7:16 PM #

      HAHAHAHAHA!!! Absolutely 100% to the last part and well the whole comment. I honestly wonder how many women would actually enjoy E L James’s version of BDSM or actual BDSM if it were to really happen to them. I’m sure there are those who would love it, but I don’t think most would when put in that spot.

      Hey I’m switching over to my phone, so give me a few minutes.

      • ozzie20 April 25, 2013 at 7:54 PM #

        The BDSM community were up in arms over the 50 Shades because the BDSM was more like abuse than what they practise and the safety aspect was very weak. Basically E. L. James hasn’t researched it properly.

        • littlebells April 25, 2013 at 7:57 PM #

          I found some great articles that said the same thing. I also found another blog explaining why or why not these strong female characters get written. I will find it when I get home.

          • Open Book April 25, 2013 at 8:11 PM #

            That sounds wonderful LB. I would love to read it.

          • ozzie20 April 25, 2013 at 8:17 PM #

            *pats head* Well done brain! I was worried after I posted it, that I had forgotten it and got things twisted, lol! *phew*

        • parisienne April 25, 2013 at 8:17 PM #

          Hi Ozzie!

          See that’s the thing. James didn’t do the proper research. I’d bet money she went to pornhub and typed what she saw. Without doing the research as to why people are turned on by BDSM.

          • ozzie20 April 25, 2013 at 8:31 PM #

            Hi Paris! Hope you are feeling better!

            I agree with you. Also just like normal movies, porn movies (the professional ones) have very strict health and safety rules, which obviously we never see because it happeneds behind the camera. Any stopping because someone doesn’t like what is happening is edited out too. I would hope any amatuer film is vetted for malpractice before it was posted online.

          • Open Book April 25, 2013 at 9:07 PM #

            I’m back my conference call got postponed an hour. Food for thought! Do u think an African American Women would find ropes and bondage used in BDSM a turn on? or would u say she had case of internalized racism issues going on?

            • Open Book April 25, 2013 at 9:10 PM #

              My point being is BDSM more healthy or appealing to certain ethnic groups more than others?

              • littlebells April 25, 2013 at 9:18 PM #

                Great question and I really don’t know. I think it appeals to certain personalities, but it would be something very interesting to research.

                • Open Book April 25, 2013 at 9:32 PM #

                  U are a trooper for taking a stab it. Do u think BDSM is a distant cousin to human trafficking?

                  • littlebells April 25, 2013 at 10:40 PM #

                    Well, I can’t really say. However, I wouldn’t be surprised if there were those who were in human trafficking who used BDSM.

                    From what I have read in articles on Doms and Subs, they take it very seriously. They have their safe word and will abide by the rules that they each feel comfortable with. As weird as it may sound, there is mutual respect. I may not approve of the lifestyle, but for those that do and consider the other person, it’s far better than someone who isn’t and crosses the “line”. Does that make sense?

                    • Open Book April 26, 2013 at 10:25 AM #

                      Yes, it does make sense. And I do see your point about having mutual respect vs. not. I wonder where the lifestyle derives from? Perhaps from one of the places we read about in “Crooked Little Vein?”

  6. littlebells April 25, 2013 at 7:08 PM #

    I have to say the reason I picked Steel Magnolias is because of the amazing characters and the women who played them. Olympia Dukakis and Shirley MacLaine are my favorite. They are ballsy, strong willed, sarcastic, snotty sometimes, yet are charming, have high standards and you can tell that even with some baggage, they are the women they are because of it.

    • Open Book April 25, 2013 at 7:12 PM #

      Yes they are great. Plus they refuse to lay down and accept what society has defined women their age to be. Instead they keep challenging themselves and I think that’s awesome. Great choice!

      • littlebells April 25, 2013 at 7:58 PM #

        Kudos to female actresses who do not go under the knife or use Botox. Thanks for looking the way God intended!!!

  7. ozzie20 April 25, 2013 at 7:36 PM #

    Hi everyone!

    Very interesting article, LB. Of course I will always pick Tatiana over Anastasia as the better better role model everytime!

    • Open Book April 25, 2013 at 7:46 PM #

      Hi Ozzie!

      How are u?

      U know I was looking for your no,no cat for my reaction to Anastasia being a role model. Darn it! I love that cat.

      • littlebells April 25, 2013 at 7:48 PM #

        I love that our new book has a character named Ozzie. 🙂

        • Open Book April 25, 2013 at 7:50 PM #

          Oh! Yes! My favorite. BTW I finished “Odd Thomas” today. It was great!

          • ozzie20 April 25, 2013 at 7:57 PM #

            It does? Damn, I have itchy fingers wanting to buy it now!

            I’m very tired again, so it’s snail pace replying again! How is everyone else?

            • littlebells April 25, 2013 at 7:59 PM #

              It’s called Odd Thomas and I’m really enjoying it so far. :). Hey don’t fall asleep on the keypad!!

            • Open Book April 25, 2013 at 8:00 PM #

              no, no, no, no Oz! LOL!!

              • ozzie20 April 25, 2013 at 8:08 PM #

                LMAO!

                My Mum has read the Odd Thomas books and loves them. She’s excited for the movie and keeps telling me I have to read them too!

                • Open Book April 25, 2013 at 8:15 PM #

                  I finished it in a few days because I have insomnia given I’m working late. However, this story did not help me sleep. Hahaha!

          • ozzie20 April 25, 2013 at 8:01 PM #

            Just search for “no no no cat” cat if you need it again which I suspect will be used alot for any 50 Shades articles we do! 🙂

            • Open Book April 25, 2013 at 8:10 PM #

              Hahahaha! Goodness! That can’t be real. Thanks Oz!

    • littlebells April 25, 2013 at 7:47 PM #

      Of course!

  8. Open Book April 25, 2013 at 7:59 PM #

    ” She gets a job courtesy of her billionaire boyfriend, and for the most part, the girl really has no “growing pains” except for nipple clamps and whatever other kinky stuff Christian is into using on his loved one. ”

    This is my favorite part of your article. Hahahaha! Tell me why do u feel that way? Come on! All her ambition is to live and die by Christian sword heaven forbid she has any interest in science?

    • littlebells April 25, 2013 at 9:12 PM #

      Um pretty much. Plus she has such low self esteem that someone so handsome and amazing as Christian would want her…blah.

      • Open Book April 25, 2013 at 9:15 PM #

        Hi I’m back my conference call got postponed. I just asked Paris and Oz a question about BDSM up above but anyone can take a stab at it.

      • Open Book April 25, 2013 at 9:25 PM #

        LB

        IMO when some women are looking for some guy with money etc…. are only looking to hide or afraid to get out there and take a chance or like u said “deal with the consequences of bad decisions and be independent.” I really think women like that are ultra needy and have given up on themselves.

  9. Open Book April 25, 2013 at 8:17 PM #

    Everyone!

    I have to go. I love the topic and will check back tomorrow. Great job LB.

    Goodnight.

    • ozzie20 April 25, 2013 at 8:33 PM #

      Night OB!

  10. parisienne April 25, 2013 at 8:25 PM #

    Good night OB!

  11. littlebells April 25, 2013 at 9:22 PM #

    While researching, I found Sigourney Weaver’s character was changed a bit through the different writers, but she stood firm and wouldn’t allow it. So you think more women need to stand up for their characters?

    • Open Book April 25, 2013 at 9:35 PM #

      Yes! However, given who Sigourney Weavers father is I doubt she had much resistance. I don’t think all actresses have that same power. However, I say I think more female consumers can empower actresses by supporting films that represent stronger women.

      • Open Book April 25, 2013 at 9:38 PM #

        Sorry LB-I have to go. Great discussion and questions again. TC!

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