Wakeman & Cody: Feminism, Film, and Foxes on The Frisky
Friend-o-Bitch and blogger Jessica Wakeman has an interview with Diablo Cody at The Frisky that might be of interest to all you feminist film buffs out there. In it, Cody gives her two cents on the Riot Grrrl 90s, adolescent girl friendships, Jennifer's Body, and feminism in Hollywood.
From the interview...
On Riot Grrrl:
Diablo Cody: I'm very lucky to have come of age in the '90s. It was a really wonderful time to be growing up because there was this whole Riot Grrl movement and I was a vast subscriber, watching "My So-Called Life" and wearing my engineer boots and my flannel shirt. I was in a band! I don't really know if teen culture is like that anymore. It was a really amazing time to be a young feminist, let me tell you.
The Frisky: Do you still consider yourself a Riot Grrl?
DC: I'm an old Riot Grrl. (laughs) There's a lot of us out there—we have our faded tattoos and still wear baby doll dresses!
The Frisky: Yeah, it sucks pop culture so is not like that anymore.
DC: I think it goes in cycles. Right now, we are in a cycle where it is cool to be meticulously groomed and starving to death and listen to really cheesy music. It's unfortunate! But these are the times we're living in. [Riot Grrl will] eventually come back around—it always does.
On the feminist blogosphere:
DC: OK, here's a problem that is holding back feminism and you see it on the blogs. We all hold each other up to an incredibly high standard in a way that men do not. Let's say a woman directs a movie that's not very good—everybody piles up on her. It's, like, "No! You're representing us! It has to be perfect!" And that's not how it works! Women should be allowed to make bad movies. Good movies. Porno movies. Terrible made-for-TV movies. Women just need to be out there directing as many movies as men do. We don't all have to be the model woman—what we need is to be more visible. We really, really are tough on each other.
On the Megan Fox/Amanda Seyfriend kiss in Jennifer's Body:
DC: All right, if the two protagonists of the film were a guy and a girl and in a particularly tense moment, they shared a kiss, no one would say it was gratuitous. But the fact that they're women means it's some kind of stunt. It was intended to be something profound and meaningful to me and to Karyn [Kusama, the director]. Obviously we knew people were going to totally sensationalize it. They're beautiful girls, the scene is hot—I'm not afraid to say that. There is a sexual energy between the girls which is kind of authentic, because I know when I was a teenaged girl, the friendships that I had with other girls were almost romantic, they were so intense. I wanted to sleep at my friend's house every night, I wanted to wear her clothes, we would talk on the phone until our ears ached. I wanted to capture that heightened feeling you get as an adolescent that you don't really feel as a grownup. (laughs) You like you're friends when you're a grownup but you don't need to sleep in the same bed with them and talk to them on the phone until 5 a.m. every night.
On feminism and the film industry:
The Frisky: So, I'm curious, when you're writing roles for women, do you purposely try to write a feminist message?
DC: My feminist hat is permanently welded to my head—I definitely can't take it off! It's so important for me to write things from the female perspective and in service of women and in the right roles for women. That's usually what I'm thinking going into it. Obviously, the story goes first. But then my next priority is how am I going to sneak my subversive feminist message into this?
The Frisky: Do you always think the female perspective is the feminist perspective, though?
DC: No, not always. But I think representation is obviously the first step to equality, so if women aren't being represented in a diverse way in movies, they're going to remain marginalized.
What did you think of the interview, Bitch readers? Are you already in line to get Jennifer's Body tickets, or are you going to stay home and wear out your copy of Live Through This instead?
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