Joseph Campbell’s Shiny Pedestal, Part 3

(Continued from Part 2, which continued from Part 1.) Campbell believed that myths were world-scale projections of Freud’s “nursery love triangle”. On that basis, he assumed that as girls and boys relate to parental figures of each gender differently, so would they relate different goals and procedures in the hero’s quest. The progression is logical, […]

Joseph Campbell’s Shiny Pedestal, Part 2

(Continued from Part 1.) Something very brilliant followed the veneration of Joseph Campbell’s ideas about the hero’s journey. One of the steps Campbell identified as part of that journey influenced films and (eventually) television tremendously in the 1980’s: the supreme ordeal. Suddenly, it wasn’t enough for a hero to triumph: the hero had to be […]

Joseph Campbell’s Shiny Pedestal, Part 1

In the whole mythological tradition the woman is there. All she has to do is realize that she’s the place that people are trying to get to. When a woman realizes what her wonderful character is, she’s not going to get messed up with the notion of being pseudo-male. Joseph Campbell, 1981 Once upon a […]

Retrain Yourself to Be Yourself

When I was a teenager, I noticed that every sentence I uttered ended with a questioning rise in pitch…? Like it was a question even when it wasn’t…? And I put loads of uncertainty into my statements, even the ones I was flat-out certain of…? God, it was annoying. Every other girl I knew did […]

Exceptions to the Mary Sue Rule

A couple of weeks ago, I talked about Mary Sue characters: those perfect, perfect female characters filmmakers create in place of women who grow and change. Anything the guys can do, Mary Sue can do better, and there is just simply no reason to watch herin a story, because you know she’s going to breeze […]

Mary Sue Goes Mainstream

A Lord of the Rings discussion in the forum got me thinking about a shortcut certain male filmmakers try to take in presenting strong women, and why they don’t satisfy us. It’s a technique that’s more common to science fiction and fantasy than other genres, but it is used elsewhere. It’s a really simple formula: […]

“I don’t know nuthin’ ’bout birthin’ no babies!” TV/Film Myth #5 about Women

All women have maternal instincts. First of all, if you’re one of those people who actually sincerely believe that, I have a public service announcement: for the sake of all that’s holy, people, do not trust your children to just any animal on two legs possessing two X-chromosomes. Humans don’t have genetic memory, folks. Neither […]