Alice in Lesboland: A Wonderland for Feminists, Revolutionaries & Your Mom!

Hey everyone – STOP HATING ON ALICE IN WONDERLAND!

I’m sorry, the use of all caps is a little harsh, I know, but I feel like I should be screaming it. Despite complaints of a weak plot masked by overdone graphics, the highlights of this movie far outweigh the lulls: it’s not the typical Tim Burton double overdose (Wtf, Corpse Bride?), the casting was stellar, and Burton’s re-imagining of Lewis Carroll’s original characters made for an entirely new dynamic.

Oh, and of course, it was super feminist.

My girlfriend Lauren will be tag-teaming me on this review.

LAUREN: As far as the negatives go, I’ll admit the plotline was a little trite – Oh no, Alice! Wonderland is not as you left it! In fact, you must save us all! I mean, we unfortunately already saw that weird sequel to The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe. Silver lining: this one totally wasn’t secretly about Jesus! Er, Aslan. But considering that Wonderland is already a rehashing of an established story, Burton and Woolverton and didn’t do too poorly. (The movie’s plot was based on an inspired interpretation of the Jabberwocky poem, found in “Through the Looking Glass.”)

Alice in Wonderland, in fact, does much better, it provides relevant (albeit at times hyperbolic) social commentary about oppressive government and the necessary banding together of the community around the hero….ine.

Not to mention how hot it was watching a female knight in shining armor slaying the big bad dragon.

KATRINA: The writing started out a bit weak, and Alice’s rebellious nature seemed a bit contrived. The script was littered with a ton of nudges to the ribs, and I just felt like Linda Woolverton was sitting next to me in the theater being like “Eh, get it? She’s not cut out for marriage to this ginger guy with indigestion? See what I did there? How she doesn’t have a proper outlet for her unconventional ideas?” And to that I was like, “Shh, Linda Woolverton, can’t you see I’m on a date?”

The whole thing turned around though, upon the arrival of the cranially endowed Red Queen, as portrayed by the irresistibly quirky Helena Bonham Carter. The depth added to her character more than compensated for any lack of original storyline. When it comes to the plot, why mess with perfection? In this case it’s better instead to add a new dimension to what already exists. And that’s exactly what this writing of the Red Queen does. Not only does Bonham Carter add an extremely human element to the the Red Queen, she applies an extremely female interpretation of a generally ambiguous character.

I mean, she’s evil, but she’s not just evil. I read the story to be that she’s just a big-headed woman in a regularly-sized headed society, insecure about her physical imperfections. Sure she’s got the power and the Jaberwocky and that guy with the heart-shaped eye patch who’s probably currently being cast for Lady Gaga’s next video. But more than that, she knows that, as a woman, society judges her value largely on her appearance, and she is motivated primarily by jealousy of her sister, which is appropriate, because Anne Hathaway is just lovely.

LAUREN: Here’s my 1st TimBurtonwtf wondering: why the hell is Anne Hathaway always caught right in the middle of the “Bad Romance” pose?

KATRINA: Dude, yeah, did Anne Hathaway just get really tired filming this movie?

LAUREN: Don’t call me dude.

KATRINA: Baby, did Anne Hathaway just get really tired filming this movie? Her character was totally a pleasure. She was largely without flaw (if not also without depth), except for the fact that her arms insisted on retaining that weird always-bent-at-the-elbows-limp-wrist pose. It was charming at first, but then it evolved into a little awkward, and it just seemed like a strange directorial call that didn’t really contribute to the character at all.

LAUREN: Nonetheless, Hathaway remains the charming, talented eye candy she always has been.

KATRINA: Also, I don’t know if I’ve been watching the “Telephone” video too much, but I could have gone for some lesbian undertones between Anne Hathaway and Mia Wasikowska.

LAUREN: You’re too gay.

KATRINA: I know.

LAUREN: So, I’m gonna let it slide that the plot line is a little less than original, ‘cause I think it’s pretty important to portray things like feminism, opposition to oppressive forms of governing, and exposing the “crazy” revolutionaries for what they truly are: free thinkers in an autocratic society.

KATRINA: Yeah I think that was a great calling out of the progressive culture from Burton. An entire society is being oppressed, and the few who realize it have become so disenchanted by the absence of their leader that they have become immobilized. And more than that, they are rendered mad.

Depp’s Mad Hatter is the disillusioned revolutionary, nursing a dormant flame while simultaneously longing for the use of his trade. The March Hare reflects our own views on the ‘radicals’ of this society, characterizing them as stone-throwers who smash windows, arbitrary of cause. And while this may be true of the March Hare, one must admit that, even though his tactics seem unprovoked and reckless, there is a truth in what he is saying.

In response to the idea that the trio is basically all on drugs (and the Hatter in some sort of opiate-induced dementia); yes, although I feel like most people I know who share an intimate relationship with drugs are the most interesting & intelligent but also the most irreconcilably frustrated people that I encounter. As Alice’s father says, all the best people are mad (and flawed).

Perhaps it’s a more narrowly pointed version of the idea that alice in wonderland is just a big drug trip anyway. I feel like it’s especially appropriate for the movie, as the whole thing is just sort of escapist, but maybe it’s like escapism within escapism? Like Alice escaped to another reality, but even that reality is still too difficult for some people to bear.

“It’s not that Depp disappoints, he simply recognizes his role in the story.”

LAUREN: Which is where the awesome casting comes in. Yes, absolutely everyone talks about the Burton/Depp connection, but in Alice in Wonderland it’s different. Burton normally relies on Depp to be his leading man – no homo – but this time Depp plays much more of a supporting actor. Regardless of his official title in the movie, there is no arguing that there is most decidedly one leading actor, and that is Mia Wasikowska. Depp gracefully dances around Wasikowska’s bold performance, all the while maintaining an interestingly intelligent interpretation of the Mad Hatter. Unlike all the detractors that have chided Depp for a disappointing performance, I counter – when is the last time you saw any male actor as well paid as Depp successfully act around a much younger female lead?

KATRINA: It’s not that Depp disappoints, he simply recognizes his role in the story. This is Alice’s return to Wonderland, it is her story of redemption, and she is the catalyst upon which their liberation depends. There is no power struggle – men and women are working together, but it is not necessarily the man who has to take the lead. This comes from a dynamic that was clearly present on the set. Here we can see fiction translate into reality – it’s not just the Mad Hatter supporting the heroine, it’s a renowned leading actor disregarding ego or social pressure and allowing the real hero – this time a woman – to claim her power (without a romantic motive for the first time in Disney history, may I add — it even passes the Bechdel Test and rarely even acknowledges power-related gender norms).

“There is no power struggle – men and women are working together, but it is not necessarily the man who has to take the lead.”

LAUREN: And Wasikowska does not disappoint. Her breakout performance proves her to be more than capable of leading such an impressive cast, with names as big as Johnny Depp, Alan Rickman, and Helena Bonham Carter behind her. She nails Alice’s trademark dreamy amble, and adds a certain mental toughness to her not seen in the original version. Wasikowska ventures through Underland (turns out Wonderland was a bit of a misnomer) in quite the same way the original Alice did: with little purpose but to explore, with a sense of courage only obtained through stubborn persistence that she really is in a dream. And true to form, the characters reveal themselves to her – she meets all the familiars: the hookah smoking caterpillar (why are you trying to be a caterpillar, Snape?!), the evil Red Queen, the Mad Hatter, etc. And a couple of new faces, a tiny mouse with a definite case of small mouse syndrome, and the lovely White Queen.

The Verdict

You’ve heard the rest. Stunning graphics, charming characters, it’s hard to look sexy/make out while wearing 3D glasses, etc. etc. Our advice: go in it for the message, not the story. Alice in Wonderland is the perfect movie to lose yourself in, but there’s something so much greater to be gained in examining how closely Alice’s world mirrors our own. Alice ends the story wearing “men’s” clothing, captaining her own ship into profitable & unexplored horizons. And by that, we mean imperial extension into China. But we’ll let that slide.

Sure, in our case, it’s usually girls in vests running late for dates instead of rabbits, but this movie is a step in the right direction, where women can be heroes and revolutionaries can be real – and you won’t have to fall down a rabbit hole to find them.

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Katrina is a 23-year-old grrrl splitting her time between her great homeland of New York City and Washington DC. She loves activism and hates sleep, which is convenient because neither of those things really allows for the other anyway. She thinks that slang is rad. As a math equation (with words, because she is bad at math), Katrina would go as such: writer + riot grrrl = wrioter grrrl. When not manifesting itself as a mathematical equation, Katrina’s life usually reads out like a lesbian coming-of-age novel, though sometimes she wishes it were more like a bad 1950s lesbian pulp fiction story. Also, she really, really, truly believes that the revolution is upon us. Come read her rantings about it on her twitter and blog!

Contact: katrina[at]autostraddle.com

katrina has written 64 articles for us.

52 Comments

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    This review is really good and I agree.
    I went to see this film during the opening weekend and, being a Disney film, the cinema was full of little kids. When we all left, the little girls were talking about wearing armour and killing monsters. I think this film had a fantastic message considering how mostly films that children watch have women focussing entirely on getting married or only saving the day if they’re wearing really short skirts.
    It’s nice to not have to identify with the swordfighting boy, but with the swordfighting girl instead.

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    You were not the only ones who picked up on the Mia/Anne lesbian undertones! My girlfriend and I discussed it all the way home from the theater. So glad we weren’t the only ones. I only wish they would have played with it a little more, but I suppose it is a PG movie. *sigh*

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    I totes agree with this! Lots of feminist sensibilities, at least for a Disney.
    (Also the little mouse with the little mouse complex, I think, was actually supposed to be the Dormouse from Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, not a new character. Just sayin’!)
    fabulous review, girls!

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    “Feminist undertones” is pretty much the last thing I expect going in to any movie ever. I watch most films with my jaw agape, appalled at how ridiculous gender norms are reinforced by the media and wondering if things have gotten any better in that regard over the last ten years.

    Though the film got off to a REALLY slow start (way too much “look at this set, isn’t it neat” and not enough things actually happening, and the shrinking/growing scene when she first falls down the rabbit hole was excrutiatingly slow), I ended up on the edge of my seat wondering when they were gonna drop the feminist ball — surely they couldn’t maintain this level of pro-girl action WITHOUT EVEN A ROMANTIC LOVE STORY HAPPENING AT ALL ANYWHERE WITH ANY OF THE CHARACTERS!??! Also, the red queen shares her power with a man, and is punished to spend her life with him. meanwhile the white queen acts alone, and Alice follows in her father’s footsteps — crossing gender boundaries — to choose career over romance or even the possibility of guaranteed, though not productive, happiness.

    I even got paranoid (*cough*) that a mad hatter/alice sexual tension moment might happen, which sent me into a mild panic. But no, they’re just friends who love each other! and the beat goes on!

    The parts with The Mad Hatter & crew made me laugh b/c it reminded me of hanging out with people who are on drugs, it was like Half-Baked, they kept asking these ridiculous questions about nonsense, like Hey, Dude, remember that DANCE you used to do? but also I think most of the people in the audience (it was a late show) were also on drugs, because that’s how you see AIW.

    I also noticed that when Alice begins taking on a different role as more of a leader and accepts her heroine destiny, her costumes change — she starts wearing pants as soon as she gets to the white queen’s place.

    It’s interesting that the feminist aspect of the movie hasn’t been promoted at all. Maybe that’s a good thing; people will be taken (pleasantly) by surprise. I would’ve loved to see this movie as a girl.

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    So, I saw Alice in Wonderland, The Crazies, She’s Out of My League, and Sh*tter Island basically in the same week… Guess which one won out? AIW for sure. In fact, I may see it again tomorrow. That or The Runaways. Or both? (As you can tell, I have a movie addiction, please help/stop me!) It’s really great to see a woman in a powerful leading role. I’m sure The Runaways will also be a good girl-power-ish movie too. :P

    P.S. Great tag-team review!

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      I started to respond to this differently, but what I really want to know is: Can you give a me a specific example of what you mean when you say that it’s “an aristocratic power structure that suppresses creativity and dissent” because, for me, that could mean any number of things. What kind of aristocracy is feminism in your view and what kind of creativity and dissent does it suppress?

      I had such a strong gut reaction against what you’ve said above that it makes me really curious to understand more about what you meant.

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      wtf?

      i can see where you are coming from, but we could say the same about any kind of movement/organization/whatever

      so yeah, let’s say “that feminism itself is an aristocratic power structure that suppresses creativity and dissent”, cause it’s easier than having an objective (equality/justice for women around the world maybe??) and working towards it. don’t we dare say we are feminists cause that would just mean we are part of a power structure.

      maybe, just maybe, if you really care about women issues, you would want to change that “aristocratic power structure” into something more democratic instead of dismiss it without further thought. you’re not the only one that has concerns about the movement, but it’s not enough to have concerns and complain about it
      do something!

      (oh, and i can see where you are coming from with the “aristocratic power structure” and that it suppresses dissent, but creativity??? again, WTF?)

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        a) You just proved her point. You could say the same about any movement/organization/whatever. Now you’re getting warm.

        b) It suppresses dissent and creativity. Yes. Dissent and creativity are synonymous (in this context). Adhering to a code (i.e. feminism) suppresses dissent. Adhering to a code (i.e. feminism) suppresses creativity. Obviously it doesn’t kill it…just stifles it a bit, you see? Elucidation shouldn’t be required here.

        c) Ahhh, now…the words that are destined to doom you. “If you care about something enough, you should want to try to change it.” In this case, trying to morph the feminist movement into a more democratic one (sort of an oxy-moron, “democratic feminist movement”, but we’ll let that slide). Perhaps you’re still young enough to be an idealist or an optimist (if not, apologies), but let me break it down like this. “Trying to change a movement” can yield one of two results: 1) years of impotent teeth-gnashing, hotheadedness, self-righteousness, temper-tantrums and shaking your fist at all those myopic blowhards that can’t seem to get in tune with your particular flavor of “the ideal world”, or…2) years have having “fun” (?) discussing the subject amongst your peers and passionately arguing it with those that disagree. Either way hun, it ain’t gonna produce results.

        Jane darling, whoever you are, sorry to be arguing your case for you probably before you’ve even seen the responses, but I stumbled across this and was intrigued, to say the least.

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          As someone that studied numbers and symbols rather than social sciences, I tend to find these kinds of responses rather baffling and unhelpful.

          I’d be interested to know what you’d advocate to produce results instead of feminism. And I do mean genuine interest; I am not precious about feminism, just passionate about equality.

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          it’s a matter of opinion wether dissent and creativity represent the same thing in this context.
          i don’t think taking part of the feminist movement it’s the same as adhering to a code. we have codes, yeah, but there’s not an absolute truth inside feminism, we agree on certain things (like SOME of our objectives) but for example the movement it’s totally divided between the ones that condemn pornography as a whole and the others that don’t. so, there IS room for dissent on that matter, as well as there is on others.

          and yes, i’m young, i’m seventeen years old and i do think that the movement can be changed. if you looked back you would see a predominantly white and upper class feminism, (and straight if i may add, that was the ideal back then). there still needs to be more integration and diversification, but we are getting there, reaching to different kind of communities.

          and about creativity… guerilla girls anyone???? and if you really want to see it as creativy=dissent, just read feministing, there are plenty of posts that not necessarily agree with each other
          i dunno, your answer seemed rather unnecessary

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          oh, and when i “proved her point” by saying “we could say the same about any kind of movement/organization/whatever” it was to highlight the uselessness of dismissing a whole movement (and one we really need) for such a stupid reason. we are surrounded of organizations, everything is part of an organization! the red cross, religion, the state, most kinds of jobs… so, maybe now you get my point

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            All right dammit, I’ll respond to this too, I should’ve known this would happen. People actually care; it’s mind-boggling.

            Excuse me, I was just talking to myself for a minute there. I’m back now.

            Lol oh man, to that latter post, all I can do is say again “Now you’re getting warm.” But forget it; it’s a long and kind of off-topic discussion.

            As for “dissent” vs. “creativity”, yeah I was going for effect there a little lol. The phrasing just sounded good you see; you gotta get all self-righteous on me and call me out. (Sorry, shouldn’t have used that word.)

            Now as for the meat of the post: adhering to codes. Again this would be a very lengthy discussion. I’ll just say that the niceties of a code are irrelevant; it’s the simple fact that you’re sticking to a code period. It can only limit and restrain you, because you’ve gone out of your way to put yourself in a box. There may be some worth in feminism but there may be much more outside of its bounds that you’ll never have a chance to access because it may conflict with your “code”. Ideologies are limiters. Period. The only code you should ever stick to is “what makes sense”.

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            There are so many things about your post that rub me the wrong way… but the most amazing thing is how i felt the need to write this comment o_O

            i think you’re one of those that likes to feel like an intellectual being by writing completely abstract comments, not answering anything at all and discrediting ideas without giving any arguments “But forget it; it’s a long and kind of off-topic discussion.” ok…if you say so.

            and to make things worst, i dunno if you’re a girl/boy or how you identified, that doesn’t matter, i still feel your writing has an annoying paternalistic tone.

            god, why am i writing this?? i totally hate myself right now. lol.

            oh, and excuse me for my english, it’s not my fisrt language.

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            You know what’s funny…”I totally hate myself right now.” This literally is a totally random discussion; it doesn’t matter if I’m right/wrong, abstract or concrete, it’s a friggin random online discussion between two anonymous schmoes on the internet. Why let some random fool that you’ve never met/will never meet get your goad? If someone is right in front of your face I feel you on that, but random schmoes online that pop off are a dime a dozen. All right now maybe even that sounds paternalistic too but that’s just my opinion. Anyways I feel you on the “hate myself”; it’s like you care when you know you shouldn’t.

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      i think the problem in this is that you’re addressing feminism as an institution rather than an ideology or mindset. it’s one thing to criticize ‘the feminist movement’ (though it seems we can all agree that using that kind of umbrella term has the potential to be destructive and that any sort of organization of people will inevitably lead to a power structure), but it’s another thing to oppose feminism as a whole. to be a feminist is simply to believe in gender equality and to stand for no less.

      yes, it is infuriating to try to change the direction of a movement (sup splintering of the LGBT community), but it isn’t that hard to apply the principles of equality to your every day life.

      also, jesus reads autostraddle?

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        Dude, of course Jesus reads Autostraddle, he was wandering around in the desert with 12 other guys for years, you don’t think there was a little homosexiness going on?

        #jennyisgoingtohell #itsokayIwasjewishanyhow #ohgodIvebecomeoneofthosepeoplethatuseshashtagsinnormallife

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        Hey man, Christ reads anything that is quality. Sometimes not even that. Actually a lot of the times, half the internet is filth. But anyways, Katrina darling, nice to see you joining the fray yourself. Speaking of quality, I have to say I liked your review. A lot actually. I haven’t even seen the movie (not exactly what you’d deem worthy viewing material), but that’s irrelevant. Clearly you know a little something about film, and you seem like you’re a pretty damn good writer. (Seem like a good debater too.) I saw your picture and I was like “Huh…she looks young. Don’t tell me she’s in her teens, don’t tell me that.” I looked at your profile and godDAMN…you’re in your teens. I was trying to remember if my writing skills were that sharp at that point.

        But anyways, let me address the juiciest parts of this discussion. Being a feminist is simply to believe in gender equality and to stand for no less. …Not quite. If it were that simple, what would be the problem? What rational person would take a stand against that? (The irrational schmoes out there don’t have shit to do with the price of tea in china.) The problem is the histrionic and vituperous discourse that’s associated with feminism. You may have started out with a reasonable, common-sense goal, but the MO of your average “feminist”…i.e. over-the-top, never give an inch, keep your nose high in the air and stick to your guns come hell or high-water…that MO obscures your message. Who knows how it started; maybe “rational” wasn’t getting the job done in the early days so it turned into screaming, but the place where “feminists” have ended up isn’t a good one. It’s become a caricature of a solid, common-sense movement. The spirit of feminism is really the same as the spirit of staunch conservatism or neoconservatism. Obviously the goals are totally unrelated, but that spirit of “Your opinion is to be discounted immediately as I steamroll you with my own”…that spirit is alive & kicking in both ideologies. The approach is eerily similar. The over-the-top adherence to a code that dominates every thought & opinion in your life is eerily similar. Staunch feminism is somewhere on the extreme left; staunch conservatism is on the extreme right. Brrr, I just shuddered, somebody get the shit out of here.

        Ah…lord this got long. “Applying principles in your every day life” is another really interesting topic, but this is getting long enough as it is. Anyways, the people here fascinate me, I’ll have to reply to some of those other posts too. Particularly Sally’s, lord alive you could write a dissertation in response to that.

        Also I’m too lazy to read your comment policy; if some minor cussing is a no-no let me know.

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          Bro, I’m a radical feminist. Did my comment above seem to have the “Your opinion is to be discounted immediately as I steamroll you with my own” attitude?

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            Absolutely not. Actually I think that’s why this site seems intriguing to me, just in the two minutes I’ve spent on it there seems to be an air of an open dialogue here. Fascinating.

            Unfortunately perception is reality. There seem to be some fine exceptions here, but here’s a simple question. What are the connotations of “feminism”? What images does it conjure up? There’s only one rational answer to that, whether you like it or not. I laud the people on this particular site but it don’t change a damn thing. Hell every girl I’ve ever known that’s self-identified as a “feminist” would immediately switch into a mode of self-importance & self-righteousness whenever even a hint of women’s issues came up. And even that sample size is irrelevant; “strident” is just simply one of the words that’s attached to feminism. There’s nothing you can do about it. Also if you want to point to any one particular individual as an example, take a look at one of the better known feminists, Joan Walsh. Articulate and intelligent…and just a bit too quick to get self-righteous. I could hear someone make the exact same point as her, but after she’s slathered on a thick layer of self-righteousness I feel like the point has been diluted. That’s an individual to point to instead of any one person on a message board. That’s one of the faces of the feminist movement. A perfect one at that.

            But anyways again, I am most definitely not denigrating anyone here, this site has a great vibe. Nobody’s transitioned into shit-talk mode yet; this is the hallmark of a higher-IQ site.

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            “What are the connotations of “feminism”? What images does it conjure up? There’s only one rational answer to that, whether you like it or not. ”

            Yes, because everyone _in the world_ has the same perceptions and stereotypes of feminism everywhere. Gender discourse doesn’t vary by culture, noooooooo.

            “Hell every girl I’ve ever known that’s self-identified as a “feminist” would immediately switch into a mode of self-importance & self-righteousness whenever even a hint of women’s issues came up.”

            The plural of ‘anecdote’ is not ‘data’.

            Are you only calling them self-righteous because they were assertive, open to debate & discussion, and showed passion? Does this mean that by you, any woman with a strong political opinion is “self-righteous” – and therefore just about every feminist is “Self-righteous”? You’re not going to find any non-self-righteous feminists if your definition of “self-righteous” is “speaks up for her opinion passionately”.

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            Everyone who “speaks up passionately for their opinions” is self-righteous; thanks, I was having trouble finding the words there. Opinions are irrelevant; rationality, logic and common-sense are the only currencies that carry any worth. Engaging a “self-righteous” feminist in discourse is really no different than engaging, say, a Sean Hannity in discourse. Real passionate guy, isn’t he? Well his passion means absolutely jackshit; the guy is out to lunch. (I have a feeling that at least that sentiment will get a couple sympathetic nods here.) See your post is a great one because it kind of underscores the whole problem with “feminists”: they place a premium on their passion & conviction instead of the logic & cogency of what they’re saying. It’s kind of cute, actually. Actually it’s cute because it boils up from an historically repressed place, whereas neoconservatives that pop off…they’re old school. And wide-spread. But anyways, I’m meandering a bit. Basically what I’m saying is that people who are passionate in a self-aware fashion are a bit disingenuous. It’s like…”Oh look at me; look at how passionate I am! You better listen to me!” Bleck, no; that kind of ostentatious passion should make anyone with true fire in their spirit just roll their eyes.

            True passion comes not from a code as simplistic as feminism; it comes from making discoveries for yourself, seeing the angles that others don’t see and having an absolutely indomitable spirit. If all you could figure out to do was to stick to feminism, who cares? There’s nothing compelling or incisive about that. The requirements for true passion are much higher.

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            what’s up jesus. long time no chat. glad to see you in here with us gays and rowdies, i always knew you were a party man. i’ve got a ton of water over here i’d like you to get to work on when you get a minute.

            you strike me as someone who maybe used to be a bit of an idealist, and got frustrated along the way. feminism still loves you, much like jesus. come back to the fold.

            you say perception is reality. i say that’s bullshit. whose perception? the movement’s detractors? if the word “feminism” has become a dirty word in the minds of many it’s because of the decades of backlash and ridicule that the movement has faced, yes, perhaps bolstered by a few extreme theories and actions on the part of some of its advocates over the years (dworkin, solanis, etc) but mainly from those who have a stake in undermining its goals. negative perceptions of a movement don’t define that movement, if anything they define the movement’s power. no one would care about undermining feminism so much if it didn’t scare them. and THAT, my holy friend, is reality. i hate the infighting too, the endless debate over who can speak and what about, identity politics, ten-dollar words and the privileged history of academic theory, but that doesn’t mean that feminism isn’t still one of the most important fucking things in the entire fucking world to me (we can swear, ps). because at the end of the day, feminism to me (via bell hooks) is a movement that advocates for the eradication of ALL forms of oppression, and nobody’s silly ideas about self-righteous banner-waving bra-burners are going to convince me that’s not something worth fighting for. perception is only reality if you let it be.

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            Dude I need to be involved in a straight/gay/tranny/goat-fucking beastiality requiem for a dream-style ass-to-ass greek orgy IMMEDIATELY, I’m always down for the party.

            Idealism paves the way for a higher order of thinking: realism. You’ll learn this if you’re young (if not, apologies; chalk it up to a difference of opinion). Oh, and if you’re bright.

            Your personal passion for feminism…I guess I sort of laid out my sentiments about that above. Trying to talk about that in-depth becomes a very philosophical discussion (one I haven’t had in a while; it’s like a pair of worn-out shoes), and it sort of strays from “feminism bashing”. But I’m not ACTUALLY bashing feminism; this is what I’m trying to convey to you ladies. I’m bashing ideologies of any stripe, and feminism is a great example. Conservatism is a great one to bash too; it may be rooted in some sound principles (many of which I, sadly enough, agree with), but…perception is reality. I might get a different answer if I ask you this: what are the connotations of “conservatism”? What images does it conjure up? There’s no gettin around that one because the ideological divide in this country has become so sharp that you literally can’t just say “No no no…conservatives are really very reasonable people and it’s just a couple bad apples that are spoiling the whole damn bunch.” Anyways, I can’t tell if I’m rambling at this point so I’ll give it a rest..

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            No idea why I’m sitting here reading these comments which have gone way off course but I wanted to point something out… uhhh…have any of you seen christ’s site? It’s freaking insane. The guy/girl is a lunatic. There is no arguing with someone like that as they will be completely unwaivering. I would bet that christ is someone that spends way too much time outside the realms of reality. Somehow christ is lost and continues to think theoretically and abstractly. Christ, you need to actually get out there and see how things are done in reality. One life lesson you are missing is that “the devil is in the details”. :-)

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            For those who might be considering taking a look at christ’s site…you’ll probably wish you hadn’t (like me and the Westboro Baptist website – some things you cannot “unsee”).

            The first screen invites you to kill yourself. It goes downhill from there.

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            Huh…you know Missy’s response genuinely confuses me. I can understand if you disagree with everything on the site, but how do you do you not find some artistic merit in the writing itself? I genuinely cannot understand that; I’ve seen and heard a lot of things I disagree with, but quality is quality. As dark as a couple of those pieces are, you’re saying you genuinely don’t find anything to appreciate just in the quality of the writing itself?

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            To username christ: I apologise for the statement “it all goes downhill from there.” That was a careless throwaway line on my part and I should have been more conscientious about the words I used. I meant to inform the other readers of something factual and should have left it at that.

            You ask me a direct question and so I’ll give you a direct answer: Do I find anything to appreciate in the content of your website?

            I think your writing is just fine. You are witty and you can turn a phrase to suit your needs…but I do not honestly believe you need any validation from me.

            That’s all I’ve got for you.

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    I wasn’t planning on seeing this but now that I’ve read that Alice is “super feminist” AND it pissed off a couple bitter anti-feminists on here I’ll be sure to see it several times! Thanks, Tim!

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    Ok so I responded to this right when it went up because I was so happy to read it but then my computer was like “no you can’t comment, I’m going to be stupid now” so I got mad and then I had to get on an airplane so I couldn’t fix the computer issue.

    ANYWAY I see that since my attempted comment Christ has found this article, which is rather exciting because I wasn’t aware that Jesus was back.

    But my original comment was that I loved Alice in Wonderland because I grew up on the books and the Disney movie and because I like when movies are exploding in color, craziness, and Helena Bonham-Carter who will forever be my #1 lady. Plus everyone in my 4th grade class hated me because I made them watch the Disney version on our trip to St. Augustine even though they wanted to watch Cats and Dogs but my teacher loved me so she put on the movie that I brought.

    OK back to the original point. This article was awesome. I couldn’t understand why everyone was hating on this movie and I’m really happy you guys pointed out the feminist undertones. I, like Riese, was also afraid there would be some mad hatter/Alice romance going on but was relieved that it was just friendship love. My whole family loved the movie and my mom said it was because we are all “artists” who are crazy and that other people just didn’t get it because they are not as artistically inclined as we are. My mom is a bit pretentious about her own creativity.

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    When I first saw the trailer for this film, my first thought was “I don’t think I can cope with HBC’s oversized cranium.”

    I am willing to admit that mekonphobia is a personal failing of mine, thus I am going to see Girl with the Dragon Tattoo instead tonight.

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    Yup, yup, I agree. I totally enjoyed “Alice in Wonderland”. I’m still thinking about it and singing songs from it in my head a week after seeing it. All you say is true and I agree and this baby is so gonna get purchased on DVD, maybe even Blu-Ray, the minute it comes out. :)

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    I enjoyed this. Anne Hathaway sword caressing not to be discredited and Mad Hatter in a kilt with Scottish broadsword awesome sauce. The conclusion seemed a bit of a stretch but I am not going to dwell. The chess battle set up scene was pretty damn awesome. sorry for not having more substantive comments.

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    “a higher-IQ site.”

    If that were the case, you probably would have noticed some of the symbolism by this time. Here’s a hint – when Alice goes to China at the end, it references the Brian Eno song, Burning Airlines Give You So Much More.

    Tell me, what do the words “sweet Regina’s gone to China/ cross-legged on the floor” mean? How can she have travelled somewhere while still sitting on the floor, and more importantly how is this symbolism applied in the film?

    The answer is exactly the kind of sinister implication typical of Burton, so should surprise no one. Second hint – the trip to China is facilitated by the man whose son Alice just snubbed, someone who might be expected to have a hostile reaction.

  12. Pingback: Alice in Wonderland | The Hathor Legacy

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    Great review. I’ve been trying to put to words what I thought about the movie, and you girls hit it spot on.

    And yes. I did cream my pants when I saw Alice (Mia) in the armor. I think I dug my nails into my girlfriend’s arm when I first saw it.

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    Alice in Wonderland was a terrible movie. Stop projecting your ideologies onto it. Sure, it had some positive, progressive messages, but as a film it was terrible. Most critics agree. And no one’s bashing the film because they don’t like its subversive innuendo. The bashing it because it’s cliched and terrible.

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