HOLLYWOOD – Hi there, sisters. Steven Seagal here. Star of such films as Under Siege, Above the Law and Beside the Point.
Ha ha, I made that last one up. Anyway, as anyone will tell you in the business, film making involves a lot of hanging around. Some people use the time to goof around, overs take drugs to numb the pain – and yes, I’m looking at you Morgan Freeman. Me, I like to read my way through the feminist classics. Today, Charlotte Bronte’s Jane Eyre!
The Bronte sisters lived in a remote village in Yorkshire, England and wrote books under intentionally ambiguous pseudonyms. Jane Eyre tells a semi-autobiographical story of a young girls growth and development into a woman. Something of an outcast, she is mistreated by her extended family and harshly dealt with at school. But despite this, she challenges her position and particularly the Byronic Mr. Rochester who is the father of her new charge and with whom she falls in love. Of course, Bronte’s reformist agenda is challenged by the suppressed revolutionary anger represented by Bertha Mason, the Madwoman in the Attic, who leant the title to that classic of feminist literary criticism by Gilbert and Gubar.
Given the context of its time, the book must have been a revelation, although now the plot seems to be the template for a thousand inferior romantic fantasies: ‘I married him, reader.’ As such it has a historical resonance rather than offering the feminist of today useful insights. as for bone crunching action, there are very few fights and no Akido whatsoever. Actually there are no fights at all. No Karate, no Kendo and no Judo. The one exciting scene – a fire and a suicide and a maiming – happens off page so to speak.
So to cap off.
Feminism: problematic but gripping: 8
Martial Arts: little or none: 2
For more of Steven Seagal’s Feminist Book Group Click Here.
HOLLYWOOD – Since 1988 this boyishly handsome martial artist – Steven Seagal – has dominated the world of ACTION cinema and feminist literary criticism.
However, who is this man and how high can he kick? Is it true he once killed a man with a sharp edged fart? No. We only have facts here at Studio Exec so enter the dojo of truth and bow to the Sensei of FACT:
- Steven Seagal can’t play the guitar.
- He’s a feminist, with a particular interest in feminist literature. ‘The female voice has been marginalised and erased from literary history for centuries,’ said Seagal at one of his popular feminist book club events. ‘As Virginia Woolf once wrote, we need a room of one’s own.’ For more on his feminist book club CLICK HERE.
- Steven Seagal loves grammar and his favorite English words are prepositions. ‘Not many people know that I’m a close student of the English language,’ said Seagal. Many of his films are tributes to prepositions, such as Above the Law, Under Siege, Opposite the Post Office, Into the Sun, Beside the Point and Out of Reach.
- For several years, Steven Seagal has been working under cover at the New Mexico police department where he answers the phones and sometimes is allowed to use the photocopying machine.
- Actually he did once kill a man with a sharp edged fart. David Carradine described it as a back projected shuriken. It was in the 1970s and he doesn’t like to talk about it.
For more FACTS on everything from this to that click HERE!
NEW MEXICO – Greetings women everywhere! I’m Steven Seagal: action star of such preposition led films as Into the Sun, Under Siege, Above the Law and Out of Sight and the only prominent male feminist who can kill a man with a well aimed spit.
And today for my feminist fans everywhere I’ve been reading Margaret Attwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale. Now, I know what you’re thinking. Surely Attwood’s Canadian, what the hell has she got to say that’d be any use to anyone? Well, you’re not wrong about the Canadian bit, but that aside this is a terrifying dystopian fiction which entertainingly illustrates the dangers (and perhaps some of the attractions) of patriarchy gone mad.
The book tells the story of a future in which women’s rights have been suppressed in the racist homophobic and sexist Republic of Gilead. Our heroine is Offred, a handmaid who has babies for high ranking officials. Her latest mission however, The Commander, also known as Fred, seems to develop feelings for her and his wife intrigues for her to have sex with the driver, Nick. The book is by no means subtle (and she says she’s Canadian!?) but it is one thing you don’t find too often in a feminist classic, entertaining. I had a ball reading this, and the quality of writing is top notch. There was something of the thriller to it and the page turner. So well done Margaret! And – although still woefully light on neck snapping, bone crunching fight scenes – it does at least try for some action and a sense of danger that comes from something other than the female protagonist’s fragile sense of selfhood.
Martial Arts: 7
For a total of: 8