Founded in 1974, the Women’s Center was established to:
Dismantle, from a feminist perspective, all forms of oppression, including but not limited to those based on ability, age, class, ethnicity, gender, race, and sexual orientation.
Advocate for an equitable environment free from violence and harassment based on gender, race, and sexual orientation.
Create an anti-racist, non-sexist, queer-affirmative space where all people can feel valued and safe.
Facilitate and strengthen connections among people across lines of difference through programming and educational campaigns.
Integrate an appreciation of Women's Gender and Multicultural Studies across the disciplines.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Alice is Totes a Feminist

Over the break, I went to see “Alice in Wonderland” with my mother. Having just done a production of it here at Ramapo, I was excited to simply see the characters that I had performed or experienced throughout the last month and a half. However, I ended up being surprisingly pleased by the messages sent in this new film.

The movie begins with Alice being proposed to by Lord Hamish Ascot, a member of a wealthy and powerful aristocratic English family. Various individuals in her life encourage her to marry Hamish for the security that comes with it. However, she spots the White Rabbit and runs after him before giving Hamish an answer, and thus her adventure in Wonderland begins.

From an outside perspective, the rest of the film revolves around Alice finding a way to slay the Jabberwocky (from the famous nonsense poem written by Carroll). However, if you look at the movie from a feminist perspective, you’ll find that there is much more substance to “Alice in Wonderland”. From my perspective, the movie is truly about marriage, and whether forced marriage or personal independence is better. This is seen when Alice is speaking to the Caterpillar who claims that she is “not Alice” followed with the Hatter saying “You used to be much more… ‘muchier.’ You’ve lost your muchness,” meaning that she isn’t acting for herself, and thus a part of her is missing.

Later on in the movie it is revealed that Alice is the one who can ultimately slay the Jabberwocky. However, the White Queen insists that Alice must only attempt to do so if it is what she actually wants to do. This serves as one of the last steps in Alice reclaiming herself and her life. Ultimately, she slays the Jabberwocky because she believed in herself and took control of her life. I also find it no mere coincidence that the Queen of Hearts is ultimately handcuffed to the Knave and banished forever, much like a forced marriage for the two, especially since the Queen of Hearts had decided, “it is far better to be feared then loved.”

When Alice eventually leaves Wonderland and escapes up the rabbit hole, she has a new sense of self and politely declines the Hamish’s proposal. Furthermore, she tells her mother that she will live a happy life without dependence on a husband, and goes on to become a businesswoman with Hamish’s father’s company. Indeed it is her idea to expand the company’s reach that gets her the position in the first place.
This is just my interpretation of the film, but does anyone else see the feminist possibility in “Alice in Wonderland”? I’m just saying that the happy ending occurs when she is independent and gets the same opportunities that the men in the times got.

Think about it.

1 comment:

  1. I recommend you read Like a Whisper's review of this film, which points out the anti-feminist and pro-colonialist messages in this film