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April 05, 2011  | by: Vanessa Douglas

Sucker Punch Promotional Poster

Sucker Punch (2011), the action movie that does not skimp on the  provocative outfits (no pun intended), has been talked about before it even hit theaters.

It was expected to be a huge hit, but it seems as though no one really likes it, and leading the pack is Hanna (2011) director Joe Wright (Pride & Prejudice (2005), Atonement (2007)).

Speaking with Movieline, Wright says,

For me, one of the main issues in terms of womens’ place in society and feminism is the sexual objectification of women. That’s something that feminists in the ’70s tried to fight against but has been totally lost in the 21st century consumer-celebrity world. So for me, when I look at the poster for Sucker Punch it seems actually incredibly sexist, because it is sexually objectifying women regardless of if they can shoot you or not.

He goes on to compare his movie with Snyder’s, explaining that Hanna is empowering because there is no presence of her (Hanna’s) sexuality. Many viewers, writers, and critics have echoed the director’s sentiments addressing the aspect of feminism (or lack thereof) in Sucker Punch.

Snyder also talked with Movieline, addressing the presence of provocative outfits and how that may seem discordant in the face of not-so-subliminal female empowerment. He never actually uses the word “feminism”, but does talk about empowerment (which is what many take issue with).

Some have said that the sexuality present in the film is used as a weapon, while others take issue with the fact that the women are visually provocative, but not actually taking control of their situation.

There have been a plethora of attacks toward the relationship of feminism and Sucker Punch, and while Wright’s (and many others’) point is a valid one, what I question is why feminism has to be separate from a woman’s sexuality. I also question why feminism is being shoved into a delineated box, where things either fit or they do not.

The issue of how to define feminism and female empowerment is still going on to this day. Individuals are still at odds with one another because their views of what feminism is all differ. The point is that feminism is a movement, a culture, a layered world. It is not a word to be thrown around when one sees a female wearing skimpy clothing or completely covered up.

I personally do not agree or disagree with what is said about Sucker Punch. Snyder, as well as the actresses that starred in the film, intended to send a certain message, and it was misconstrued. They may have failed in trying to show female empowerment, but the effort was there. If they had not tried, then the criticisms they are garnering would not be present. Whether Sucker Punch is about empowerment or not, I think a pertinent discussion is whether it is a good film, period.

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