Emotion Work of Women in Film

Sigourney Weaver has returned to play the role of Ripley in a new Aliens video game. Her comments on feeling alienated by Hollywood are especially interesting given her iconic role and the ongoing present-day issues within gaming culture, where women are harassed and abused routinely. What’s intriguing is that Weaver notes that women characters largely exist to do “emotion work” for audiences. That is, to get people to feel sympathy, at the cost of letting women characters have their own diverse and complex narratives, the way men are allowed to be.

She says:

“I’m sort of both thrilled about being, having played, a kind of iconic character, but I wish it weren’t such a lonely feeling. Because I do feel that women are so incredible. It seems to be hard for Hollywood to come up with good just sort of straightaway – straight, true women characters that they don’t try to make, you know, ‘sympathetic’ or something. That’s always the kiss of death. When a person will try to write you to make people feel something for you instead of just letting you get on with it, it can be a kiss of death. It takes talented people in all these different fields to come up with good men and women characters. There’s so many great examples in the world of powerful, interesting personalities that I hope it’s more – perhaps if more women choose to enter this field of creating games, that will happen.”

Image & quote: http://buff.ly/1rW261r