I’ll start off by saying that watching Tank Girl with Sydney, Peter, Madeline, and Lillian was so much more fun than watching the movie by myself would have ever been. Not only was it fun, but I felt like I got so much more out of the movie than I ever would have watching it alone. Normally, I don’t like talking during movies that I’ve never seen before, but everyone’s commentary was so funny, relevant, and insightful! Aside from picking apart the movie for all of it’s silliness and incredibility, we made quite a few observations about the feminism seen within the movie and what it meant to us. As entertaining as Tank Girl was, the time period, though relatively recently, really revealed the extent of the feminism within the movie. Though Tank Girl is undeniably strong, her strength seemed to be more for the dom-seeking male gaze rather than for the empowerment of women. For goodness sake, she’s always sitting on a giant phallic symbol of a weapon. While Rebecca’s sexuality is definitely her own, a big A+, I can’t help but think that it is also somewhat exploited by the men who (in the words of Full House’s Derek Boyd) “love these aggressive women of the 90s.” While there’s nothing wrong with a ditzy or silly woman, it really made Tank Girl more two-dimensional and archetypal than I cared for. Not to mention her sexy-nerd sidekick Jet Girl who also unfortunately seemed more like a trope than a faceted character. While I loved that the focus of this movie was on the women, I did notice that the comet that wiped out nearly all of the water, wiped out nearly all of the people of color as well! What a coincidence. (Not quite sure if the somewhat racist depiction of Kesslee’s surgeon or the kangaroos of color quite count as representation). Ultimately, Tank Girl was a really entertaining movie which is a lot more progressive than most, but of course there’s always room for improvement.
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