It’s a bit of a long one this week. Get the three of us together and we can’t shut up about female villains! While I might be biased, I have to say that this is one of our best episodes yet, with Lucy spouting such gems like ‘speaking of psychos…’ and ‘I mean, Gary Oldman… would you say no?!’
This episode contains spoilers for the latest season of Game of Thrones. Proceed with caution… you’ve been warned.
Texts mentioned in this episode include:
- The Avengers (2012 film)
- Dracula: original novel and various film iterations
- Comic characters Wonder Woman, Cat Woman, Poison Ivy, and Emma Frost
- Batman: The Animated Series
- Game of Thrones (TV and book series, A Song of Ice and Fire)
- James Bond film series
- Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves (1991)
- Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery (1997)
- Maleficent (2014)
- Snow White and the Seven Dwarves
- Stardust (book and film)
- Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone by JK Rowling
- Interview with the Vampire by Anne Rice
- Highlander (1986)
- Avengers (1961 TV series)
- The Little Mermaid (1989)
- Beauty and the Beast (1991)
- Buffy the Vampire Slayer
- Labyrinth (1986)
- Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix by JK Rowling
- The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe by CS Lewis
- Matilda by Roald Dahl
- Misery by Stephen King
- The Northern Lights by Philip Pullman
- Willow (1988)
- Ladyhawke (1985)
- Macbeth by William Shakespeare
- The Duchess of Malfi by John Webster
- Elysium (2013)
If you haven’t listened to part 1, make sure you catch it. Our full back catalogue is available.
Breaking the Glass Slipper is available on Soundcloud, iTunes, Stitcher, TuneIn, and via RSS feed.
I think it’s possible (perhaps probable) that one of the reasons the trope of women using their sexuality came about because that was the only weapon they had throughout history. Even queens had limited tools at their disposal.
As for Austin Powers, they were pretty clearly riffing on Connery’s Bond in terms of his ridiculously exaggerated sexual prowess. One male villain who used his sexuality as a weapon was the original appearance of Khan in Star Trek TOS. He was possibly the most well-rounded villain of all time in terms of toolset. Not the best execution, but the concept is interesting.
Great pair of episodes! I find the virgin/villainess dichotomy so frustrating.
I do have to say that I disagree with the characterization of Maleficent as a ‘bad’ villainess — I read her motivation as so much more than simply being rejected by the boy she loved. He grew close to her, gained her trust, and then betrayed her by (spoiler) removing an integral part of her identity when he cuts off her wings!
Regardless, another interesting and thought-provoking discussion. Thanks!
You basically couldn’t really think of a villain that used sex as a weapon (except Austin Powers) but they’re everywhere! But part of the gender stereotypes or tropes is that men use sex with women as weapons against other men, i.e. either raping or seducing the enemies wife and/or relatives. Once again a stereotype that leaves women’s agency out altogether.