18 March 2009

Melanie Daniels is a slut! Peck her eyes out!

I admit it, I used to love Barbie dolls when I was a kid. But now they are making all kinds of nutty Barbies--check out this fabulous Melanie Daniels doll from Alfred Hitchcock's The Birds.

Melanie Daniels is a wonderful character in this film. In so many ways Melanie is the catalyst for the bird attacks since she leaves "the city" to chase Mitch Brenner to dreamy Bodega Bay for nefarious (a.k.a. slutty) purposes. She wants him and lusts after him; but because she pursues him (taking on the masculine romantic role) of course she must be punished.

Although my students often think it's slow, The Birds is an incredible film and really challenges gender ideology. Sadly, by the end, Melanie's lust is quashed and she is forcefully returned to her appropriate subject position as a docile, submissive female. As they drive away, Melanie is nearly catatonic. So much for assertive women!

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