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"Firefly" Tv Series’ River Tam listed as one of Hollywood’s 5 Saddest Attempts at Feminism

Monday 1 September 2008, by Webmaster

#3. River Tam (Firefly/Serenity)

In the Firefly universe, River is the genius kid sister of Serenity’s ship’s doctor, Simon. Lured away from her family at a young age with the promise of advanced schooling, River has been tortured and programmed as an assassin and possible psychic. Her abilities include mind reading, precognition, advanced weapons training and ballet.

Supposed to be a Role Model Because:

Since Firefly was created by Joss "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" Whedon, it’s pretty much assumed that all the female characters will be ground breaking paragons of feminist virtue. Maybe this is because Whedon genuinely respects strong female characters, or maybe he’s intimidated by a cult fanbase that demands every show of his have another Buffy in it.

River, with her acrobatic fighting moves and penchant for exsanguinations, would seem to be a perfect fit.

The "You Go Girl!" Moment:

After her brother is gunned down by bad guys, River proclaims "My turn", then proceeds to gleefully and gracefully mow down every last one of them with a mother fucking sickle.

The Problem:

Despite River’s inherent ass-kicking abilities, she rarely uses them to the benefit of the crew. The character has been driven insane by her experiences, and therefore she spends most of her time saying crazy things and throwing up in her brother’s bed.

In fact, protecting River forms the backbone of no less than five out of thirteen episodes, plus the theatrical movie. That’s an awful lot of rescuing for a feminist hero.

Many fans noticed this, too, and expressed their outrage on their Livejournals:

"... I’m not sure that I will recover from the shock of watching the malicious way in which Joss stripped his female characters of their integrity, the pleasure he seemed to take from showing potentially powerful women bashed, the way he gleefully demonized female power and selfhood and smashed women into little bits, male fists in women’s faces, male voices drowning out our words."

Holy crap! They make it sound like the movie includes a 20-minute montage of Whedon pimp-slapping every female on the set.

Click on the link :