But, I'm a cheerleader!


I think Jamie Babbit succeeded in trying to make the film "But, I'm a cheerleader" a feminized version of camp. Although I definitely do agree that creating gender binaries in any way is negative, I don't think there is any harm in feminizing something. If anything, having only male examples of camp reinforces gender stereotypes, because that is the only example that is shown. While I was watching the film, in fact, I felt so happy that a campy movie like this had a lesbian as the leading character. It is rare for any movie to have a prominent female character as the lead, let alone a lesbian. I think it is unfortunate that this is probably a movie that is popular only in the queer community, because it really is a cute film. Babbit did a fantastic job of parodying a topic that is very serious, and making it hilarious. Far from reinforcing the gender binary, Babbit poked fun at it by making everything in camp blazing blue and pink for the boys and girls, respectively, and making the girls do housework, while the boys worked on cars and chopped wood. It was obvious to anyone who was watching the film that these ridiculous tactics do not work. Another thing I liked was how the queer characters in the film were not all portrayed stereotypically with femme men and butch women; there was a wide variety of gender expression on both sides of the spectrum.


I think you are spot on with the audience. I'm not asking this expecting an answer, I really doubt anyone has a simple answer, but why do you suppose that is? When I think about it, I am thinking about how heteronormativity, in gender and sexuality, is naturalized in the U.S. and most other places. When watching a movie that depicts these attributes, identities, and expressions of gender and sexuality in a heteronormative fashion, all deviations from the norm are completely erased. Arguably, you could even say in certain circumstances that gender and sexuality is distinctions are entirely erased aside from mutually exclusive categories of "male/masculine" and "female/feminine". These distinctions, being naturalized, our read as inherent and immutable characteristics.

If non-lgbtq folks cannot readily identify with the film, it becomes an issue of accessibility. And while I'm really hesitant to get to close to a "we're just like them but" statement, I feel there are numerous parts of the film that folks in the U.S. can identify with or at least recognize.

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This page contains a single entry by nels6731 published on April 3, 2012 12:26 PM.

But I'm a Cheerleader was the previous entry in this blog.

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