For our blog this week, we have to discuss one of our student presentations. The presentation that I am going to discuss was on the gender roles on the Hunger Games. The presenter specifically talked about Katniss as a new type of action heroine and how Katniss and Peeta are portrayed.
She also looked at where gender did and did not matter in Panem. For example, in District 12 – mostly men work in the mines and women wear dresses and men pants to the reaping. However, for education and survival it doesn’t matter – for example, Katniss becomes a hunter to help her family. In the Capitol, all of the people in charge are men and the tributes are usually dressed in a gendered way for the interviews. However, among the people of the Capitol – everyone wears bright colors, has a high pitch voice, and stuff like that.
In her discussion of Katniss as an action heroine, she looked at the action heroines of the past and how they were different. She mentioned the overly sexualized women, then the very masculine heroines, then the girl power movement, then Bella Swan from Twilight all leading to Katniss. The original female heroine from the 1960s wore skin tight clothing and fought men effectively. The next generation of action heroine wore masculine clothing, had large muscles, and basically played the role of a man. The girl power heroines included people like Kim Possible and Buffy the Vampire Slayer of the 1990s – strong fighters who still lead normal female lives outside of their heroine role. Then, of course, there was Bella Swan, whose role was dominated by her love triangle and her desire to be something different than simply herself.
Katniss is a strong female character, who is only sexualized by the Capitol against her will. She plays both masculine and feminine roles and in her word study of Katniss, the words that came up were primarily masculine and neutral words. Her word study of Peeta came up with primarily feminine words like caring and kind, and she discussed his place as the traditional movie girlfriend and that he seems okay with it. For example, in the first Hunger Games, he jokes with Katniss about him taking the bow because he is not a hunter at all.
Katniss as an Action Heroine
She briefly talked about Gale as a typically masculine character, and how the fan base overwhelmingly prefers Katniss to end up with Peeta. My personal theory is that because Katniss has some of those masculine traits and he has some of the more feminine ones, they balance each other out better than she would with Gale.
Team Peeta or Team Gale
Her presentation took an interesting approach by looking at how Katniss is different from typical action heroes, and she entertained the question of whether or not Katniss is the start of a new type of action heroine…I suppose only time will tell.