Bad Reputation blog launches

// 11 October 2010

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Bad Reputation is a new UK feminist blog, or, as their subhead would have it, “a feminist pop culture adventure”.

Only launched at the beginning of this month, there’s already lots of good, long-form posts to read, including the ‘Alphabet of Feminism’ series (on the letter ‘B’ at the time of writing).

Given the inspired name, though, I want to point out Bad Reputation blogger Miranda’s review of The Runaways, which is, finally, out in the UK.

WWJJD.jpgReally interesting take, particularly on the subject of how Cherie Currie (Dakota Fanning) is objectified, and the complexities of this dynamic in the band:

Currie is pilloried by her bandmates for taking on photoshoots – the same bandmates who urge her to “just sing the line, okay?” in a stressful rehearsal for Cherry Bomb. Stewart’s portrayal of Jett, even as she pours scorn on her friend, doesn’t seem unaware, even quietly, that it is precisely the pervy spotlight on Currie that lets her be the tomboyish backbone of the band, the one who doesn’t have to do it.

Miranda’s review also praises the film’s portrayal of sexuality:

The inner life of the relationship between Currie and Jett in this film exists as a kind of hideaway separate space to the public image of the band, and not in a hidden-forbidden, secret-sappho way either. Yes, they get it on, no, it’s not explicitly filmed (Fanning is not, after all, of age for that kind of treatment), but most importantly it’s completely uncommented on by the rest of the cast, and neither Jett nor Currie approach proceedings with one jot of identity-angst about it. Jett, particularly, is seen kissing both genders without comment before she even crosses paths with Currie, and the sexual element of her relationship with Currie isn’t tacked on for cheap thrills….

This open, comfortable attitude to sexual experimentation seems to extend to the rest of the band, too. Another rather comical but sweet short scene sees Jett stood outside a shower cubicle, attempting to advise drummer Sandy West (Stella Maeve) on how to masturbate. “It’s not working!” protests West, who has started off with Jett’s initial advice of “Think Leif Garrett, Scott Biao”. Jett’s immediate reply, without even blinking, is “How about Farrah Fawcett? Do you like her?” This appears from the reaction in the shower to be a winner, and Jett punches the air in triumph.

First image is the Bad Reputation logo, second image is of the ‘What Would Joan Jett Do?’ t-shirt

Comments From You

anon // Posted 11 October 2010 at 10:21 pm

i would have enjoyed it more if they were older. i found it creepy in certain parts of the movie. dakota fanning who was only 15 walking around with her undies and doing sex scenes was not i think appropriate. i know these things went on but we should not be celebrating the sexualisation of kids. doing drugs and having sex with who ever is not the message i would want my kids to get out of this film.

cass // Posted 12 October 2010 at 1:44 pm

I think that it’s a difficult thing to represent, based as it is on real life events. If you make a film about this band, surely it shies away to not include something on their objectification, and the fact that yes, they were led into a lifestyle that involved sex, drugs, and so on.

The movie is pretty hazy with time, but you do see Joan customising a Sex Pistols tee at one point, which implies that at least two years go by within its timeline. This may mean Currie is 16 or 17 when some of the sex occurs – possibly not all that reassuring, but it’s not explicitly “child sex” either. Well, in a US definition it might well be, actually.

I think it’s intended to be creepy, but as with a lot of rock biopics, it’s a difficult thing to achieve, creepy without a by-product that titillates.

C // Posted 12 October 2010 at 8:28 pm

Bad Reputation is a new UK feminist blog, or, as they’re subhead would have it, “a feminist pop culture adventure”.

Ooch. Shocking homophone there. (I know, grammar police…)

Really good article, and I like finding new blogs to read!

Jess McCabe // Posted 13 October 2010 at 11:16 am

@C >shamefacedly corrects post

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