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The Cinematic Weaponization of Feminism and Mental Illness

Diamond, Stephanie
Abstract
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The Cinematic Weaponization of Feminism and Mental Illness focused on films in the 1950s and 1960s and compared them to 21st-century films regarding the depiction of feminist traits being linked to mental illness. These films were Lizzie (1957), Splendor in the Grass (1961), Alice Through the Looking Glass (2016), and Sucker Punch (2011) . The 1950s/1960s was an influential decade because some of the same tropes seen in these films are influential enough to be seen in films today thus illustrating their lasting impact. These four films explored how feminist traits are tied to mental illnesses and are being used as weapons against women. In the 1950s and 1960s, the female heroines are depicted as being mentally unstable when they do not conform to traditional gender stereotypes. Even though films in the 21st century are trying to shift the narrative they are only slightly successful because the negative narrative is continuing to be promoted. Instead of allowing women to be feminists, the narrative that is being promoted is that there is a right way to be independent.
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University of Wyoming. Libraries
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Keywords
weaponization of feminism , mental illness , feminism , feminist traits , mental health , gender norms
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