A Feminist Defense of Claire Dearing in ‘Jurassic World’

  • RiftWitch

    Even if you discount the all-female dinosaur cast as characters – which is an absolutely terrible perspective, and you shouldn’t do it – Claire is still definitely the most important human character, being *at worst* half of the human story. Starlord is definitely a close second, but Claire had the biggest story arc, the most growth, and ended up doing the single coolest thing any human in the series had ever done.

    The lack of women of color is definitely something to consider, but ‘Jurassic World’ is absolutely a feminist piece.

    • Nathanael Hood

      I couldn’t agree more.
      The tagline for this movie should have been: “Women: Getting Sh!t Done Since 67 Million BC.”

    • sdrake

      ALL people are people of color. White is a color, too.

      Claire is the most important character? Excuse me, but her male counterpart was the one with the brains that saved so many people. He had to teach Claire to get off her high horse.

  • Fernosaur

    I know the way Claire’s assitant dies is very horrible, but at the same time, it’s also a big step forward for the franchise in a perhaps twisted way. This is because it’s the first time a female character has ever been killed in a Jurassic Park movie. In the first, Genaro gets eaten alive in a horrible fashion, Samuel L. Jackson is mutilated and only one of his arms remains, and Muldoon gets his face literally ripped off by a raptor. In Lost World, Eddie gets torn in half by the two rexes in one of the most gruesome deaths, and in JP III, the way Udeski dies is also pretty horrifying, since the raptors leave him paraplegic (or something) to use him as bait and then snap his neck. I know violence against women is terrible, but in a series such as Jurassic Park, the fact that women had never been harmed significantly in a movie seemed like a weird act of reverse sexism. As if they had to be protected by the plot in order to stay alive. The way Zara dies in JW is horrible as well, but it’s, in a way, one of the reasons I too consider JW to be a feminist film when you put it in contrast to the other movies. It’s saying “Yes, women get shit done, and they can be eaten too. Everyone is in for the ride in this park.”

    • Ryan

      A good defense, but may I offer my own. I saw this on another blog and I kinda feel like elaborating on it. The thing about slasher movies is… well… everyone is open season. Do women die a lot in those movies? Yes, but in the most popular ones both sexes are targets. Look at the body count in Elm Street’s first outing. Most of the kills are in fact boys. This isn’t so much as to make the murderers equal opportunity slashers, but also because of another thing: Violence knows no gender. Violence is cruel, violence is brutal, and nature is inherently violent. The flying reptiles didn’t attack Zara because she was a woman, they attacked her because she was food. Did she did in a horrible brutal way? Yes, but being eaten alive isn’t meant to be pleasant. Nature is unforgiving and it will kill you without mercy. We didn’t mind watching a lawyer be brutally torn apart on camera did we?

      Besides, we didn’t really see much of Zara’s death, only that she was swallowed whole. It’s not like we watched the Mosasaurus bash her against a tree seven times before pulling off her head and swallowing the corpse. Women have been killed in far worse ways in other films, this one was just more vicious to us because it happened over a more prolonged period of nature being what it is, very cruel.

      Look at the killer whales hunting for food and you’ll see how they could’ve made this way worse. Those bastards play with baby seals before they eat them and like bashing them off ice flows with successive waves. You want horrible? They could’ve done something like that.

      So yes, women shouldn’t be immune to being killed in a movie, least of all in a giant monster film. But more importantly it’s more about nature in JW’s case, that nature doesn’t give a flying F who you are and it isn’t funny or cute. We laughed at the lawyer because it was a target who we felt deserved his fate. We were supposed to cringe at what happened to Zara because nature didn’t care about her honest efforts to look after children for her boss. It just saw her as meat, and that’s all we are in the eyes of the world… meat. We best remember that when we decide to abuse nature and consider ourselves its master.