As if you needed another reason to have a giant brain-crush on NPR’s Peter Sagal. Read this amazing rant on the new subplot of “Horton Hears a Who,” in which the 96 daughters of the mayor of Whoville sit around while the one son learns and grows and saves the day. (I suppose this is the opposite of the vanishing female bees in Bee Movie.) Sagal’s whole rant is fantastic, but here’s the best part:
We got into the car outside the cinpeplex and I was quite in lather, let me tell you. How come one of the GIRLs didn’t get to save Whoville? I cried.
“Yeah!” said my daughters.
“And while we’re at it, how come a girl doesn’t get to blow up the Death Star! Or send ET home? Or defeat Captain Hook! Or Destroy the Ring of Power!”
“That’s rotten!” cried my daughters.
“How come Trinity can’t be the One who defeats the Matrix!” I yelled.
“What are you talking about?” they said.
“You’ll find out later,” I said. “But here’s one: how come a girl doesn’t get to defeat Lord Voldemort!”
“Well, wait a minute, Papa,” they said. “None of us would want to mess with him.”
I took their point. But I still wanted to grab that fictional, silly mayor of Whoville by his weirdly ruffled neck, and say, you see those 96 people over there? Those girls, those women, those daughters? You know what they’re saying to you, every minute of every day that you waste thinking about anything else?
They are shouting at you. They are shouting:
“We are here! We are here! We are here!”
Oh, how I hate the lack of decent female characters in movies and many books. Though I think the world of scifi has much improved since I was a wee geek, I used to get all depressed by Lucy not being allowed to fight in the “The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe,” Eowyn getting all mushy and becoming a healer at the end of LOTR, and even had a small Anne McCaffrey-related existential crisis in 6th grade when I realized that I didn’t WANT to ride a lame golden non-fire-breathing dragon & run the Weyr, I wanted my dragon to breathe fire, dammit.
So go Peter Sagal for demanding faces for those poor faceless 96 daughters. Maybe next time one of them will get to go Balrog-hunting or at least elephant-chatting.