Gender Roles In The Movie 'Aliens'

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Ryley Lee Hughes English 285 Professor Vanderborg/Mr. Sebastian Ivy 31 October 2014 “Aliens” In the beginning of television, women were portrayed as everything other than a protagonist. Women have been objectified in the media since the beginning of film making, which led to the only roles available being the classic ‘damsel in distress.’ The movie Aliens opened up an unusual story line with a female as the strong, leading character. Although the lead character, Ripley, is not initially brought into the story line as the savior she later on reveals that she is indeed the key to destroying the mother alien. The movie Aliens challenges stereotypical female gender roles by displaying a female with qualities that were previously assigned to male…show more content…
Initially starting with Ripley and leading up to Vasquez who is one of the marines. These two women exhibited power and were not over shadowed by the male leads. Their courage in Aliens was evident by defending others and resolving situations that involved extreme dangers. Vasquez was first introduced in the film doing pull ups which requires extraordinary upper body strength not typically seen by women. The language Vasquez uses also implies her ability to hold her own with the guys and even performs at a higher physical level than some of the other male characters. For example, in the scene where all of the marines start to wake up on the ship, a male marine makes a snide comment to Vasquez. Hudson says, “Hey, ever been mistaken for a man (Aliens)?” Vasquez replies, “No, have you (Aliens)?” This witty reply displays Vasquez’s ability to command the situation and to not be undermined by verbal comments from men. Similarly, Ripley goes about her lead role in a more relaxed but stern fashion but still conveys the point that she should not be…show more content…
It begins with Ripley being the only one of her original crew to survive the first attack of the alien then leads to Ripley’s final stance with the mother alien. In the closing scene, Ripley is face-to-face with the monster and begins to scream at Newt to run. As Newt is running away, the mother alien goes after her instead of Ripley. The script explains the actions of the Queen alien; “The Queen turns its attention from the doors to Newt as the little girl crawls into a system of trench like service channels which cross the deck (Aliens).” In this scene, the mother alien is going after what is most important to Ripley due to her killing all of the alien’s eggs. This situation is kind of like, if I can’t have what’s mine neither can you. In attempt to save Newt, Ripley attaches herself to a power loader. The script explains, “The Queen spins at the sound of door motors behind her. The parting doors REVEAL an inhuman silhouette standing there (Aliens).” Ripley, attached to the loader, attacks the Queen and ultimately wins the battle for survival. Following Ripley, Vasquez shows her survival skills by showing her fearlessness in the face of

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