I read in a recent post on Gayle Sulik’s Pink Ribbon Blues blog called The She-ro, about the problems with this idealized breast cancer she-ro stereotype, that Cate Blanchett will play the title role in HBO’s “Cancer Vixen”. I’m surprised, I’m usually clued in to entertainment/movie stories. But no matter.
I have not read this “Cancer Vixen”, and it looks horrible, from the way Sulik describes it. Sounds like everything I’ve ranted about in this repugnant warrior/cancer patient culture. And of course, because Hollywood wants to make a buck, and because viewers will buy into this crap, the film WILL be made.
I know it is wrong to criticize a film or show without watching it, or a book without reading it, but sorry, this looks like it will make me sick. I used to be a better person, I used have more patience, I would “give it a try”, and watch anything, read anything. No more with such wastes of time (cough, cough, “Twilight” series, cough cough). Why waste my precious resources and allow myself to get annoyed watching or reading something I can tell from a mile away is just going to make me nuts?
We do not need another example of this idealized version of how to “do” cancer as a woman, especially a woman with breast cancer. It is shoved down our throats endlessly. When is it ever going to be OK to not emerge from cancer as some super woman, having some major personal transformation that makes the woman better, when is going to be OK to go to infusion in yoga pants and athletic shoes rather than 5” heels and a pink feather boa in some hyped up vision of female power? The answer is never. Women are expected to “bear these things” with a smile, a positive attitude, and maybe a little sass to make it seem modern. But the strong woman labeling of it is just a lie; woman are supposed to act like they’ve always been expected to act: without complaint.
Will someone make a movie about a Cancer Curmudgeon? Oh yeah, a movie about an un-pretty, forty-something, foul-mouthed, rough around the edges, single woman typing away on a laptop (hitting those keys hard), not spewing rainbows or providing uplifting anecdotes won’t make anyone happy. I’d like to say there’s no money in being grumpy, but then, there’s Grumpy Cat, I guess with animals it’s OK. Like I heard on a TV show rerun recently: “no one likes an angry woman.”
Queen Elizabeth (twice), Katharine Hepburn, Veronica Guerin, and of course, Galadriel from “The Lord of the Rings”, are some of Cate Blanchett’s best “strong woman” roles, and are some of the reasons I’ve long admired her. I wish she were not doing this particular “strong woman”. Best that I do not watch this film when it is finished. I’ll wait for her next project instead.