let’s get this out straight off: i fucking loved this movie. hit girl is my new hero. i wish to fuck that there had been characters like her in movies when i was a young[er] girl. i mean, i loved spice world, but those girls don’t even come near hit girl on a scale of 1 to awesome. my only complaint about kick ass is that it doesn’t feature MORE hit girl. i want a whole hit girl movie. i want hit girl action figures, video games, and instructional videos for how to be an ass-kicking mother fucker like her. i want to be one of five million hit girls in purple wigs and plaid skirts for halloween next year. even as someone who in my real life is very anti-violence [and let me be clear, i am absolutely against actual real life violence.], watching this movie made me want to take up kung fu and learn how to do those crazy knife tricks hit girl pulls off so effortlessly with her birthday butterfly knives. it filled me with the same reaction as the first time i watched fight club, that urge to get into a fight and kick someone’s ass. and maybe that is why this movie has the grown-ups so afraid for/afraid of our nation’s little girls.
there has been a lot of uproar on the internet and otherwise over the past few weeks about the character of hit girl. a lot of people, a lot of people over a certain age, a lot of men [though plenty of women, too], have been expressing their horror at this 11 year old girl who curses like a sailor and kills ruthlessly.
i am actually kind of confused as to what people are upset about. seriously, what is the big deal? the director was quoted in the times saying, in response to critics who balked at hit girl’s language more than the violence, “would you rather your daughter swore or became a masked vigilante killer?” to which i reply, both please! any self-respecting daughter of mine would absolutely kill and swear with the best of them. this is a reason why my decision to be childless is probably a good one.
okay, hit girl is by all accounting a child. so perhaps it is inappropriate for her to kill people. though one might argue that killing people at any age isn’t really appropriate. but honestly, the thing that most impressed me was how completely not sexualized hit girl is. she’s got this completely superfluous school girl skirt, but she is covered head to toe in black leather whose function comes across completely as protective rather than fetishized. there is a certain amount of shock and horror at seeing an 11 year old child slice through a pack of gangsters, but duh. i mean, it’s kind of horrifying to see ANYONE do that. but this is not really something new. kill bill came out forever ago. battle royale, which features similarly young people picking each other off one by one, is pretty much forever old. have we forgotten that excellent scene in kill bill vol. 1 in which gogo yubari, asks that skeezy suit if he wants to fuck her and he’s all for it and she’s like, “how about i fuck you instead?” and jams a blade into his gut. how’s that for turning penetration on its head? or how about again, in kill bill vol. 1, the origin story of oren ishii? she witnesses her parents’ murder by a crime boss as a very young child and exacts her revenge by fucking and then killing the man who ordered their deaths, who also happens to have a taste for very young girls. did that not count because it was told in anime form? if it had been live action, i imagine people would have flipped the fuck out.
and why has everyone seem to have forgotten to mention that the people hit girl is so violently killing are the BAD GUYS?? having read a bunch of stuff about kick ass on the internet this afternoon, i half expected hit girl and big daddy to just go off killing random pedestrians and completely innocent people instead of guys who are legitimately bad people. they are thugs who take part in all kinds of violence and maliciousness of their own. they are not good people. which, again, in the real world, is not a reason to just haul off and kill people. but this is a fucking movie. it is not real life. so real life’s rules do not apply. because how fucking boring would it be if that fantasy world of cinema had to abide by all the same rules as our daily lives. i think the whole world would just suicide pact it. that’s it. the end. i was actually expecting kick ass to be more violent that it was. i mean, yeah, it was violent, but i’ve seen worse. or does the fact that i was not overwhelmed by the violence in this movie just prove everyone’s point that young people today live in such a violence-saturated world that it has no effect on us anymore?
a frequent comment i have seen is that it is upsetting to see a child get beaten the way hit girl does near the end of the movie. is it more upsetting than seeing kick ass have his ass kicked? i mean, to me, i found it much more cringe-inducing to see kick ass fighting because he was pretty much untrained and guaranteed to end bleeding. for christ’s sake, the boy lands in a hospital stabbed, beaten to a pulp, and hit by a car. to me, i felt good about hit girl’s chances in any fight. she is one tough mother fucker. and though she may be a child, she is well aware of the consequences of entering a fight. she is a fucking warrior. while i am super glad that kick ass did manage to get them both out of there at the end, i think hit girl knew what she was getting into, and of course, she didn’t want to lose, but she knows that losing is a possibility.
i found it incredibly charming and heartwarming [yeah, that’s right.] to see big daddy and hit girl bond over weapons and fight skills. it reminded me, very tangentially, of spending time with my dad growing up. obviously, we did not spend time training to kill a bunch of gangsters to avenge a past wrong, but i was lucky to have a great father who always took me seriously. some of my best memories are spending time with my dad. when i went to boarding school my junior year, we spent a great deal of time designing and building a super fancy loft for my bed. no sad hack-job of splintery two-by-fours for me. he designed it just as i wanted it and we spent a weekend or two building and staining it. it is the bed i still have to this very day. i am periodically tempted to upgrade to a more adult bed, and i’m sure i will someday, but i love my bed that my dad and i built, and i am kind of loathe to part with it. i love my dad. so i am automatically inclined to approve of good father-daughter relationships. and in the universe of this movie, i think hit girl and big daddy have a wonderful and touching relationship. i think big daddy is the ultimate feminist father. does he treat hit girl as stereotypical girl? abso-fucking-lutely not. he raises her as he would have raised any child of his: to be a ruthless killer. they bond over weapons and combat skills. and i fucking LOVE it.
and as it has been clear throughout this post, i like to swear. a little embarrassingly, my sailor-like linguistic idiosyncrasies are a bit of a defining part of my personality. and have been for a long time. i am trying to remember when exactly i began to pepper my speech with expletives, and i think it was when i was about the same age as hit girl. so to me, her “shocking” language, was not all that shocking. i do not take kindly to those who would curtail my swears in the name of femininity. that being said, i am perfectly capable of not swearing. i can be fully professional and appropriate in formal or whatever situations, but few things are surer to piss me off than hinting or outright saying that there is something inappropriate in the way i express myself when not in those situations. once in college, this douche from one of my classes had the audacity to chastise me in regards to my language. he said that he found it a huge turn-off to hear a “young woman” express herself in a such an unladylike manner. to which i replied that he could go fuck himself and that it was a good thing that i didn’t give a fuck whether or not my language was a turn-off for him. the most irritating part was that this fucker said this like he was making some important intervention and saving me from myself and certain ruin if i didn’t quit it with the swears. i think he fully expected me to apologize or whatever for having offended his delicate idea of my delicate feminine sensibilities. the look on his face as he took in my reply was priceless.
i say bring on MORE cursing ass-kicking young women! let’s have more of these characters! let’s make them the focus of the whole fucking movie instead of just the focus of the media attention. let’s have scores and scores of movies featuring girls fighting, swearing, and fucking like boys have gotten to do for years. though obviously not the fucking part if they are actual children like hit girl. and like i said above, maybe that is what has people so terrified. that there is an audience and appetite for strong, bad ass female characters who don’t want puppies and bratz dolls for their birthdays. that maybe today’s young women can fight and swear with the best of them. that seeing hit girl up on the screen will inspire a generation of women to take to the streets and kick the asses of anyone who crosses them. that instead of having to protect women, guys might need to be protected FROM women. millennia of oppression will give rise to a new breed of supergirl who can and will kick your ass if you try to daterape her. try to mug some girl on her way home through a sketchy neighborhood and it ends with your guts on the ground. make an untoward comment to a girl walking down the street and end up beaten to a pulp. a world in which douchey guys can no longer exercise their male privilege. in which girls are not brainwashed into being nice, sweet people who would rather put up with some asshole being inappropriate than to be seen as a bitch for telling him to fuck off.
yes, that would be a terrible world, indeed. i can see why everyone is so upset.