Suzanne Collins’ The Hunger Games further continues hegemony in various ways.  Though several characters may fall outside of the norm, there are also numerous representations of men and women that follow hegemonic binaries and promote these binaries for other characters.  There is also limited representation of non-hegemonic races, genders, or sexualities, with some races having even been whitewashed in the movie.  Also, The Hunger Games features a patriarchal society headed completely by one man, with all positions of power held by men.  Lastly, The Hunger Games is set in a society invested in material goods and economics, with the government fully backing this mindset.

This is a counterpoint analysis on The Hunger Games with kleubitz.

In The Hunger Games, there are characters that represent the binaries of gender and fit the hegemonic prescription for both these genders.  On one hand, we have Cato, who is a complete picture of masculinity.  In Susan Bordo’s article “Beauty (Re)Discovers the Male Body,” she describes this masculinity as challenging, aggressive, and authorities.  Cato fits this, as he is violent, overpowering, in complete control at all times, and super competitive.  He does not falter and does not seem to care about the death that he is causing.

On the other hand, we have Effie Trinket, who is the picture of hegemonic femininity.  In Jean Kilbourne’s article “The More You Subtract, The More You Add: Cutting Girls Down to Size,” she describes this femininity as being nice, kind, and sweet, as well as beautiful and thin.  In The Hunger Games, Effie is virtually powerless, has complete faith in the patriarchal government that she is a part of, and her mind seems to only be on fashion and the nicer things in life.  She is also used as a tool to police Katniss’ femininity (“THAT IS MAHOGANY!”) Katniss, although less feminine than Effie, is also only seen as receiving attention and help from the audience when she is fitting a more hegemonic feminine mindset, such as when she has to play at a romance with Peeta to gain food or medicine.

There is also a lack of representation in any non-hegemonic gender, race, or sexuality.  In Dodai Stewart’s article, “Racist Hunger Games Fans Are Very Disappointed,” which was brought up in the Power Point for class on 8/13, she brings forth that Katniss was described as having black hair and olive skin, but Jennifer Lawrence is blonde and obviously white.  This means that Katniss most likely was whitewashed for the movies.  The only other characters that represent people of color (Rue and Thresh) do not play a huge role or have much screen time.  There are no representations of any sexuality beyond heterosexuality.

The Hunger Games also features a government in which what might as well be a dictator rules.  This is a patriarchal society in which all the positions of power that we are privy to are held by men.  These positions are the president, the game maker, and mentors.  The current president in The Hunger Games is President Snow, who is cold, calculating, and ruthless.  He is not above killing his enemies, and his biggest priority is to retain his power.  The gamemaker’s hegemony lies more in the position itself rather than the person that inhabits it.  The gamemaker has the ability to completely control the tributes in the arena.  He has the ability to create a world and has some part in deciding who lives and who dies.  In both Hunger Games that are narrated (the 74th and the 75th), this position is held by men.  First by Seneca Cane, and secondly by Plutarch Heavensbee.  The position of mentor is only seen in great detail through Haymitch Abernathy, who is Katniss’ mentor in both Hunger Games.  This position’s power comes from the ability to shape tributes’ choices and to give them the tools to either win or lose.  This position is particularly important because it is seen as a position of wisdom and intelligence.

The society and mindset in The Hunger Games also supports the ideals of hegemony.  The society is heavily tied to consumerism and economics.  The Capital is a cesspool of fashion and having the newest and most interesting things.  However, all this money is held by the government and The Capital, with any of the other districts lacking money and food.  One of the prizes of the Hunger Games is even ample food for the winning district.  The government favors this mindset and society because it keeps them in charge and able to retain the power and intimidation over the districts due to the fact that the districts either spend all their time trying to obtain these goods or trying to even stay alive to realize that the government is screwing them over.  This keeps them from banding together and rebelling.

Although a great story about politics and morality, The Hunger Games furthers hegemony.  It features gender binaries, lacks representation of non-hegemonic race, genders, or sexualities, puts men into all major positions of power, and features a society in which consumerism and economy is more important than even the lives of children.

 

I am sure every girl can recall, at least once as a child, coming home and telling their parents, uncle, aunt or grandparent about a boy who had pulled her hair, hit her, teased her, pushed her or committed some other playground crime. I will bet money that most of those, if not all, will tell you that they were told “Oh, that just means he likes you”. I never really thought much about it before having a daughter of my own. I find it appalling that this line of bullshit is still being fed to young children. Look, if you want to tell your child that being verbally and/or physically abused is an acceptable sign of affection, i urge you to rethink your parenting strategy. If you try and feed MY daughter that crap, you better bring protective gear because I am going to shower you with the brand of “affection” you are endorsing.

When the fuck was it decided that we should start teaching our daughters to accept being belittled, disrespected and abused as endearing treatment? And we have the audacity to wonder why women stay in abusive relationships? How did society become so oblivious to the fact that we were conditioning our daughters to endure abusive treatment, much less view it as romantic overtures? Is this where the phrase “hitting on girls” comes from? Well, here is a tip: Save the “it’s so cute when he gets hateful/physical with her because it means he loves her” asshattery for your own kids, not mine. While you’re at it, keep them away from my kids until you decide to teach them respect and boundaries.

My daughter is 10 years old and has come home on more than one occasion recounting an incident at school in which she was teased or harassed by a male classmate. There has been several times when someone that she was retelling the story to responded with the old, “that just means he likes you” line. Wrong. I want my daughter to know that being disrespected is NEVER acceptable. I want my daughter to know that if someone likes her and respects her, much less LOVES her, they don’t hurt her and they don’t put her down. I want my daughter to know that the boy called her ugly or pushed her or pulled her hair didn’t do it because he admires her, it is because he is a little asshole and assholes are an occurrence of society that will have to be dealt with for the rest of her life. I want my daughter to know how to deal with assholes she will encounter throughout her life. For now, I want my daughter to know that if someone is verbally harassing her, she should tell the teacher and if the teacher does nothing, she should tell me. If someone physically touches her, tell the teacher then, if it continues, to yell, “STOP TOUCHING/PUNCHING/PUSHING ME” in the middle of class or the hallway, then tell me. Last year, one little boy stole her silly bandz from her. He just grabbed her and yanked a handful of them off of her wrist. When I went to the school to address the incident, the teacher smiled and explained it away to her, in front of me, “he probably has a crush on you”. Okay, the boy walked up to my daughter, grabbed and held her by the arm and forcibly removed her bracelets from her as she struggled and you want to convince her that she should be flattered? Fuck off. I am going to punch you in the face but I hope you realize it is just my way of thanking you for the great advice you gave my daughter. If these same advice givers’ sons came home crying because another male classmate was pushing them, pulling their hair, hitting them or calling them names, I would bet dollars to donuts they would tell him to defend themselves and kick the kid’s ass, if necessary. They sure as shit wouldn’t say, “he probably just wants a play date”.

I will teach my daughter to accept nothing less than respect. Anyone who hurts her physically or emotionally doesn’t deserve her respect, friendship or love. I will teach my boys the same thing as well as the fact that hitting on girls doesn’t involve hitting girls. I can’t teach my daughter to respect herself if I am teaching her that no one else has to respect her. I can’t raise sons that respect women, if I teach them that bullying is a valid expression of affection.

The next time that someone offers up that little “secret” to my daughter, I am going to slap the person across the face and yell, “I LOVE YOU”.

-

You Didn’t Thank Me For Punching You in the Face « Views from the Couch (via cutesy)

Relevant Reblog:

This post talks about something that we didn’t really talk much about in class, which is the socialization of young girls to violence.  I think all girls have been there, where a boy is picking on them and they’re told that the boy just likes them.  However, this isn’t necessarily an expression of affection, this is still violence and abuse upon their person.  By telling little girls that it’s just a sign of endearment, we are telling little girls that it is okay for little boys to beat them and hurt them (or the other way around).  We are also telling little boys that it’s okay to beat up on little girls because it’s just harmless, right? This kind of behavior is not okay and can have serious repercussions later on in life.

This correlates to men and violence and picturing masculinity.

 

beckyxvx:

Left: Store mannequins in H&M, Sweden

Right: Store mannequins in Macys, USA

Relevant Reblog:

This post is two pictures of mannequins, one picture from an H&M in Sweden and the other from a Macy’s in the United States.  The mannequins from the H&M are clearly fuller figured and even appear to have a little bit of fat around the stomach.  They have a very curved figure and appear to have a healthy weight

The mannequins from the United States, however, are very thin and don’t have much of a shape.  There seems to be no fat, and they look half the size of the Swedish mannequins.

This is important because it looks like Sweden is getting it right.  One of the biggest problems with weight in the United States is how the media and advertising portrays it, and they constantly portray it as only acceptable if that weight is skinny.  Girls seeing these mannequins will feel as if they don’t measure up or couldn’t achieve that ideal.  However, with mannequins that are fuller figured, girls can see something that looks real and something that can be achieved.

This corresponds to advertising and picturing women.

 

Relevant Reblog:

This post is a series of posters that have placed along what appears to be a road.  All of the posters contain facts about (mostly women’s) weight.  Although none of these posters directly state what is causing these statistics, there is definitely a suggestion of the media and society being at fault.

This correlates to the ideas of picturing women, advertisement, and women’s self imaging.

 
projectunbreakable:

Due to an error on my end, one of the photos from this post unfortunately got left behind when I was sending them over to my photo editor. I am re-posting it tonight to give it the equal amount of recognition it deserves.
Grace
The posters read:
“How can a girl rape a boy?”
- Nearly everyone I tried to tell for the first four years after it happened.
“Man up.”
- My then-fiance in response to the panic attack I was having, caused by seeing my rapist for the first time since the incident had occurred eight years previous.

Relevant Reblog:
This post is a man holding up two signs in response to the rape he experienced year prior with his attacker being a woman.  He talks about how people do not believe women can rape men, and how his fiancee treated him as less masculine when he had a physical reaction to seeing his attacker.
This is important because there’s a strong belief in our society that men cannot be raped by women, and also that most survivors are women who have been attacked by men.  Men that have survived are considered as inferior or not as manly and are taunted for something that should only receive understanding.  This causes many men to not even admit what has happened to them.
This corresponds to our talks about rape culture and also with picturing masculinity.

projectunbreakable:

Due to an error on my end, one of the photos from this post unfortunately got left behind when I was sending them over to my photo editor. I am re-posting it tonight to give it the equal amount of recognition it deserves.

Grace

The posters read:

“How can a girl rape a boy?”

- Nearly everyone I tried to tell for the first four years after it happened.

“Man up.”

- My then-fiance in response to the panic attack I was having, caused by seeing my rapist for the first time since the incident had occurred eight years previous.

Relevant Reblog:

This post is a man holding up two signs in response to the rape he experienced year prior with his attacker being a woman.  He talks about how people do not believe women can rape men, and how his fiancee treated him as less masculine when he had a physical reaction to seeing his attacker.

This is important because there’s a strong belief in our society that men cannot be raped by women, and also that most survivors are women who have been attacked by men.  Men that have survived are considered as inferior or not as manly and are taunted for something that should only receive understanding.  This causes many men to not even admit what has happened to them.

This corresponds to our talks about rape culture and also with picturing masculinity.

 

lexicution3r:

Legitimate rape - the new birth control method.

Relevant Reblog:

I think we all heard about what certain politicians were saying about what the definition of “legitimate rape” was, and what that had to do with pregnancy that results from rape.  (Or rather, that wouldn’t exist, since the uterus shuts that shit down.)

This handy PSA informs the public how this legitimate rape works so that everyone can perfectly understand this issue.

This fits in with our topic of policing women’s sexuality and rape culture.

 

zebrathinker:

blaidddrewg:

- Maine and Maryland have voted for marriage equality
- Minnesota DID NOT vote for banning marriage equality
- Washington has it on the ballot as well, but it hasn’t come in yet


- The first openly gay senator was elected (Tammy Baldwin, in Wisconsin)
- The first disabled woman veteran was elected (Tammy Duckworth, in Illinois)
- Sens. Todd “Legitimate Rape” Akin and Richard “Rape is a gift from God” Mourdock were ousted.

good things have happened today!!! :’)

Relevant Reblog:

Many things happened during the 2012 Election, but these are some very important progresses that we made as a nation.  This is significant because it seems like we are finally progressing in our representation in government, and it is so incredible that we did this! I actually cried a little when I saw everything that had happened, and I really hope that we’re able to continue this trend.

 
avoicestentorian:

redefiningbodyimage:

healthiie:

fightthewhispers:

summergirl88:

xueni:

This is Seventeen Magazine’s BMI Chart. Take a moment to read it. 
I am almost 18 years old. According to this BMI chart, I would be healthy between the BMI of 14.8 - 21.7. 
Excuse me? Since when is a BMI of 14.8 considered healthy? Not even the smallest-boned of people should be at a BMI of 14.8 when they are 18 years old. To put that into perspective for you - I am 5 foot, 3 inches tall. To even be considered “underweight” on this BMI chart, I would need to weigh under 83 pounds. And if I weighed more than 122 pounds, I would be considered overweight. 
Does that sound fucked up to anyone else, or is it just me? 
With this sick and screwed-up BMI calculator, Seventeen Magazine is essentially encouraging their readers, mostly teenage girls (the population most at risk for developing an eating disorder) to maintain extremely low weights. How would you feel if you were 123 pounds and 5’3, calculated your BMI, and saw that you were overweight at a perfectly medically healthy BMI of 21.8?
I will be writing a strongly worded email to the editor of Seventeen Magazine to express my anger towards this issue as someone who has struggled with poor body image and anorexia nervosa. 
Please, if you feel the way I do - indignant, furious, sick to your stomach - reblog this. Seventeen Magazine will not get away with encouraging body hatred and unhealthy weight goals. 

This is absolutely horrifying.
I do not have strong enough words for this.
What issue is this from?
I will also be writing a strongly worded letter to Seventeen.
This is not acceptable.

Is Seventeen magazine out of their fucking mind?

Wow I want to stab someone in the face. I thought this was fake but its real.

Reason number 993296249602 why the BMI needs to be wiped off the face of the earth.
BODY MASS DOES NOT INDICATE ANYTHING ABOUT HEALTH OR WORTH. ALL YOU ARE DOING IS PERPETUATING BEAUTY IDEALS AND ENCOURAGING EATING DISORDERS.
THIN ≠ HEALTHY
FAT ≠ UNHEALTHY
FUCK YOU SEVENTEEN


this is disgusting. besides the fact that BMI is complete and utter bullshit, a BMI of 14.8 is in no way healthy. let’s pretend I had read this while I as sick with my eating disorder? this is what my thought process would have been like “oh, i’m not below 14.8 i’m a cow i need to get there” despite the fact that a BMI below 17.5 is criteria for anorexia!

Relevant Reblog:
This was an actual chart that was published in Seventeen Magazine, with the percentages labeled well under what would be considered healthy for any of these age groups.  I think most of the important points are brought forth by the comments above, but this ties into our class on picturing women and society’s constant message that women need to be smaller and take up less space.

avoicestentorian:

redefiningbodyimage:

healthiie:

fightthewhispers:

summergirl88:

xueni:

This is Seventeen Magazine’s BMI Chart. Take a moment to read it. 

I am almost 18 years old. According to this BMI chart, I would be healthy between the BMI of 14.8 - 21.7

Excuse me? Since when is a BMI of 14.8 considered healthy? Not even the smallest-boned of people should be at a BMI of 14.8 when they are 18 years old. To put that into perspective for you - I am 5 foot, 3 inches tall. To even be considered “underweight” on this BMI chart, I would need to weigh under 83 pounds. And if I weighed more than 122 pounds, I would be considered overweight

Does that sound fucked up to anyone else, or is it just me? 

With this sick and screwed-up BMI calculator, Seventeen Magazine is essentially encouraging their readers, mostly teenage girls (the population most at risk for developing an eating disorder) to maintain extremely low weights. How would you feel if you were 123 pounds and 5’3, calculated your BMI, and saw that you were overweight at a perfectly medically healthy BMI of 21.8?

I will be writing a strongly worded email to the editor of Seventeen Magazine to express my anger towards this issue as someone who has struggled with poor body image and anorexia nervosa. 

Please, if you feel the way I do - indignant, furious, sick to your stomach - reblog this. Seventeen Magazine will not get away with encouraging body hatred and unhealthy weight goals. 

This is absolutely horrifying.

I do not have strong enough words for this.

What issue is this from?

I will also be writing a strongly worded letter to Seventeen.

This is not acceptable.

Is Seventeen magazine out of their fucking mind?

Wow I want to stab someone in the face. I thought this was fake but its real.

Reason number 993296249602 why the BMI needs to be wiped off the face of the earth.

BODY MASS DOES NOT INDICATE ANYTHING ABOUT HEALTH OR WORTH. ALL YOU ARE DOING IS PERPETUATING BEAUTY IDEALS AND ENCOURAGING EATING DISORDERS.

THIN ≠ HEALTHY

FAT ≠ UNHEALTHY

FUCK YOU SEVENTEEN

this is disgusting. besides the fact that BMI is complete and utter bullshit, a BMI of 14.8 is in no way healthy. let’s pretend I had read this while I as sick with my eating disorder? this is what my thought process would have been like “oh, i’m not below 14.8 i’m a cow i need to get there” despite the fact that a BMI below 17.5 is criteria for anorexia!

Relevant Reblog:

This was an actual chart that was published in Seventeen Magazine, with the percentages labeled well under what would be considered healthy for any of these age groups.  I think most of the important points are brought forth by the comments above, but this ties into our class on picturing women and society’s constant message that women need to be smaller and take up less space.