30 Days, 30 Scream Queens | day twenty
↳ Sigourney Weaver
Sigourney Weaver is a long-time hero of mine. This comes primarily from her role in Alien as Ripley, a role initially written for a man and utterly dominated by Weaver. If you watch the film, it is a role utterly devoid of typical gendered stereotypes. Ripley is concise, she refuses to let her emotions influence her primary motivation—her responsibility to the ship and to her mission.
In a film series with so much overt sexual imagery—the pervasive phallic presence of the chestbursters and xenomorphs both—having a woman be the core just makes sense, not to mention being goddamn refreshing. By Aliens, it’s mother vs. mother—Ripley vs. Queen.
A point of contention in the first film with many people is the stripping down of Ripley into her little white panties and bra-less tank top during her escape shuttle launch. Personally, it’s one of my favorite moments of the film. For the past 90 minutes the audience has been watching an effectively genderless character in a baggy jumpsuit command a ship and outsmart this phallic evil and triumph as the only survivor. In those last moments, just before her security is assured, the audience is rather abruptly reminded—“Hey, that person doing all that shit? The person you expect to be muscled and genderless and androgynous at best? She’s a soft, curvy woman. Chew on that.”
FILMS TO WATCH: Alien (1979), Aliens (1986), Ghostbusters (1984), The Cabin in the Woods (2012)