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St. Patrick’s Day Giveaway: Serenity – Shawna R. B. Atteberry
Mar 162011

For St. Patrick’s Day I am giving away my favorite Kick-Ass Feminist Movie, which also has my Favorite Hollywood Couple ever: Serenity.

First my favorite Hollywood couple ever: Wash and Zoë. This has to be the best husbands and wives are equal, can do and support each other in anything they want and still have time for sex, couple ever. In my opinion this is also one of the most biblical marriages you’ll see on TV or the big screen. Wait, biblical? Yes biblical. You see there is this little mistranslation in most Bibles where Genesis 2 is concerned. Most English translations translate a certain Hebrew phrase to mean helpmate. That is not what ezer cenegdo means. Ezer cenegdo means “a power equal to” (The King James Version comes the closest to translating this phrase right: help meet–a help equal to; help and power are from the same Hebrew root). In the beginning woman was created to be a power equal to man. A wife is a power equal to her husband. Zoë is a power equal to Wash.

I also believe Godde created men and women to build her kingdom on earth. We are supposed to stand side-by-side, arm-in-arm and fight the injustices and evil of this world and help further Goddes’ reign of love and peace. In Serenity Zoë and Wash stand side-by-side and arm-in-arm to to stay out of the Alliance’s reach. They each use their own gifts and talents to do this: Zoë as a kick ass warrior and fighter, and Wash as the brainy pilot who can literally make the poor Firefly go through paces she was not meant to go through and still hold her all together. (As a warrior woman married to a brainy nerd, you have no idea how much I love this couple!) Wash is not intimidated by his warrior wife, and Zoë does not think she has to pretend to be weaker than she is to bolster her husband’s masculinity. They accept one another as the other is, and encourage each other to do best what they do best. They fight for justice together and somewhere in their mercenary/subvert the Alliance life, they even find time for romance and sex (you’ll have to catch the series Firefly to see that side of them). Best Hollywood Couple Ever.

This movie is filled with women who know who they are, know what they want, and don’t apologize for it. Zoë is just one of them. Inara and Kaylee are two more, but the other woman I want to focus on in this post is River. I had absolutely no idea where this character was going when Firefly started. River is a traumatized young woman who doesn’t seem to be able to tell reality from fantasy. We know the Alliance did something to her, and her brother rescued her, but we don’t find out what happened to her. Towards the end of the series we find out River is one hell of a fighter, but we don’t know why or how this happened. In Serenity we find out: the Alliance was brainwashing and training her to be an assassin. An assassin they controlled and who could never betray them. River is also a psychic who picked up on some extremely classified information that the Alliance doesn’t want anyone to know about, which is why they are so anxious to get her back. This secret is what warped River’s brain.

The crew find out what the deep, dark secret is, and finally we see River at peace. She finds her sanity when she finds out what the memories in her head are about (memories that aren’t hers). There is a final stand between the Alliance and the crew of the Firefly. They are trying to get the truth of what the Alliance did out. Two different enemies are gunning for them: the Alliance and a cannibalistic human race called the Reavers. Of course they’re outnumbered and outgunned in an area they chose to bottleneck the enemy.  They have to fall back, but someone has to lock the doors from the outside and be stuck with a bunch of murderous, cannibalistic Reavers. That’s when River makes her choice. The Alliance might have tried to make her an assassin, but in the end she chooses her fight. She chooses to use the training she’s had to save her brother. She chooses to be a warrior and fight on her terms, for her own reasons, and not for anyone else. And that is why this one of my favorite, kick-ass feminist movies ever.

All you have to do for a chance to win Serenity is this: leave a comment telling me what your favorite kick-ass feminist movie is or which TV/movie couple exemplifies what you think marriage should look like. I’ll take answers through midnight Friday. I’ll draw a name and announce the winner Saturday.

Remember that I am offering a free 30 minute session of spiritual direction through March 31. Email me for an appointment. Don’t know what spiritual direction is? Watch this video.

To keep up with all the giveaways this month, you can subscribe to my blog via email or RSS. Both of those options can be found on the right bar menu.

I can’t wait to see what some of your favorite movies and couples are!

Did you know there are only eight verses in the Bible that discourage women from speaking and holding leadership positions in the church? Did you know there are thousands of verses in the Bible that tell the stories of women who were leaders in their homes, towns, and religious circles? Meet the women in the Bible who were religious & civic leaders, business women, & women who challenged both Jesus and Moses in What You Didn’t Learn in Sunday School. What else didn’t you learn in Sunday School? Find out when you buy What You Didn’t Learn in Sunday School: Women Who Didn’t Shut Up & Sit Down from Wipf and Stock Publishers or Amazon.com today.

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  7 Responses to “St. Patrick’s Day Giveaway: Serenity”

  1. whoo hooo!!! Can’t enter this one though… see I already own a regular copy of Serenity… and then the special edition I happened to find at Borders when I had a coupon! (Lots of fun extras!)

    I hadn’t really thought of Zoe and Wash as such a good example – even though they’ve always been my favs (I fully support the idea that if Firefly could get resurrected that Joss could write something completely taking away the end of Serenity…because he’d have to – he just would!)

    I’m not sure I’ve got another favorite that really exemplifies this – I mean I have a lot of favorite books and movies – but not that many favorite couples. (and the few favorite couples…actually possibly the only favorite couple I have other than Zoe/Wash is Elizabeth Bennet and Mr. Darcy – which for all its a pretty good match for the day and a lot better than Lizzy could have been stuck with, you’re still stuck with the time period and the fact that for all that fanfic says differently, Mr. Darcy would have expected Lizzy to act like a lady)

    • Ally,

      I’m the same the way about couples. I don’t have a lot of favorites either, which is why I love this one so much.

      Go ahead and enter: if you win you can always give the movie away. 🙂

      • nah – unfortunately everyone I know who would like it – does already own it I think – so then it would become a big “who doesn’t own Serenity?” thing on facebook – I’d rather not try to find a friend who isn’t a browncoat to give it to (everyone is either a browncoat or they don’t do scifi, lol)

        • That’s what I keep running into. Everyone & their friends have it. I’m hoping to find one poor unfortunate soul who doesn’t. May be not a great choice for a giveaway.

  2. Hi Shawna, I love your exegesis of “helpmate” as “power equal”. I have always thought is was inane, when I was told that being smart and strong and capable as a female was somehow unattractive. Whaaaat?

    I now want to see Serenity and series Firefly.

    For some reason, no movie is coming to mind ( including one that is kick ass feminist or with power equal couples)- at least in this moment. Possibly due to my perimenopausal brain or an overly busy week- or both. If think of any, I’ll repost.

    Thanks for your blog!

    • Thanks for stopping by Viviane! As of now you will be seeing Serenity sometime next week unless someone else comments that doesn’t have the movie, and I can have a drawing. It’s very possible that I will be mailing it to you tomorrow!

  3. […] and Serentiy. Wash and Zoe have what I consider to be the perfect biblical marriage. When River decided to fight, she decided when, where, and why. Female sovereignty at its best. […]

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