Dear Snow White and the Huntsman: Kissing. You’re Doing it Wrong.

And I’m back online, everyone! Sorry for the two week hiatus – as mentioned in my last post, I am the goddamn Feminist Batwoman was having some health issues, so I took a break from the internet to save the world while wearing an awesome cape while I got better at kicking bad guys.

And now that I’ve finally defeated the forces of darkness gotten better, I will be posting more in an effort to keep up my cover identity as the billionaire college student and feminist blogger “Culturally Disoriented”

Ahem. Back on the internet! YAY!

everyone else: *crickets*

***

Gird your loins, everyone. We’re going to talk about kissing. Making out. Embracing. Frenching. Smooching. Swapping spit. Tonsil Tango (my favorite euphemism).

Sadly, we’re not going to talk about fun, consensual, awesome kissing. I’m all for fun, consensual, awesome kissing. But there was no fun, consensual, awesome kissing in Snow White and the Huntsman.

Callie and Arizona Grey's Anatomy Kiss

A brief demonstration of “tonsil tango”

[Warning for MASSIVE SPOILERS]

No, there was only creepy kissing.

Let’s back up, shall we?

I recently saw Snow White and the Huntsman with my brother. And I’m not going to lie: I enjoyed it. Yes I did.

Well, okay. Let’s be a bit more precise about what “enjoyed” means in this context, shall we?

… I was not bored. I was moderately entertained. There were pretty colors. [I have no shame].

Charlize Theron Raveena Snow White and the Huntsman Dress

Oh, and the Evil Queen’s clothes were FABULOUS. I want.

Were there lots of deeply problematic moments that made me want to throw my popcorn at the screen?

Yep.

Was I particularly upset about those problems? As in “stay-up-until-three-in-the-morning-writing-a-blog-post” upset?

Not really. My brother and I had a good discussion afterwards where we unpacked the misogynistic elements of the movie, we both agreed that it wasn’t that great (but that the colors were pretty and Charlize Theron was awesome), I moved on. Frankly, so many movies are not-great and sexist that I don’t have time to get seriously “stay-up-until-three-in-the-morning-writing-a-blog-post” upset about all of them. Or I wouldn’t sleep.

crazy writer rant

Rant! Rant! Rant Rant Rant Rant RANT! RAAAAAANT!

A week after I saw the movie, however, I was reading Batwoman: Elegy (which HOLY SHIT IS INCREDIBLE) when I sat bolt-upright in my bed and exclaimed: “Whoa! There was technically a lesbian kiss in Snow White and the Huntsman!”

Which is when I realized that the technically-lesbian kiss was also the only consensual kiss in the movie. And that while this consensual kiss led to Snow White’s demise, the non-consensual kiss imposed on Snow by the Huntsman… ends up saving her life.

Headdesk Stephen Colbert

Are you *bleeping* kidding me?

And that, dear reader, is when I got angry enough to write a blog post.

Because Kissing: Snow White and the Huntsman is Doing. It. Wrong.

I’ll start by recapping all the kisses experienced by the protagonist, Snow White. I think you’ll see the creepiness emerging pretty quickly.

[SPOILERS]

(it should be noted that Snow White’s name is never actually uttered in the movie, so for all I know, she’s called Porky McPorcupine. But Porky McPorcupine takes too long to type, so…]

1. Kiss #1: Snow White goes wandering the woods with her childhood friend, William. They’ve just reunited after a long separation. Snow White decides to kiss William because… he’s her childhood friend and he’s rather attractive? The movie never really makes it clear. But she decides to kiss him. Hurrah! Good for you, Snow White, for expressing desire and going after the things you want (in a safe/consensual manner)

No. Not good for you, Snow White. Don’t you know that a lady NEVER initiates a kiss? And that to do so is grounds for horrible punishment?

Because unfortunately for Snow White, William is actually NOT William, but Raveena (the Queen) in a very clever disguise. Which is why I consider this a lesbian kiss: it is, in fact,  between two women (although only one of the women is aware of that fact). After Fake William and Snow White kiss, William continues the flirtation by offering Snow White an apple. Snow White, who has clearly never read a fairy tale in her life, takes a bite of the apple… and starts dying. Fake William taunts her, transforms back into Raveena, and tries to cut out her heart.

And that, Snow White, is why a lady NEVER initiates a kiss. [Who do you think you are, a man?]

Snow White and the Huntsman Kristen Stewart Kiss Apple Death

This is what kissing leads to, ladies.

2. Kiss #2: Fortunately for Snow White, the two ruggedly attractive gentlemen in her escort – the Huntsman and the Real William – burst out of the forest and chase off the Very Well Dressed Raveena. Unfortunately, Snow White is still dying, and has  lost almost all consciousness.

Prince William Sam Claflin Kiss

Behold! I am ruggedly handsome!

Which, for some reason, prompts the Real William to kiss her.

I can’t even -

3. Kiss #3: Snow White is dead. She’s been placed on a bier in a church (because she’s pure) and dressed up in a white gown (because she’s pure). The Huntsman comes in, and explains to Snow White that he loves her because she reminds him so much of his dead wife.

Because that’s not creepy at all.

Then the Huntsman kisses the (dead) Snow White on the lips and leaves.

NOT CREEPY AT ALL.

Huntsman Chris Helmsworth Snow White and the Huntsman

Behold! I too am Ruggedly Handsome!

A few minutes later, Snow White wakes up – presumably resurrected by the Huntsman’s kiss – and proceeds to defeat the Evil Queen.

As of which point, there is no more kissing (thank Maud)

On the other hand, there’s also no moment when Snow White turns to the Huntsman and says “So, the kissing thing. I’m not necessarily opposed, but… that was creepy. Also: your dead wife? Really?”

I’m sure you’ve caught on to the basic problem, right? Yes?

Let’s recap:

There is exactly one consensual kiss in this movie, and that’s the one where Snow White kisses Fake William. She kisses him. She expresses desire. She is an active participant. The kiss is obviously consensual: both women are awake, alive and participating.

And as a result of this kiss – the one Snow White actually wants and consents to – Snow White dies.

The kiss is also proven meaningless when we realize that Fake William is actually Raveena, who only kissed Snow White in order to trick her into eating the apple.

Snow White neither consents nor participates in the two other kisses because she’s dead or dying.William actually kisses her as she’s dying, which is particularly horrifying.

Pro tip #1: If you’ve got an unrequited crush on someone, the moment of their death is not an appropriate time to tell them. And it’s especially not an appropriate time to kiss them. What if they don’t like you? What if they hate you? Then the last moment of their life is spent being kissed by someone they despise. What if they want to spend their dying moments thinking about their family? You’ve just coopted their death for your own purposes. And what if they DO return your affections? Then they die going “aww, shit, if I’d known earlier”…
Great job, Casanova. No, really.

Pro tip #2: If the person you are kissing is unconscious, asleep, dead or dying, you are doing it wrong.

This can all be summed up as: if the person you are kissing is incapable of saying “No” [or of using sign language to say "No," or of pushing you away, or of clonking you on the head with a baseball bat] to your advances, then you are doing it wrong.

In the movie world, however, kissing an unconscious woman who is completely and utterly unable to consent is romantic.

Neither William nor the Huntsman have any idea of whether Snow White has romantic (or sexual) feelings towards them. But remember, everyone. Snow White’s desires do not matter. Neither man gives them a moment’s thought. Only their desire – and their pain – is important.

Because William and the Huntsman love Snow White. So it’s fine for them to use her body in order to express their grief and thwarted love. It’s even romantic.

And hey! One of these non-consensual kisses saves Snow White from death. So it’s totally okay! Am I right?

Yeah, no. Not romantic. Creepy. And extraordinarily problematic

Pro-tip #3: If there is no way for someone to convey that they are interested in kissing you, do not kiss them. No matter how much you long/love/lust for them. If you kiss them anyways, you are doing it wrong.

[There is an exception to this: if you are in a long term romantic relationship with someone and they die. If your partner dies, and you two have talked about consent/negotiated your boundaries, and you thus have a fairly good idea of whether they would mind being kissed post-death... you're fine. However, this is not true of either William or the Huntsman. They have absolutely no idea how Snow White feels about them, or whether she would consent to being kissed. They are also not in a romantic relationship with her]

Pro-Tip #4: In the Real World, kissing someone who is unconscious (or otherwise unable to consent) is sexual assault. And in fact, many people in the Real World are raped or assaulted while they are asleep/unconscious. Now, I know that the Ruggedly Handsome William and the Huntsman are not rapists (of course not! They’re ruggedly handsome!). But if the way you’re kissing someone closely resembles rape/sexual assault, you’re doing it wrong.

***

Now, let’s be fair. There are certain moments of sexual assault in Snow White and the Huntsman that are NOT portrayed in a positive light.

Near the beginning of the movie, we find out that Queen Raveena’s brother Finn often visits Snow White in her cell and watches her while she sleeps. When he comes to take Snow White to Raveena, he sits next to her prone body and caresses her chest. We’re obviously meant to read him as a sexual predator. We’re also obviously meant to fear that he will assault or rape Snow White.

This scene is, in almost every way, a mirror to William and the Huntsman kissing Snow White.

Man’s desire for woman? Check. Lack of female consent? Check. Woman unconscious or otherwise unable to make an active choice? Check.

But unlike the Huntsman and William, Finn is neither young nor conventionally attractive. He is also evil (as evidenced by the fact that he is neither young nor conventionally attractive)

Snow White and the Huntsman Finn

Behold! I am NOT ruggedly handsome (and thus am clearly EVIL)

Obviously, since Finn is not a ruggedly handsome/good-hearted young man, his advances towards Snow White [who is unable to consent because she's in prison and he's her JAILER] are assault.

Headdesk Kitty

There is not enough *Headdesk* in the world

Pro-tip #5: If you assume that being conventionally attractive/young/not evil means that everyone automatically WANTS to kiss you, and so therefore they have obviously consented, and so therefore it is okay for you to kiss them when they are unconscious/dead, you are doing it wrong.

Even if you are Ruggedly Handsome, everyone does not automatically want you to kiss them. I know. This is a shock.

Pro-tip #6: Just because you are conventionally attractive and/or Young and/or Not Evil, does not mean you are unable to sexually assault someone. No. Really. I know this comes as a shock to you, but rapists/assaulters are not all Ugly/Old/Evil. In other words: even if you are conventionally attractive and/or young and/or a “Good Person,” kissing someone who cannot consent is not okay. And you are doing it wrong.

Let us recapsulate all of the Very Important Lessons the movie puts forward about kissing:

1. Female consent and female desire are deadly and disgusting. When Snow White shows real desire and real agency, it bites her in the ass.

2. As a corollary, two women kissing is deadly and disgusting, and can only happen because one woman is trying to kill the other. Female desire, everyone. Have I mentioned how Deadly and Disgusting it is?

3. Only Evil and Not-Conventionally-Attractive Men can sexually assault someone.

4. It is impossible for Good and Ruggedly Handsome Men to sexually assault someone.

5. A Ruggedly Handsome Man’s Desire for a Woman, coupled with that same woman’s Lack of Consent is very romantic, and will bring around salvation/resurrection.

So ladies, remember. Don’t show desire. Don’t kiss people you’re interested in. Real love only comes when a (handsome) man expresses his desire for you (while also disregarding your agency).
If a not-handsome man kisses you while also disregarding your agency, on the other hand, that is ASSAULT, and it’s not okay.

This is not a mixed message AT ALL.

Pro-tip #I Can’t Even Count Anymore: Assault is not romantic. Assault is not attractive.

You know what’s romantic?

Respect.

You know what’s attractive?

Consent.

I’m going to say it again, because frankly, it bears repeating:

Loving someone does not give you permission to disregard their feelings, or their right to make a choice. If your beloved is, for some reason, unable to make a choice (because they’re asleep/unconscious/dead) well, that’s unfortunate. But  you still don’t get to violate their consent. That the movie portrays male love as a blanket excuse for violating a woman’s right of consent is extraordinarily problematic.

***

Here’s what’s really ironic:

The movie proves the Evil Queen Raveena right.

Raveena, after all, becomes “evil” because she believes that men use women to serve their own desires while disregarding any desire the women may have.

Which is exactly what happens when the Huntsman and William use Snow White’s unconscious body to satisfy their own desires  (thwarted love! grief! pain!), and then never bother to apologize when she wakes up, or to ask her how she feels about either of them. And which is exactly what the movie does to Snow White, when it refuses to allow her a reaction to William and the Huntsman’s actions.

In other words: men’s desires are still The Most Important Thing, women’s desires are Still Unimportant and Queen Raveena is Still Right.

Yes, Raveena’s whole “let’s-impoverish-the-people” thing is bad. And I’m not okay with Raveena murdering people.

But Raveena isn’t defeated because she’s wrong. She’s defeated because a more desirable woman appears. Snow White even tells her that she’s lost because she isn’t “the fairest” anymore.

Pro-tip #One Billion: If the movie is trying to prove that men don’t use women/disregard women’s desires, then it is doing it wrong.

***

Why does this bother me so much? I mean, besides the fact that I’m an angry feminist, and I must complain about all misogyny.

It bothers me because this movie’s portrayal of romance isn’t the exception. It’s the norm. Taken to an extreme, sure. But it’s still the norm.

If it wasn’t the norm, more reviewers would have remarked on it. More people would have pointed it out. But no mainstream reviewers did. Because that’s just the way things are.

It bothers me because, at a time when sex-education is terrible, people learn about desire, relationships and sex  from movies (and assorted cultural narratives). And when, over and over again, cultural narratives show that assault is romantic, that female consent is irrelevant and female desire is dangerous… it has an effect.

It bothers me because every time I come out of a movie theater with my younger brother, we have to have a little chat where we deconstruct the Terrible Messages. Because even though I know my brother is smart, and respectful, and he cares about consent and about people’s boundaries…

It has an effect.

Hell, it had an effect on me.

In my admittedly VERY limited experience with relationships/sex/desire etc., the hardest question for me to ask is: What do I want?

And right here, right now, as a feminist who thinks female desire and consent are very important… I feel like a terrible person for even typing that question.

Because what does it matter what I want?

On the other hand, I’ve never had a problem considering what guys want. And I never had a problem putting men’s desires above my own.

Those pro-tips about consent and desire? I need to learn them too.

In fact, let’s have a review, shall we? Because I clearly need the review as much as anyone else.

1. If your partner is Awake, Conscious, Able to Consenting AND (obviously) Consenting

Brian and Justin Kiss Queer as Folk

Congratulations! You are Doing It Right!

2. If your partner is Unconscious, Unresponsive, Or Otherwise Unable To Consent:

William Snow White Kiss Snow White and the Huntsman

Sorry, my friend, but you are Doing It Wrong.

And you should stop Doing It Wrong.

This has been a lesson about how to Kiss Properly from Your Friendly Neighborhood Feminist Batwoman Blogger. Pass it along.

***

Frankly, the movie would have been a lot better if, when Raveena and Snow White kissed (in a consensual manner), the two of them realized they were secretly attracted to each other.

Snow White and the Huntsman Charlize Theron Kristen Stewart Kiss

Then they would hash out their differences over a marriage contract; we’d get a kingdom ruled by two badass queens in a lesbian relationship, and William and the Huntsman could go… take a hike.

Or, you know, engage in some Consensual Tonsil Tango of their own.

It would have been a much more interesting and nuanced movie.

Charlize Theron Kristen Stewart Snow White and the Huntsman kiss Raveena

All Hail the Queens

And less rapey.

I would appreciate less rapey.

Maybe in 50 years, someone will remake the movie and use this scenario.* Now that’s a movie I’d pay to see!

*[I'm not holding my breath]


24 Comments on “Dear Snow White and the Huntsman: Kissing. You’re Doing it Wrong.”

  1. canbebitter says:

    I want to like this but I’m avoiding the spoilers. will check back once I’ve seen the film!

  2. Lacey says:

    Haven’t seen this movie, but… well, I find kissing a dead person goodbye to be a lot less disturbing than the other non-concensual scenerios you detailed. I mean – they’re dead. They can’t consent but it also doesn’t really matter to them anymore, it just matters to you. As long as there is no groping (ewwwww), no tounge (EWWWWWWW), and no secret belief that they’re reciprocating (you sick puppy!!), then it’s just a throw-back to an old gesture of chaste love and respect. I’ve never had the slightest urge to kiss a corpse, but I understand the gesture.

    Other than that, I agree… for a movie with a supposedly strong pair of female leads, they sure dropped the ball on actually giving at least one of them any power…

    • C.D. says:

      Fair point. I agree that kissing a dead person doesn’t necessarily have the same connotations, and if it were the only kiss in in the movie, I probably wouldn’t have cared. But in the context of all the other sexual assaults – of Snow White getting kissed while dying, of the Huntsman ripping her skirt off, of Finn being a creeper etc. – it just, for me, became part of a pattern of micro-aggression and violation of bodily autonomy. And obviously, it’s different if you have a long-standing relationship with the dead person, but the Huntsman… really doesn’t.
      Culturally, bodily autonomy doesn’t completely go out the window when you’re dead – you can harvest a dead person’s organs, for example, without their permission (while alive). But that’s something I haven’t completely fleshed out as a thought…
      Anyways! I agree that this particular kiss is debatable – if it had happened out of context, I would have been creeped out, but I wouldn’t have been all fired up about it. Just within the context of the rest of the movie, I thought: “are you kidding me? Can we get a single consensual kiss that doesn’t end in death?”

      I do think that the kiss is meant to be read as romantic, particularly since the Huntsman just declared that he loves Snow White because she’s exactly like his dead wife (CREEPY). And then when she wakes up, he tells her she looks “fetching” in armor (CREEEEEPY).
      And yeah, they really failed on the “strong female leads” part. I mean, Raveena has power, but she’s evil (and why is she evil? Because she was raped *headdesk*).

  3. [...] Snow White and the Huntsman: Kissing, You’re Doing It Wrong [...]

  4. Myriad says:

    Admittedly I am only Feminist Robin to your Feminist Batwoman (well, R. is probably your Robin but my comic-fu isn’t giving me a better analogy), so I didn’t pick up on all of the fail that you did, but yes. So many problems with the film. [except pretty colors, and Charlize Theron, and OHMYWALLABIES I want her clothes]. But I had major issues with the Huntsman kiss, and not even from a necessarily feminist perspective. As you say: CREEPY. “I love you because you remind me of my dead wife” is NOT romantic in anyone’s book (I hope). We’ve been programmed to think of William’s kiss as romantic, but where have we been programmed to think “Oh, you’re like a more virginal corpse version of my corpse wife!” is romantic? Yes, treating two separate women as interchangeable objects is…no, pretty sure I missed that lesson. There’s also basically no chemistry between anybody, so even if you set aside the creepy wife bit, the kiss just feels hollow.

    How it should have gone, if Myriad ruled the world: Huntsman gives long maudlin speech about how she’s inspired him to live his life again, doesn’t mention his wife, and then KISSES HER ON THE CHEEK. Then we can maybe pretend that it’s his redemption/return to life that brings her back to life, and not weird creepy pedo-necrophilia-ness. This would also work well with the whole “she’s supposed to bring life back to the land” thing – so in a sense, the Huntsman would be reminding her of her power of healing, or returning it to her, or something, and SHE WOULD ESSENTIALLY BE SAVING HERSELF.

    Uh oh, I think I just broke fairy tales. Silly me; I should have remembered that such things aren’t built to withstand the fearsome power of female agency. I think I have a Rapey Man broom and Passive Female dustpan around here somewhere; if anybody’s got some Ruggedly Handsome glue, we may still be able to save them!!

    • C.D. says:

      You know, I think Batwoman gets a side-kick at some point. No idea who it is, though. And although my brother would probably be Robin, I wouldn’t want to expose him to the dangers of feminist crime-fighting at his age. No siree. I am a responsible sister (ahem).

      Also, I will FIGHT YOU for Charlize Theron’s clothes. They are amazingballs.

      I agree with you about the Huntsman. Because every girl wants to hear “you’re exactly like my dead wife! You make me a better man! And you’re also dead! Women are interchangeable to me!”
      Those are the words that make my heart swoon. Well, okay. Mostly because my heart is trying to escape my chest so that it can beat the Huntsman into a pulp.

      *gasp* YOU JUST BROKE FAIRY TALES! NOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!! And I just ran out of Ruggedly Handsome Glue yesterday! WHAT WILL WE DO? HOW WILL I LIVE WITHOUT A SNOW WHITE AND THE HUNTSMAN SEQUEL?
      [apparently, there's going to be a sequel. How much money are you betting that it's going to contain the most annoying, pointless love-triangle of all times? Snow White: "William is ruggedly handsome! the Huntsman is ruggedly handsome! Both of them have lots of man-pain! And they deny my agency! SOOOO SEXY! HOW WILL I CHOOSE?"]

      • Myriad says:

        Noooo! My clothes! You shall not have them!
        Now I’m imagining an anatomically correct heart with fists and it is awesome.
        HOW WILL SHE CHOOSE? Pull out a ruler and measure their…man-pain.

  5. This is a really interesting post- you went into a lot of detail/analysis about the subtle messages in the movie, and I think that’s really important. If people don’t stop and think about that kind of stuff, it just perpetuates the same stereotypes and sexist messages.

  6. Captain says:

    While I haven’t seen the movie myself, it doesn’t sound like the first kiss was consensual, either. Snow White consented to kissing William. She never consented to kissing the queen.

    • C.D. says:

      Yeah, I think you’re right, and I feel stupid for not seeing it before. In the context of the movie, it’s the most consensual kiss, in that both women are consenting to kiss someone… but that’s not saying much. Hurrah, more sexual assault!
      But yes, thank you for pointing that out.

  7. AJ says:

    I don’t know, maybe I’m just an idiot. That must be it. If I was dead or dying, someone who is grief-stricken kissing me is so unoffensive as to be laughable. Regardless the source of their grief. People kiss the deceased at funerals ALL THE TIME, and you don’t have anyone jumping up from the third row shouting “OH MY GOD GRANDPA JUST SODOMIZED THE CORPSE!” Because that would be ridiculous. Hell, if I’m dead, they can use my corpse as a pinata, it’s all the same to me. Calling it “non-consensual” or, as the person above me phrased it, “sexual assault” is equally ridiculous.

    On the other hand, it’s apparently perfectly okay, perfectly consensual, if someone lies to you, deceives you into kissing them for nefarious purposes.

    Feminism taken to pointlessly trite extremes results only in an embarrassing caricature of itself — it’s assault to be dead an loved, but on the other hand it is perfectly fine to be too fucking stupid to see when someone is lying to you for personal gain. Brilliant, let’s write that up in Feminist Handbooks and push it on our children.

    I dislike labels in general — it’s far too easy for a person to become the label, and for the label to guide thinking. I dislike labeling myself as feminist in particular because of crap like this. Just a bunch of misandronists jumping up on their soap boxes to rant about what they perceive to be the latest injustice, even when said injustice is trite to the point of parody, or when the points made are easily reversed. I mean, I’m actually kind of offended that the OP likens kissing a corpse to assault, but being lied to is “consensual.” What makes that consensual? Because it’s supposedly two Chicks, which makes it pseud-lesbianism, and lesbianism is Good, even when it’s a lie? WTF kind of logic is that? Seriously?

    How about the part where Snow White wakes up, and it clearly looks like she’s having an orgasm. Sure, it looked like a fake orgasm — which technically it was — but it looked like an orgasm all the same. A point that is buttressed by the moment two scenes later when the Ruggedly Handsome Huntsman approaches the Fetching in Mail SW, and SW is so flustered from her recent orgasm that she is struck speechless. No shit, watch the scenes again and tell me I’m wrong.

    I’d have been bothered by the scene of struck-dumb Snow White demuring to the Ruggedly Handsome Hero — how stereotypical is that! — except that I know plenty of men who are struck dumb around attractive women. It happens. It’s called life. Obviously there’s nothing misogynistic about that, so why, pray tell, is it misogynistic in the reverse? It’s not. PEOPLE ACTUALLY ACT THIS WAY. Too many feminists get all pissed off when women don’t behave exactly the way you think they should behave. You fight against what you perceive is a damaging stereotype by forcing implementation of your own stereotype, and thusly your only steroetype yourselves and in the end do more harm than good. So for the love of the gods, get off your soap boxes and relax. Maybe have a bit of fun for a change. Preaching about meaningless kisses is . . . meaningless.

    • C.D. says:

      Wait, so you spent a little under a thousand words explaining to me (the original poster) that I was writing about something totally meaningless.
      … If it’s totally meaningless, why are you spending almost a thousand words on it?

      I’m so confused.

      There’s so much fail in this comment, I can’t even begin to dissect it, but I shall attempt to do so. I’m hoping to make it all the way through the alphabet, regular readers, so cheer me right along!

      a) So you don’t mind if someone kisses you when you’re dead/dying. Great! I’m not saying YOU should mind. You can care about whatever the hell you want. On the other hand, I do happen to mind if someone – particularly someone I don’t know – kisses me while I’m dead or dying. That’s why consent is so damn convenient. Because people are different! And so before you do something (particularly something physical) to someone, you ask them if they mind! You don’t care if they kiss you, I do, EVERYONE GETS WHAT THEY WANT case closed! Of course, no one knows what Snow White wants, which is the point.

      Again, if you don’t care if people use your corpse like a pinata, that’s great. But I do, and I’m sure a lot of other people do, and IN FACT THERE ARE LAWS in most country that say that you must respect the wishes of the dead person when it comes to disposing of and using their corpse (organ donation etc.) That way everyone gets to decide what they want, and then they get what they want and EVERYONE IS HAPPY, hurrah.

      b) The ‘grandpa’ thing has been addressed more than once in comments and in the blog. Suffice to say, for the millionth time, that there is a huge difference between say, someone’s husband kissing their dead body, and Random Guy 101 kissing their body. Your husband/grandpa/brother/best friend/etc. has a RELATIONSHIP with you, and presumably has some idea of whether or not you would mind if they kissed you. Random Guy (or Girl) 101 does not.

      Let’s put it this way. If at a funeral, the husband kissed their deceased wife on the lips, no one would bat an eye. If then the random guy the wife had met the day before her death then kissed her on the lips, people would be outraged and seriously grossed out. Because it’s CREEPY, and it’s DIFFERENT, and most people would not think that was okay.

      Moving right along!

      c) I’ve already addressed the lying thing in another comment, but to re-iterate. I agree that it’s not consensual, and I should have seen that the first time around. I do think it’s the most consensual damn kiss in the entire movie, which isn’t saying much, because at least both people were CONSENTING TO BEING KISSED. As for the lesbianism thing – what? It’s interesting. It’s a lesbian kiss. We don’t see that a lot in mainstream Hollywood. I think that’s interesting.

      d) WHOO, FEMINISM IS STUPID, WHOOOOOOOOOOOO! My dear Sir/Madam/Polite Pronoun of Choice. I do not speak for feminism. I am one random blogger who speaks of things from a feminist angle. I like looking at pop culture from a feminist angle. That is my thing. That is not all the thing of all feminists. So please do not use this post as a way of saying “all feminists use terrible examples and care about meaningless things.” No, dearest, I, and I alone, use terrible examples and care about meaningless things. There are plenty of feminists who are working on “important” issues like poverty, rape and equal wages.

      [I mean, obviously, I THINK that these things matter and are not meaningless, but that's not the point]

      e) “it is perfectly fine to be too fucking stupid to see when someone is lying to you for personal gain.” Just out of curiosity, am I the stupid one, or is Snow White?

      f) Again: I am not writing a feminist handbook here, and there is no such thing as a feminist handbook, and if there was, I would burn it. Because feminism is not a monolith.

      g) What in the world is a misandronist? It sounds like a cross between a misandrist and an android. An android-misandrist? I’m pretty sure those don’t exist yet, but I’ll let you know if I find one. ‘

      h) You know, for someone telling ME to relax and have fun, you’re certainly getting very worked up about the horrifying misandry of feminism and how we’re pushing this upon our children. Are you having fun? Just checking. Because maybe you are. I do have lots of fun when I get self-righteous, and maybe you do too!

      i) I’m so confused about this orgasm thing. I don’t know what it means. Why is it there? What is the point? So she looks like she’s having an orgasm and then she doesn’t talk to the hunter guy and I’m apparently angry about this? How do you know I’m angry about this? I didn’t say I was angry about this… ARE YOU A MIND READER? MY GOD, YOU’RE PROFESSOR X FROM THE X-MEN! I LOVE YOOUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUU [except for the bald part. Not a fan of baldness. But we can work around that, natch].
      Anyways. Don’t care about orgasm thing. Never did. Moving right along!

      j) Yes, I am aware that people do act this way. And that’s why it bothers me. I mean, I don’t care if you get dumbstruck around hot guys/girls/gender of choice. I do care if you go around wantonly kissing other people without, oh, asking their permission.

      k) are you just turning this into an opportunity to rant about everything you hate about feminism? Because… this is not a post about feminism. It’s a post about consent issues and female desire. I mean, if you hate feminism, more power to you and all, but… this seems a bit much for the scope of the post. It’s not like I wrote “dead people are getting kissed AND THAT’S WHAT FEMINISM WAS DESIGNED TO STOP.”
      This is a small scale analysis post. It’s not a “Feminism 101″ post. It’s not representative of what Feminism (capital F) the movement means. It’s not even representative of what MY feminism is (small f) means. It’s representative of what I think about one movie. And yes, there is feminist analysis IN THERE, but… it’s not ABOUT feminism.

      i) Why are you angry at me for being angry about something that I was never angry about? I’m not pissed off that Snow White is having a fake orgasm and being dumbstruck around the Huntsman. I never called it misogynistic. I’m not angry. You seem to have made up an entire argument and assumed I’d be angry. But I’m not. So I suppose my question is: Why are you so angry?

      j). OH MY GOD I GET IT, You’re a CONCERN TROLL! YOU’RE HERE TO TELL ME THAT THE WAY I’M DOING FEMINISM IS RUINING IT FOR EVERYONE! And that I’m doing it wrong! And I’m using the wrong tone! And I should be having fun! And that by fighting stereotypes, I’m creating a new stereotype, which turns me into a stereotype, and so I’m ruining feminism and the world and making it worse for EVERYONE! Okay, quick note. The word stereotype: you keep saying it. I do not think it means what you think it means. But anyways. Oh, I’m so proud of myself. I have my very first CONCERN TROLL!

      Mother will be so proud.

      k) Uh, I am having fun. I enjoy ranting about things. Ranting about things is fun. Ranting about things makes me happy. Writing 5000 long word posts about pop culture and social justice makes me very happy. So thanks for your concern, but I’m doing great, actually.

      l) Yes, in fact, this is my soap box! And I shall use it for whatever the hell I want. Kitten pictures. Feminist rants. KITTENS. MORE KITTENS. Nude pictures! Book reviews! Recipes! WHATEVER.
      Seriously, how dare I post what I want to post on my own blog? Someone ought to make a law.

      m) I will only point out that by writing a thousand word post explaining to me that my post is meaningless, you’re sort of proving my point that in fact, these things DO matter. Or else why would you bother writing the post? I mean, unless you’re a troll, in which case… what’s it like being a non-human life form? Are there substantial differences, that you’ve noticed?

      o) Okay, I’m done. But a final note. This is, as you’ve no doubt noticed, a feminist blog. It is also MY blog. Which means I get to decide what comments go on it. Yay, censorship. yes, everyone, this is not a free speech space. If you want your own soap box, wordpress gives ‘em out for free. I’m letting AJ’s post through as an example. But if AJ (or anyone else) posts about how horrible feminism is, or how horrible I am for posting this, they will get deleted! WHOO CENSORSHIP.

      Also, if you’re going to be a troll, please try harder next time. I mean, this comment was… okay… but it was straight out of derailing for dummies. If you want to be a real concern troll, you need originality. It’s the spice of life!

      [I made it all the way to "O" faithful readers! I would have kept going until Z, but then I remembered that there were roses to smell, and pointless feminist rants to write, so I stopped]

      • I just found this blog tonight, and I need to go to bed because I’m too tired to appreciate it as I know I should. Only read two posts and I’m yours.

        I do have to point out that…psst, you missed ‘n’ ;D

      • C.D. says:

        Awww, thank you so much! This makes me quite happy. I will go to bed with glowy feelings tonight.

        BUT! I MISSED “N”?

        Dishonor on your cow! Mushu Mulan gif

        DISHONOR ON MY COW? NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!

        This is a disaster of epic proportions, and I’m not sure how I will ever make up for it. I’m just going to lock myself in my closet and cry for a week.

        [by the way, this is a good argument for sleep! Because I replied to that comment at three in the morning... when I clearly can't do the alphabet. Sleep is good]

    • Max says:

      I know there’s a huge response to this already but I felt the need to discuss this one question before reading it. Sorry if any of it is a repeat.

      “What makes that consensual?”

      Firstly, dear god I hope to never met you in a dark alleyway or party or pretty much anywhere.
      Secondly, quick question, did both people agree to do what they are doing? This is, by the way, a yes/no question. That is consent. It does not matter if one person believes they are kissing their grandmother and it’s really the wolf. If both people approve this action without coercion it is consensual. Did one or more of the people involved not give approval (either through lack of desire to or inability to) or give approval only because of obligation or fear of harm? That is non-consensual. Are you unsure of whether approval has been given? Stop until it is explicitly given either verbally or through the other persons active re-engagement.
      Thirdly, just because you view kissing a corpse as consensual does not mean the dictionary agrees with you.

  8. matt johnson says:

    Lady u need to get a life! Have u ever had someone close to you die? For me speaking from experience, when my grand mother was dying and had so many strokes she could no longer talk I sat there and told her how much I loved her and kissed her on the forehead. Now are you going to say I raped my grand mother? Why can’t you look at the bigger picture instead of finding one thing and blowing it out of proportion. I love how you missed the fact that it was snow white and not one of the ruggedly hansome men who saved the day and killed the evil quen. I’m sorry that this movie was not the lesbian porno that you wish it had been. But when the brothers grim awaken in the zombie appocalypse maybe you can have them rewrite all their stories to include atleast one girl on girl fur burger throw down in all their stories.

    • C.D. says:

      Oh, dear Mr. Johnson, I would get a life, but they’re all out of them at the grocery store! I’ll try the specialty store tomorrow, though, and report back!

      Anyways. To answer your question, Mr. Johnson. Yes. Yes, in fact, I am going to say you raped your grandmother. Because when I wrote that someone who does not have a relationship with a dying/dead person should not kiss them on the lips in a romantic fashion; and when I specifically said, both in the comments and in the blog post, that this advice did not apply to people who had a longstanding romantic or familial relationship with the dead/dying person WHAT I REALLY MEANT WAS:
      When you kiss your dying grandmother on the forehead, you’re raping her. That’s EXACTLY what I meant.
      Except for all the parts where I say the exact opposite of that.
      But don’t let logic and facts get in the way of your outrage. ONWARDS!

      captain jack running from the pirates

      Being serious for a moment. I’m sorry for your grandmother’s illness and death. And I’m sure she took great comfort from having you near her. I imagine, moreover, that she took great comfort from having you near her because you’re her grandchild, and she has a longstanding, loving relationship with you.

      And that is categorically not what I am talking about in this post. I’m talking about a romantic kiss, where the Huntsman had only met Snow White three days ago, and where they had absolutely no relationship other than a “run, there’s a troll!” correspondence. If a stranger who’d met your grandmother three days before her death suddenly kissed her on her lips at her funeral, would you be okay with it? Probably not. Because there’s a difference.

      As for the blowing it out of proportion: Sir, this is my blog, and I shall blow things out of proportion if I want to. Moreover, I am a literature student, and that is what we do. We find patterns. There is a pattern of abuse in this movie, I am pointing it out. If you don’t buy my argument, fine. But this is my soapbox, and I will yell whatever I want from it. You don’t have to read it.

      Re: Yes, I did notice that it was Snow white who killed the queen. What’s your point? THat has nothing to do with my argument. I mean, it sort of does, in that the Queen clearly represents corruption and sexual decadence (and she’s also been raped), and the princess is virginal and pure, so there’s a whole idea of passivity = goodness (where Snow never argues over the non-consensual kisses, the Queen is all “you raped me? You will die!” (which seems like a more reasonable reaction, frankly))… but that’s a whole other post. Anyways.

      I don’t see what the Brothers Grimm have to do with anything, since the story is clearly pretty damn different from the Grimm original. And if I wanted to watch lesbian porn, I would do a google search; I was just hoping for an interesting, well-written, original movie, and unfortunately got none of that.

      I do hope your prediction of the zombie apocalypse with girl-on-girl-fur-burger-throw-down comes true. Just so I can find out what the hell a girl-on-girl-fur-burger-throw-down is.

      And a good day to you, Sir!

      Captain Jack Sparrow Sexy smile

  9. JS says:

    To be fair, at least one of those kisses had to happen in order for them to complete the fairy tale….but creepy wife thing is creepy. Honestly, the way Hollywood has desensitized us I’m just thankful it’s not more like the original story, which goes beyond a mere kiss.

    • C.D. says:

      Yeah, if it had just been that one kiss, I wouldn’t have cared. Or I would just have rolled my eyes.
      I’ve heard that in the original Sleeping Beauty, the prince wakes her up by raping her, after which she gets pregnant and wakes up during birth. But this is an unsubstantiated report, so don’t trust me on that.

      • JS says:

        I haven`t heard that tale of sleeping beauty, but the one of snow white is eerily similar. In the original one she`s only 12 years old, the prince sees her for the first time when she`s already dead, and drags her corpse (coffin and all) back to the castle where he obsesses over her beauty.
        One day when the prince is out, his servants, who are fed up with his absurdity, take the corpse to dispose of. But first they decide, hey, she`s in pretty good condition, so they rape her….which dislodges the apple chunk in her throat and she wakes up.

        On a more positive note, there`s a low budget film called Grimm`s Snow White that I watched on netflix. It`s really noticeably low budget, but the tale is a lot better, and there`s absolutely no non-consensual kissing. To wake her he gives her back her ring (which was stolen earlier) and lays a kiss on her hand. If you look closely, he`s actually kissing the ring, and not her, which makes it even better. I definitely recommend it.

  10. Charsi says:

    Aside of the consensual kiss, Brian’s and Justin’s relationship is the last one for me to consider an example to follow. I wouldn’t believe that someone who acts almost abusive loves me, and I would be also insulted if my environment told me that I may ignore him, but I do love him dammit, then that spoiled brat started to impose conditions to me (moreover, he would be the first to break his own rules).

  11. [...] and, via the said Ana Mardoll, Culturally Disoriented from last year on Dear Snow White and The Huntman: Kissing: You’re Doing It Wrong [...]

  12. Miss Cellany says:

    Haha I enjoyed this.

    But i wouldnt call the creepy kiss between snow white and Raveena consensual because snow white thought raveena was william at the time. I dont find william’s kiss all that disturbing because snow white wanted to kiss him anyway (so she would have consented had he asked presumably). The huntsman’s kiss couldn’t have been done without – it’s part of the original fairy tale (well its meant to be the prince but someone has to kiss her while she’s asleep) and had it been missing there would have been complaints (I would have hated the film had it left something so important out).

    I just wish they hadn’t had the Raveena kiss… It totally grossed me out, not because it was technically a lesbian kiss, but because it was the protagonist kissing the life force stealing old hag of a villain while thinking it was her childhood friend / love interest. Eww…

    Snow white should have been allowed to kiss William, or the huntsman, or whoever she wanted (even the dwarf!) at some point in the story while she was awake and not dying. I feel a bit sorry for her that her first kiss was with her enemy :/


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