Brave Dames and Wimpettes: What Women Are Really Doing On Page and Screen (1999) Susan Isaacs, the popular novelist ( Close Relations ), saw some movies, watched some TV, read some books, and came up with the kind of… Movies Nonfiction Pop Culture Women's Studies Ballantine
Book Review

Brave Dames and Wimpettes: What Women Are Really Doing On Page and Screen (1999)

EW's GRADE
C

Details Writer: Susan Isaacs; Genres: Movies, Nonfiction, Pop Culture, Women's Studies; Publisher: Ballantine

Susan Isaacs, the popular novelist (Close Relations), saw some movies, watched some TV, read some books, and came up with the kind of bagel-and-lox-size theory with which Sunday newspaper opinion columns are filled: Women characters in popular culture can be divided into two basic types, the smart, competent, and strong who are ''passionate about something besides passion''; and the drips who give in without a fight ''to the limits imposed on [them] by virtue of [their] gender.'' Okay, and? And nothing. There's not nearly enough lox to go around in Brave Dames and Wimpettes: What Women Are Really Doing On Page and Screen, an unchallenging catalog of titles and breezy comments, e.g., ''Make-believe mothers ought to be reflecting what we now acknowledge real mothers — real women — to be: complex beings with rich inner lives, people capable of a range of behavior, from egotism to selflessness....'' Okay, and? And nothing. If you want an engaging analysis of why this is still so rare in mass-appeal movies and TV, you're at the wrong brunch. C

Originally posted Feb 05, 1999 Published in issue #470 Feb 05, 1999 Order article reprints