The Strange History of Jane Austen's Fight Club
Considering that Mormons have been at the forefront of fighting to keep men butch, women femme, and queers invisible, it's kind of ironic that one of the best pieces of genderfuck video to hit the Internet this year (if not the best) was put together by a bunch of Mormon girls for a film festival sponsored by their temple in Santa Monica. Even more ironic is the fact that one of the co-directors of "Jane Austen's Fight Club," Emily Janice Card, is the daughter of famed science fiction writer Orson Scott Card, who is not only known for Hugo- and Nebula Award-winning novels like Ender's Game and Speaker for the Dead, but for extreme and strident declarations of homophobia. In 1990, he wrote that:
Card hasn't mellowed out in the past 20 years, either: in 2008, he wrote a piece that implied that citizens should overthrow a government that legalized same-sex marriage, and he's a board member of the anti-gay National Organization for Marriage.
Hopefully, the fact that his daughter and her friends are so willing to mock gender roles and to kick ass in a very un-ladylike manner says that there's more to the rank and file of the Church of Latter-Day Saints than gay-bashing and holy underwear.
Whatever the background of the piece and its creators, there's no doubt that it's one of the smartest and funniest videos to go viral this year. Just as the original Fight Club parodied the culture of extreme masculinity by cranking it up to eleven, Jane Austen's Fight Club skewers the demands on women to be "nice girls," by combining perfect manners and elegant clothing with physical brutality. "We were no longer good society," the narrator proudly states. But far better to let the video speak for itself.