Popular Culture Review Vol. 28, No. 2, Summer 2017 - Page 79

The development of third-wave feminism is attributed to writer Rebecca Walker, who first coined the term in 1992. Third-wave feminism is debated as lasting through the mid 2000s, until the movement was tentatively succeeded by fourth wave-feminism (Diamond 184). Throughout its history, the exact definition and subject matter of third-wave feminism have been debated; however, an accepted tenet of third-wave feminism is the rejection of “women” as a universal category of identity. Instead, third-wave feminism emphasizes intersectionality and the individual experiences of women, and much literature on third-wave feminism is culled from first-person narratives. Third-wave feminism accounts for disparate factors such as race, religion and sexuality, recognizing that femininity is too heterogeneous for the outdated and limited categorization of women from second-wave feminism (Snyder 184). The purpose of this interpretive research essay is to establish that Jurassic Park functions as an early marker in the visual representation of third-wave feminism in popular American cinema, utilizing feminist theory for its theoretical framework. To support this thesis, this essay applies textual analysis to Jurassic Park, coding for specific scenes that support a feminist interpretation. Textual analysis, a prominent research method for analyzing media content, is used to distinguish “between the primary, linguistic meaning of a [media] text’s component parts and the secondary, or textual meaning which those parts acquire through a structuring process internal to the text or to the genre” (Altman 15). Textual analysis includes several different systematic methods, including rhetorical criticism. Rhetorical criticism, which is utilized for this essay, is used to identify and explicate persuasive messages embedded in communication texts by their authors, intentionally or otherwise (Jasinski, 2001). This analysis is subsequently compared and contrasted with a literature review composed of relevant texts regarding third-wave feminist ideologies. Analysis Besides Sattler, the other major female character in Jurassic Park is Alexis “Lex” Murphy, Hammond’s teenage granddaughter. Both Sattler and Lex are strong female characters that demonstrate independent agency. Most notably, it is Sattler who restores power to the park during the film’s climax, and Lex who reboots the park’s security’s systems. Sattler’s own feminism is made explicit in both the novel and film. In the novel, when Hammond’s lawyer expresses surprise that Sattler is a scientist, exclaiming, “You’re a woman,” Sattler dryly 74