Last week I posted a review of the Daredevil series on Netflix. There I wrote that my only real problem with the show was with that female characters, and how they seem to serve as little more than incidental plot devices. There two things I’d like to address from that article.
One, I need to practice being more critical of media simply so that I learn to express my opinions more concisely. Seriously, looking back at it that article it seems like it was written by an adolescent spider monkey. It was basically the critical equivalent of just declaring, “I feel ways about stuff.” (Which is basically what I’m doing here. But, hey that’s what blogs are for right?)
Secondly, that stuff I feel ways about is women’s roles in fiction. Well women’s roles in general. To be completely honest I don’t know if I care about this because I’ve grown more mature and can see a bigger picture or, did I decide to care about gender equality as a result of raising my daughter.
I think it is important to have strong women role models in books, and other media because our imaginations shape so much of our world view. I see so many female characters that are either simply there to be damsels in distress, sex kittens, or nagging harpies. Stronger roles tend towards emotionally inaccessible bitches. That’s just not reflective of the women I know, but it is reflective of how men I know talk about women. That’s not what I want my daughter think of as normal or okay.
I’ve known about inequality all of my life, in one way or another. It, after all, would be hard to get through even elementary social studies classes, without having some idea that the society we live in has been shaped by wealthy white men. I’ve always thought it was wrong, but I really never bothered to say anything or do anything about it. One of the benefits of growing up as a white male is that you can opt to have a sort of indignant ambivalence towards some of the social issues. I mean you can say that MRA guys are asshats but you’re not the one who really has to deal with them. Same thing goes for pay equality or reproductive rights; you might have a sympathetic opinion that you’re willing to share but, at the end of the day it’s not like you’re the one with an immediate interest in the fight. Even this article isn’t really saying much. It sure as hell isn’t going to change anything.
I guess what I really want is for my daughter to grow up in world where the promise I keep making to her can be kept. You know the one about her having the opportunity to be whatever she wants. I want her to be inspired by people, artists and writers that care about the messages they send. I want her to live her life ad define herself, not to have her life defined by assumptions based on gender.
Yes, there’s a chance I am reacting to things in an exaggerated way about this. I may not be reacting enough. There’s a real good chance I have no idea what I’m talking about, because here I am, that guy trying to understand and discuss women’s issues. I am definitely rambling on.
It is, however what I’ve been thinking about this past week.