I finally saw The Avengers last weekend. Great movie. Loved it. Joss Whedon does many things well: action, humor, villains, and heroes, but the one thing he does best is develop strong characters, especially women. Most of the characters in The Avengers are men, but the three main women: Black Widow, Agent Hill, and Pepper Potts all made an impact.
But as I read my Facebook timeline the next morning, I noticed a lot of posts with the same topic: where are all the strong heroines? Really? And what struck me as odd is that while we complain there are too few female heroes in fiction, we don’t give them enough attention when they do appear. Last summer I dedicated a whole blog week to my favorite kick-ass chicks, but it got very little action. If you take a look at my list, you’ll notice some of these ladies have been around for more than a decade.
The Avengers’ Black Widow is my newest favorite. She didn’t need a man to rescue her. She didn’t need anyone to rescue her. She fought off the Hulk, and (mild spoiler) she was the one who figured out how to save the world. Black Widow gets as much screen time as the male Avengers. Even Pepper Potts, who only had two short scenes, was established as a genius equal to Tony Stark with just a few telling details.
Unfortunately, I don’t have much time to watch TV or movies lately, so I’m not familiar with more recent heroines. Maybe they aren’t as common in current popular fiction, but if that’s the case, we have only ourselves to blame. Hollywood claims they produce what audiences want to see. If we don’t applaud stories with strong women, those stories won’t get told. So stop complaining about the strong heroines who don’t exist and celebrate the ones who do. Or create your own.
Who are your favorite kick-ass chicks?