We have women heroes in action movies! We are still screwing up!

Thursday, October 13th, 2016

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So we have Jyn Erso.

We have Rey.

There’s Wonder Woman.

And Katniss Everdeen.

Don’t forget Hermione.

Uhura has graced our screens too.

So many strong women in movies right now. Many of them in action movies long considered to be the realm of the man.

Then what’s the problem with a lot of these stories? I just friggen’ said we have so many women now for people to look to as strong, independent characters who get shit done. Women who both boys and girls can look up to and follow and dress up as for Halloween and have posters of up on their walls

Well, for one, that seems like a lot of white heroic women which I realized as I started to put together this list of.

And for two, looking at promotional images like this one from the Rogue One, representation of women seems to stop at the strong hero.

Rogue one trailer poster




What are we left with? men

Beyond these characters we have Kylo Ren, Han Solo, Finn, Chewbacca, Harry Potter, Ron Weasley, Dumbledore, Snape, Superman, Batman, Gale, Peeta, Finnick, Spock, Kirk, Scotty…

We have lots and lots of men surrounding our white woman heroes.

Yes, there is a smattering of other women in these stories. Women like Leia and McGonagall and Ginny and Prim, but somehow, even in movies featuring strong women leads, we have to fill the rest of it with men in order for it to be loved.

And what happens when we do load more than one lead woman character—and one of them actually a woman of colour—into a movie? Well, we get the horrific display of human reaction that made up the Ghostbusters reboot. Or we get the equally hard to read criticism about man-baby cry-fest that centered around Furiosa and the Vuvalini.

I guess my point it: be happy that we have these strong women on display for boys and girls and men and women to see. But don’t assume “we’re there.” Don’t for a minute think that we are in a place where we would allow women to not only star in, but also support in, a blockbuster action movie without significant backlash.

So when we all flock to buy our Jyn Erso toys this winter, let’s remember that all the other figures we’d buy for that movie would be men.

And in a year when every single winner of a Nobel Prize was a man, we’re still not giving women the same opportunities we are giving to men. Not even close.

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