Being male, perhaps I am out of my element, yet I can’t help but notice this recurring theme making the rounds in the media on “women as heroes (in movies).”
Two recent characters that are often pointed to as examples of women as heroes include Kristen Stewart’s Snow White in Snow White and the Huntsman, or Jennifer Lawrence’s Katniss Everdeen in The Hunger Games.
Yet both of these movies fit under the fantasy genre: Snow White and the Huntsman is a well-worn fairy tale with this latest take amplified by aggression, and The Hunger Games celebrates adolescent butchery.
Yet, I don’t seem to recall anyone using Viola Davis’ Aibileen Clark from The Help or Julia Roberts’ Erin Brockovich from the movie of the same name as examples of women as heroes.
Or what of a woman as hero who is not (as yet) a part of a movie, Samar Yazbek?
I guess a woman has to show the ability to slash a throat – remaining stoic while watching the blood trickle – to be deemed a hero today, much in the same manner as males have been portrayed since the advent of the moving picture.
One could consider this a type of equality, with women now sinking to the same level of portrayals as men in the role of the bloodletting hero.
But just ask any veteran, who has been in the thick of war, whether they see anything heroic in bloodletting.
Photo from JD Hancock licensed under Creative Commons