This is going to be quite a weekend for fans of strong and complex heroines. On Friday, November 20, we’re getting the final installment in the “Hunger Games” series, “Mockingjay — Part 2.” We’re also getting the release of the next Marvel series on Netflix, “Jessica Jones.” As much as I wish this wasn’t significant, it is. What we’re going to see is strong women but ones with flaws, meaning they’ll actually resemble real people.
I know that sounds a bit strange, but think about a lot of the “strong female characters” we’re used to. They get to be tough or vulnerable or a love interest. I’ve talked about this many times before, but today I’m thrilled to say that we’re seeing more well-rounded people.
In Katniss Everdeen and Jessica Jones, we’re seeing women dealing with PTSD. With Katniss, it’s from the horrors she experienced in the games and the manipulation of Peeta, her closest friend and maybe romantic interest being turned against her through torture and being used by the government of District 13.
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We don’t see Katniss as a one-dimensional hero (something we often see with male action heroes as well), kicking ass, having a dark or touching moment here and there, but mostly shooting up enemies with a smirk on her face and a hot costume. We see her actually reacting to the trauma she’s experienced. I think that’s why she’s so beloved. We like to think that, if we were in a situation like that, we’d kick ass too. What we’d really do is deal with the aftermath for the rest of our lives.
We’ll see that in Jessica Jones as well. Fans of the comics know that this character was a former superhero who was mentally manipulated by The Purple Man. After enduring months of doing terrible things while under his control, she’s left the superhero business and started up as a private investigator. As we can see from the promos, she’s dealing with the consequences and not really doing it very well. This is something we can all relate to.
I’m thrilled that we’re getting more real characters, especially in terms of women. I’ll be calling in sick to work on Friday to drink it all in. Anyone else?