Down with the damsels

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BRUNSWICK, OH – It is 2016. It is a time of equality, and feminism, and fairness. People these days are conscientious of gender roles and have no problem setting guidelines for how to better future generations according to them. We are a nation that has it set in its’ mind that things need to get better, yet we keep creating the same old things.

People will preach up and down about young girls needed better role models, and that the toys they play with set bad examples, or the songs they listen to set the wrong impressions; so why is there no problem with the message of the damsel in distress? Why is it still okay for girls to be taught that they need a man to save them?

It can be argued that Lois Lane and Superman are an iconic love story, but I personally see nothing romantic about a woman putting herself in outlandish situations and relying on a man to drop whatever he is doing to come to her rescue. Yes- Clark Kent loves Lois Lane, but where does it make sense for him to put saving the world on hold for him to stop her from drowning? The knight in shining armor image is outdated and needs to be forgotten. Young girls already grow up thinking they are lesser than their male counterparts, so they need an extra push to believe that they have their own brains. The glitz and glam of Hollywood portraying weak women has got to come to an end.

The problem with movies today is that a production can never seem to get female characters quite right. For a woman to be independent in a film, she must also be standoffish and rude. Of course the rest of the characters like her because her male love interest “sees the good in her”. If a woman in a film is in love, that is her only motivation. She could have her own dreams but put everything on hold for the sake of a man; who the majority of the time the film is centered around, so of course he doesn’t have to compromise for her sake. There always seems to be a lack of middle ground for the sake of entertainment. Female characters don’t seem to get to go through the same development the males do, and they don’t get the same depth.

Often times the issue at hand in movies or on TV is that the actress portraying a character is faulty, and that it is because of her that a character is unlikable. Everyone hated Bella from Twilight for that reason, but the fact of the matter is: Kristen Stewart played Bella exactly as she was written. She wasn’t a bad actress, she was just playing a terrible character.

There are plenty more points I could make on the topic, but for the sake of time, I will end with this: female characters are not props. Women as a whole are not made to be perfect molds for supporting a storyline. Complexity is lost on the big screen, and in a time that is so progressive, it is still disappointing to see women on screen whose only character trait is to be helpless and in love.