“Question; tell me how you feel about this
Try to control me boy, you get dismissed
Pay my own fun, oh and I pay my own bills
Always 50/50 in relationships”
I am fairly sure the first time I ever watched the film Charlie’s Angels I was 9 or 10 years old. At the time I thought these women were kick-ass, modern and women I could aspire to be! They “Don’t need no men!”. Now at the age of 24 I can see this ain’t no feminist film! The 3 ladies are controlled by Charlie and will do whatever he says, even if it is putting themselves in danger. Did I mention this is a man they have never met?
Now lets put Charlie’s Angels to the side….. I am in my early 20’s, I have moved out of my parents’ home, I work and am trying to move up the career ladder. I am also single. I don’t desire the life of marriage and children. Now, I believe film and television characters should be people you can relate to. So do tell me, after the list I have made, who I can relate to? After seeing Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, I had a conversation with a co-worker about loving the film and the main thing I enjoyed was that it had a strong female lead, the character Jyn Erso played by Felicity Jones. His response was “You shouldn’t have to say that! It should just be a good female character”. My point is that we have to continue to use the phrase “Strong female lead” until it is the norm and more mainstream films create these kick-ass independent characters. Of course, Star Wars has a history of creating this type of character, the late Carrie Fisher played Princess Leia and Daisy Ridley who plays Rey.
Something I have noticed recently is period dramas have stronger and more relatable female characters. My all time favourite period drama, Downton Abbey, tries to modernise the younger female characters. My favourite is none other than Lady Sybil. She is well educated and incredibly political and wants to be part of the Suffragette movement, and wants to work as a nurse during the war. Even Lady Mary, who at the start is very much dependent on her farther and then husband, fights to be in control of the house while making her own choices. Another period drama who has a strong female lead was ITV drama Victoria. Yes this is factual based but you see the importance of her wanting to learn and do things her way. So why is it a period drama and a film based in the future have the most relatable female characters?
The television series Sex and the City claims to be somewhat feminist. Using men in ways women had been used in shows for years. But no, it is not feminist whatsoever! They come across as needy and desperate.
Perhaps it is because I am in my early 20s that I need strong female role models as lead characters, and maybe not even in just ‘lead’ roles. Perhaps there are more out there and I’m just not aware of them.
But come on, it is 2017 and it is about time that female characters weren’t all just sitting at home looking after the kids and waiting for their husbands to come home.