2014 has been a terrible year for me as a person but an amazing one for women in television and movies, which isn’t all that bad. I can deal with that.
If you haven’t already heard, Nickelodeon’s The Legend Of Korra wrapped up yesterday, and on a completely wonderful note. Confession: I haven’t been following the show religiously but I did come across some gifs of the finale and (SPOILER) Korra and Asami kind of end up together.
What’s interesting about this is that Korra and Asami are two women. Of colour. On an animated children’s show.
That’s pretty rad, come on.
2014 has been a pretty great year for women in pop culture and this was the tastiest butterscotch icing on the cake.
This year was when we saw a lot of women take ownership of their sexuality and power, and kick sexism in the balls. Cases in point: Nicki Minaj, Miley Cyrus, Cate Blanchett, Viola Davis, Jodie Foster, Scarlett Johansson, Beyoncé, etc. It made for great entertainment for the audience because, really, who doesn’t love watching chauvinists getting called out on their crap? Admit it, you love it too.
Well, let’s just focus on TV and movies here. We had many daring films and TV shows about all sorts of women come out or continue this year (pun completely intended). Queer women, women of colour, disabled women – you name it, 2014 has it.
We’ve got a TV show about prison lesbians (Orange Is The New Black), one about a Head B*tch In Charge law professor (How To Get Away With Murder), an all-female web series about a lesbian vampire (Carmilla), and a movie about old lesbians (Reaching For The Moon). More recently we have Predestination, which features a very well-written female character and a transsexual man. (Don’t watch the movie for the plot, I know it sounds cool, but it’s really not.)
The best part about all this is that they were as tastefully done as possible. I’m not talking about the bullshit Blue Is The Warmest Color softcore, “artsy” porn. I’m talking well-developed characters with realistic back-stories and strong, admirable relationships with other female characters.
The best-friends-until-a-cute-guy-walks-in female friendship trope is an endangered species as of 2014. So are the mum-and-daughter-are-unsupportive-of-each-other, women-of-colour-as-designated-stereotypes and my least favourite, women-as-props tropes.
As I’ve mentioned previously, representation is so important. Letting little girls know that their opinion is valued is so important. Showing queer little girls that they’re not abnormal is so important. Telling little girls of colour that they are also as beautiful is so important. I wish I had been told all these things and more growing up, but right now, it warms my heart to know that kids get to see and hear more of this.
We’re progressing towards a time where women are being written as women. Women are being written as human beings. Women are breaking out of the mould. Women are finally being animated, written and developed differently from other women. Women are given more airtime and less air in their heads. Women are voicing opinions. Women are loving other women, as lovers, friends, and family.
“Women” are not a homogenous group, and that’s finally being recognised.
TV and movies are so powerful. Can you believe writers are actually spending time on making female characters as humanly diverse as possible? I never thought this day would come. Let’s just wait and see if this trend continues into not only 2015, but well into the future. Until then, let’s raise our glasses to 2014: The Year Of Women.