On Our Bella, Ourselves

You know I'm just curious enough to wonder how this author would or has reacted to the My Little Pony Friendship is Magic show. You know with some people saying its a wonderful feminist show depicting six very different female characters (the booky, the care giver, the hardworker, the girly, the nut, and the sporty) and their interpersonal relationships. Others feel the bright colors and girly look of the show is a detraction.

I'd argue that Buffy for the time it was written was more original and was a nice counter balance to the long trope of a guy needing to save the girl. I could argue that Buffy as a character did have a lot of opportunities as caregiver (such as with her sister Dawn) and to be a little girly but that also got sidelined with the monsters and demons she had to fight.

In depicting tough women we've made a mistake in that a lot of them are flat. They are tough girls with no agency beyond reacting to events 9in a more violent manner) who don't have a reason to be tough except for the sake of being tough. That doesn't do a good job as we don't need tough women we need well rounded women in literature, movies and TV. Women who are human. This is why I love Gail Simone's work in comic books with the old Bird of Prey Series and Wonder Woman. Yeah she had rough and tumble tough girls but she also bothered to developed their interpersonal relationships, motives and actions beyond just the fighting. Yes its comic books with the unreasonable proportions and body images but that isn't always the biggest fight. Having well written women, or really characters, is a huge deal in any medium.

There isn't anything inherently wrong with archetypes and flat characters but I'd like to see more female characters out there with more to them then just the archetype. Male characters seem to escape the archetype fall back hole more often then women. I guess that is my problem with Twilight's Bella. Yeah she represents a type of woman and femininity in our culture. Yes the representation of Pregnancy rougher aspects isn't that far off if we're honest. Yes Bella represents the longing a lot of people have to be cared for by a bigger mate or to have their needs met.

At the same time Bella is the ostensible star of four books. Wouldn't it be nice to see her develop interests and acts outside of Edward or Jacob. I'm not picky i'd settle for her being into macreme or scrimshawing. I'd like to see Bella without either of them dominating her thoughts and time. Just as I'd like to see the female star of the dragon series perhaps relaxing a bit and letting herself do something soft. This wouldn't always work for movies or TV but in a multi book series I'd argue we have the time and space to do more.

But going back to my original thoughts i'd still like to see Ms. Blackwood's opinion of My Little Pony Friendship is Magic

Posted on November 17, 2011 at 12:35 pm 1