Daenerys Targaryen and Natasha Romanoff: Two Powerful Women Meet Demoralizing Ends

In the Age Old Choice for Female Characters Between Powerful or Good, Wh*re or Madonna, Modern Writers Frequently Land on a Third Choice: Insane or Suicidal, Then Dead

When Joss Whedon’s dream came true and Natalia Alianovna Romanoff willingly flung herself to her death, I felt nothing. I knew from the moment she and Clint went off for the Soul Stone that she would die, but, stupidly, I didn’t quite get to the realization that she would be the one to kill herself – one of the few decisions she’s made for herself in her time in the MCU.

There aren’t a lot of options for women and girls to look up to as role models in media – not female ones, anyway. Growing up, I was always looking for female role models in media, and I frequently ended up in love with the ones who had agency, above all else. The “powerful or good” dichotomy that I wrote about in a post in response to the Frozen musical details the struggle I’ve always found in female characters. You can be powerful or good, have agency or compassion, intelligence or charm, be sexy or moral – wh*re or madonna.

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Role Models for Girls: The Good, the Evil, and the Frozen

 

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Or, Why Do Little Girls have to Choose Between Being Good and Being Powerful?

I was never much for Disney princesses growing up. None of them ever spoke to me. I was more into characters like Simba from Lion King. I suppose, for whatever reason, I was more concerned with the personality and journey of the character than their gender. Cinderella, Snow White, Sleeping Beauty, Jasmine, Ariel…none of them did anything for me. I don’t even remember thinking they were particularly pretty. I liked Megara from Hercules a little, but I was more about Pegasus, Hercules, and Hades in that movie. The complex characters with clear goals and inner journeys were always the ones who appealed to me. (And animals. Being an animal makes a big difference to me.)

Continue reading “Role Models for Girls: The Good, the Evil, and the Frozen”