Spiderman's Damsel

September 29, 2009
Mary Jane Watson is one of the most pathetic movie/comic book characters I’ve ever seen. Kirsten Dunst may very well be one of my favorite actresses, but the woman she plays here is helpless, pathetic, and relies on Spiderman for nearly everything. Now, women don’t always have to be ultra strong and brave. Everyone is afraid at some point in their life. That's usually when you're weakest, despite the fact that you come out of that situation so much stronger. Everyone should know this.

The problem with society’s portrayal of many women today, mainly in the entertainment industry, is that when they are put in a life endangering position, they scream for help and rely on their man to protect them and do everything for them. Now… men are meant to be the “man of the house” and protect their lady. There’s no doubt about that. When in that kind of situation, of course you’re going to step up in front of your girl and fight for her.

But what if he can’t? What if he’s left fighting for his life and he starts to lose? What then? Is the girl simply a helpless damsel in distress who can’t stand up for herself, or is she strong and capable and able to fight back? The best example of this is, as noted above, is Mary Jane from the Spiderman series. Though she’s beautiful, she’s also stupid and helpless and is kidnapped in every single movie. She can’t do anything by herself in dangerous situations, and simply sits there screaming, waiting for Spiderman to come to her rescue once again. And what about all of those fairytales? As classic and fun as those stories can be, a princess can only fall into an eternal sleep and wait for her prince to rescue her with true love's first kiss so many times.

But what about such characters like Princess Fiona, from Shrek, or Rose from Titanic? They are characters who, though they have a boyfriend/husband, still aren’t afraid to step up in life endangering situations. Rose takes an axe and rescues her lover from death, while Fiona and her princess pals escape the evil confines of a jail cell and take care of many bad guys themselves. Most of it is played for laughs, but in many ways, it’s a great example of what women should be like. Their man is away and not able to be by their side. So… they take matters into their own hands.

And what about Jael and Esther from the Bible? Jael took a tent peg and drove it through a man's head to help the Israelites win a war, while Esther saved a whole group of Jews from death. Those two stories in themselves tell me that God never made women to sit on the side lines and watch their husband take the burden of life on by himself. He never made women unfit to do things by themselves. There's no harm in having a man by a woman's side and there's no harm in staying single your entire life. There is harm, however, if you become so attached to a man that you view him as your complete life and long for him to do everything for you. And there's also harm in staying single to the point where you begin to hate men, simply because you don't need one.

However, even once we agree on the way women should be treated… that doesn’t mean that men should be put out of the picture completely. In fact, many feminists today absolutely hate men and look upon them with disdain. What’s the point in that? If equality is what those women are fighting for... it's sure not going to be accomplished by belittling men and looking upon them as lesser than themselves. Sure… women could stay single their entire life, and they may be perfectly happy like that, but what if the perfect man comes into their life? Don’t keep the door locked… open it up and let him in. Having a man by your side is not a dastardly deed. We all fall at times, and we’re going to need someone to help pick us back up.

The example I always use when expressing my opinion on this is as follows: A robber breaks into a married couple’s home and the man starts to fight him. The wife is simply standing there with a brick at her feet. Does she continue to stand there, helpless, or pick up the brick and throw it at the robber’s head? Anyone with sense would go with the latter option. So why doesn’t anyone rarely show this in the movies, for example, today? It’s true… we have progressed a long ways from what we used to be. Women used to be simple objects to stay at the house all day and cook, clean, wash, etc. But that doesn’t mean we’ve reached our final goal.

What is the final goal, you may ask? For me… it’s simply equality for both men and women. It’s simply women being able to stand up for themselves, even if they do have a man by their side. Women shouldn’t rely on men for everything… trust me, I’m a man myself, and I wouldn’t even consider a girl like that. The men should be the ones to stand up and protect their woman, but that does not mean that a woman can’t help and show just as much skill or courage as a male. A man and a woman should be a team. They should be one. Females are not helpless and they are not weak. Period.

So here’s a toast to feminists who aren’t against men, but still believe and are willing to fight for equality.

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