Dear America: Can We Stop Portraying Women This Way?

Women don’t need knights, or anyone else, to save them.



A book of poems where there is no damsel in destress, no princes saving the day, a poem book where she saves herself.

Macy Hutchinson, Staff Writer

When I was a little kid I was obsessed with Disney movies, but I could not stand the princess. I was more of a villain kid. I never looked up to the princesses.

I did not like how they always waited for a prince to save them instead of saving themselves. Instead of doing everything possible to get out of the fiery building, they waited for a guy to come save them.

Maybe that is why I took a liking to the villains. Even though they were doing bad things, they were not afraid to do them. They did not wait for someone to come save them when they got into a tough situation–they figured it out on their own.

I never really took a liking to romance movies either for the same reason. Women always seemed to be portrayed as the problem. I mean obviously when the women is the problem she’s the problem, but whenever the guy is the problem he is written off as misunderstood and the woman has to change and forgive huge problems.

Sandy from Grease’s iconic personality change for a man who was “too good for the real her” (Odyssey (Abigail Adler )

Look at the musical Grease; it is a classic, but that movie is so problematic. He loves her in the summer but his ego is too high to date because of what people would think and what would happen to his “street cred”, so in order for him to love her and not to be just a summer fling then, she needed to change. She had to become a smoking, cat suit-wearing, “bad girl” for him to be with and appreciate her. How is that okay?

You could say Danny changed, too, and became a jock. Well, Danny never lost his true self. He ran track and found something else that he is good at. Plus, many people only credit Sandy with changing, but most forget about Danny’s change. I know I did. Also Sandy’s change was a lot more severe than Danny’s.

You could also argue that “well it’s out of date, it’s an old movie.” Yes, that is true, but what about more recent movies? In the After series, books, or movies, they only start dating because he was dared to date her, and he just happened to fall for her. Apparently, because he learned to love her, everything was okay.

As much as I love the movie 10 Things I Hate About You, it ends the same way as all the others. He dated her because he was being paid to do so, not because he wanted to. He took the money every time. You can argue, “well maybe he needed the money to take her out.” Maybe it is just me, but I would rather the date not cost anything, like go walk around the mall and not buy anything, then have him be paid to take me out. Then, in the end, he buys her an expensive guitar and all is forgiven.

The poem scene from 10 Things I Hate About You. The classic moment when Kat shows how much pain that he caused for her. Scene linked to photo. (BuzzFeed)

Maybe it’s me, maybe I tend to hold a grudge for too long, but if a guy is being paid to take me out, makes me cry in front of my class, and then just buys me a guitar and expects everything to be okay, everything most certainly would not be okay.

Women are not just represented poorly in romance movies. What about all the female superheroes? Yes, we did get these strong women that are showing women are just as strong as men, but what about their uniforms?

Do not get me wrong, I love superhero movies, I am totally a Marvel girl, but tell me why every single female superhero uniform is either short, tight, or skimpy, matched with a lovely pair of heels.

Gal Gadot’s rendition of Wonder Women, in her flow-y bikini bottem uniform. (DC Fandom )

According to Tv Tropes, originally superhero uniforms were designed based on circus outfits. They were supposed to be designed to show off how fit and muscular these heroes were.

That still does not explain the short skirts and heels. Look at Wonder Woman-her skirt is just a flowy bikini bottom. I know she is supposed to be an Amazon warrior, but there is still no need for her to wear such a short skirt.

DC may have mastered the short skirts, but Marvel has mastered the skin-tight uniforms and heels. I bet you cannot name a single Marvel female superhero that does not wear heels and a cat suit. If you look close enough they all have baby heels.

I know you might be thinking “they are baby heels, and that’s the same as no heels.” Let me tell you, as someone who wears heels, they hurt, and kicking some bad guy butt, even in baby heels, must be hard.

You could argue that these female superheroes fight just as good as their male co-workers, just in tight, short uniforms and heels. Hawkeye could never do it; he rarely has enough arrows, let alone fight like Black Widow in wedges.

The comic interpretation of She Hulk vs. the new television show interpretation of She Hulk. (Umer Javed)

Even the superheroes that transition into something or someone else. She Hulk in the comic books is this big muscular women, and she looks like a hulk. In the new tv show, She Hulk just got taller. She just looks like a green lady, not even like a Hulk. They could have at least made her look like a hulk, not like she’s going to be auditioning for America’s Next Top Model.

Female only fight scene in Avengers endgame changing a few things in society and screaming, Feminism. Scene linked to photo. (Zack Sharf)

This scene did impress me, but can you see one character who’s not in a skin tight uniform?

There is not, or not that I see, but we did finally get a great scene where we see all Marvel female heroes band together.

In the end the problem of women being portrayed as weak, or damsels in distress has gotten a lot better than it was. As society has changed, this problem has grown out, or at least become better. Somethings could still improve in my eyes, but I believe it will get there.

All I ask is, next time you watch a Marvel, DC, or some other action movie, you watch for these little things. The next time you watch a romance movie I ask you to watch how much she is asked to forgive and ask yourself, “If I was her would I be able to forgive that much for that little remorse?”

The only way females in media gets better if we as a society, make it better; but hey, that’s only this non-heel wearing, not skin tight costume sporting woman’s opinion.