The Women’s Corner: no longer a damsel in distress

Tabitha Barr

The evolution of how females are treated has changed drastically in the last century, and it is still continuing to change. Sometimes, it may not seem like it with the not-so-positive situations that occur, but women have made an astonishing leap throughout history.

The reason this subject popped into my head, is from watching old time movies and how women were portrayed for these certain stereotypes. Recently, the shows that brought this to my attention is old-time westerns that have the badass hero who has to fight this manly bad guy. It seems that in any of shows, there is always a damsel in distress situation. So this male hero has to come rescue this poor beautiful maiden, or you just see this female character screaming her head off in the distance. It’s like they think women couldn’t do anything for themselves, and would easily rely so heavily on a man. But all they could do was stand there and react instead of taking action.

Every time I watch these kind of shows, I just sit there staring at the screaming lady, acting so helpless, and I just question if she would shut her mouth and do something to help the situation, it could be so much better. Instead of standing there screaming like them yelling is going to do anything to make the situation better.

I think my biggest question is for the writers of these old time shows – was it a style choice, or did they really think that women couldn’t handle themselves or others unless it was in a home setting? Because, I don’t know if it’s just the times that I grew up in, but even watching old-time shows where these female characters are so mentally and physically strong. Or at least smart enough to know that screaming isn’t going to help the situation.

I guess it’s hard for me to wrap my head around the fact that women were seen, and sometimes are still seen, like fragile beings that can only take care of little children and the household. Because nowadays, females are known the standing up for what they believe in. And to fight the stigma of how things were, and switch that to how things are nowadays.

Women are empowering women. Men are empowering women. It’s this whole cycle, and finally women are gaining back the right to be considered actual human beings, and not just some side character who’s screaming her head off while just watching the scene go down from the sidelines.

I don’t think I can explain how happy I am that women aren’t just side characters anymore. It’s nice to know that I can be my own hero whether that be taken literally or not, I don’t just have to stand nearby and watch the fight go down, but I can get up ready myself for the fight and go for the kill.

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