By Lailah Knight (December 26, 2015)
I really like this show, Love it even. It’s not without it’s flaws. I do recall thinking about halfway through episode 1: “I can tell this is based on a Marvel comic, because all the female characters are unusually thin and beautiful, and are embodying a bunch of cliched masculine bullshit, namely stoic anti-hero, super strength, because nothing’s more attractive in our society at present than women who embody masculinity. Whose personality and behaviour is masculine enough to garner respect, but is still delicate and pretty enough, that men don’t question their sexuality for being attracted to her, even though she’s basically Batman with lipstick. I’m not sure I can continue watching this drivel.”
It’s seems the ideal women these days is a lean muscled, emotionally repressed, Victoria Secret model, who deals with the unfathomable abuse they suffer as a woman, by being stoic and learning a martial art. PTSD solved. None of that ugly crying shit. And if she is going to hide in her house out of terror, you bet your ass she’s going to do it in style with a panic room, personal trainer, tiny silk robe and perfect hair, because being a victim of abuse is so glamorous. Is a raging alcoholic, because drinking is fun, but still highly functional. Because she needs to look pretty while destroying her liver. Is a creepy stalker, so creepy dudes can feel less creepy about themselves while watching the show. Is unnecessarily violent so dudes can feel good about that too. Verbally disparaging because being an asshole is cute and charming. Acts like Jimmy McNulty, but looks like a model. Perfect woman. I feel so empowered right now.
Don’t know if you’ve seen the show yet, but you know the bit where Jessica is spying on Luke through the window and he’s with that voluptuous black chick, with cellulite, who’s cheating on her husband with him? I remember thinking how much cooler this show would be if she was the superhero. I want to know her story. I could give two fucks about this female Batman. She’s ridiculous.
I don’t really blame any of this on the shows producers. This shit is Marvel all over. It’s catering to young men. And women who already know if they want to be respected, they had better cater to young men’s desires. I will still watch it, because despite being absurd, it’s entertaining as fuck. And I would love to wake up tomorrow and be like Jessica Jones.
Thin, beautiful and strong and able to leap over my ptsd in a single, superpowered bound. To be able to wipe away a tear, slam down a whiskey and take revenge on my abusers. This show caters to my fantasies pretty well. Does it reinforce a buch of unhealthy and damaging, sexist bollocks? Absolutely. Jessica appears to survive via photosynthesis. I’ve yet to see her eat a single thing. You know what happens to women who don’t eat because beauty standards, and drink heavily because emotions are gross? Amy Winehouse. Pretty and dead. But I still love it. Guilty pleasure.
Lailah Knight is an Australian philosopher/writer with an interest in ethics, sociology, feminism and pop culture.