Communicator (communicator) wrote,
Communicator
communicator

The Women Men Don't See

I notice that the gunman, Loughner, in Arizona, was disarmed by an unarmed 61 year old woman, enabling him to be knocked down. The gunman who threatened a school board in the US recently was also knocked down by an unarmed woman. I know this is a minor issue in both cases, but I wanted to mention it because I think the actions of women, the way women behave in real life, are completely misrepresented in mainstream drama. Women are portrayed either as super-amazons or more commonly as passive victims. But in real life, women vary a lot, and some are quite brave and resourceful in a crisis. I don't even know this woman's name, she was briefly mentioned in a BBC report and I haven't seen any further mention of her.

ETA - link from altariel with more details. Her name was Patricia Maisch.

And it's like every time you confront these stereotypes - for example that heroes are armed muscular men, that women are naturally cowardly, that 'passivity' is a feminine quality - you have to start from scratch, as if all these real life events have never happened.

And think about that Bechdel Test - that it is a rare film which shows women talking to each other about stuff other than male romantic interests. This is women's whole life - well the great bulk of our lives - working, struggling, talking to each other about stuff. You know that James Tiptree Jnr story 'The Women Men Don't See'? I sometimes feel this is our whole existence, something happening in plain sight, but not seen.

I know there are many more important issues around this particular shooting, but I think they have been very well expressed by others, and I haven't seen this one mentioned much. I suppose just wanted to state a little tribute to the woman who helped stop the shooting, alongside all the quite justified anger and sorrow about all that happened before she intervened.
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