Netflix's PowerPuff Girls
You go girls
Written by Gunn
Have you watched a character in a series recently that has left you with a special fire in your heart, or a burning sensation in your gut to be the women warrior you are viewing on your screen? Netflix has been churning out some fabulous series in recent years, and with the platform's viewings skyrocketing due to the stay at home movement, I want to delve deep into looking at how these fictional forceful figures are helping impact gender equality in our younger generations.
Sex Education has been a worldwide phenomenon of a show, breaking stereotypes of sexuality and race with crucial characters across the board. One ultimate 'middle fingered' showstopper is Mauve Wiley. I adore her fierceness, subsequently not the main character of the series, Maeve conveys such importance in her outlandish ways. From her glorious pink hair, non-sexualised outfits, and passion for poetry, she draws away from the usual 'Blair's' of Gossip Girl or 'Brooke's' of One Tree Hill to a 21st-century world where women can see themselves as equals towards the opposite sex. The storylines explored through the script, even though sometimes revolving around the desire for a man, have deferred away from the norm into emerging themes around careers and creativity. Every time I witnessed Mauve achieve an award for her academics, or excel in her independence at school, it gave me hope that we are finally listening to the shocking statistics and data being preached about how we portray women characters on our screens.
Natasha's character is explored in a dangerously beautiful way in Russian Doll. Seeing a lead female role in a Netflix series is somewhat a rarity if you pan across the other comparisons like 'The Witcher' 'You' 'Narcos' and 'Better Call Saul' all with male-dominant stars. What makes Natasha's character so intriguing is that Russian Dolls follows her failures in life, exploiting her trips and slips, ultimately leading to her deaths. We are familiar with seeing women's failures in television draw out a negative narrative for the character, such as 'Desperate Housewives' storylines or 'Two Broke Girls', indicating to young girls watching that failure leads to depression or brings you into a lower class of society. Instead, Natasha excels in her failures overcoming her mistakes by tackling them head-on. Being a writer for the series herself, Natasha Lyonne is creating a new wave of women on our screens, understandably a rather troubled individual, but one that doesn't shy away from realities but shows viewers to observe your failures rather than bury them.
I recently slammed myself into this series by Carly Mensch. Ruth is unlike any other female character I've come across, and I think she is vital in showing young girls they are equal against competitive sportsmanship to men. We have seen 'Bend it Like Beckham' and 'She's a man' but what both these movies failed to focus on was emotions of the character, without constantly comparing them to a male player, but just their pure joy in competition without referencing the men. Ruth's dedication to keep attending the spandex-laden world of women's wrestling for needs to pay her rent and buy her food shows girls the importance, and necessity, of sport, not just to highlight that we are capable, but that this our way of life. I love that the writers choose for her to be explored as an unlikeable character, sleeping with her best friend's husband, which would never have been explored at the beginning of a series 5 years ago. The diversity of women in this series are so crucial to show young female of all shapes and sizes, they too have a voice and to go forth and compete.
I aspire to be these women figures that Netflix are creating and I dearly hope, whilst staying at home through these troubling times, young girls are reflecting and taking away the feeling of empowerment in how they view themselves in our society growing up.