Why Agent Carter is such a good example of feminism
It is no mystery I love comics, be it DC or Marvel. (but Marvel more:)) Recent TV Shows like Jessica Jones and Agent Carter really put the spotlights on strong, feminine, badass characters. I chose Agent Carter because she is a bit more relatable as a human, without superpowers, unlike Jessica. (but hey, I love’m both, alright?)
Why is this important?
I don’t know about you, but in the country I live in (Romania), society is still patriarchal and we terribly lack examples of women leaders to follow, or they are too few, or they are unknown. (I hope it’s obvious there are also individuals who are the opposite of what I mentioned) This article, however, is not about men. It’s about women inspiration … and not only in my country. Whilst there are many others out there whom I appreciate, Agent Carter stole my heart. Because…
1. She doesn’t take s**t from anybody
Working in a man-surrounded environment in the 1950s damn sure ain’t easy. But Peggy Carter doesn’t care. She is stubborn in her pursuit of doing more than secretarial work, in doing what she loves, without listening to orders from men who command her only because she’s a woman, thus inferior. Only because they think she’s not qualified for the job and her title is just a “medal” for her romantic affair with Captain America.
Her strength and wit are admirable, comparing to a beautiful raging river looking to break the dam it’s holding it in the way. Basically, if people told Peggy Carter “You can’t do this”, she would say “Watch me”. However…
2. She is not afraid of exposing her vulnerability
Or asking for what she wants. Peggy can also be sensitive and if that means she will cry sometimes or feel trapped or insecure, then so be it. She is real, unapologetic about her emotions and does not fake it just because it doesn’t “look good” or “women should keep appearances”. Also, screw “women are so emotional and can’t think straight”, because Peggy OWNS her feelings. As every human being out there, she goes through hardships (especially after Captain’s gone) and it is recurring in her life, but she finally moves over. Not a drama queen, not ashamed of loving. Which takes me to…
3. She doesn’t depend on relationships
While ”I don’t need a man” principle is applicable and relevant to some counterparts, Agent Carter does not necessarily ignore this option. She knows not to feel pressured and that she does not need to be in a relationship with someone just for the sake of it or because people are talking. She knows that a right time will come for that and it will be someone who deserves her. And the time came. Sweet loving, Captain America. :)
This demonstrates women can be well off independent, leaders of their own lives. And yet, when the independence is gone, and they move into an intimate connection with someone, women can still be leaders of their life.
5. She doesn’t dress to impress (men)
I’m not saying it’s wrong to dress to impress men, do whatever you want, but being classy isn’t the reason she looks like that. She’s chic because she wants to, for herself. She doesn’t need to prove to anyone of her charms of beauty. Take it or leave it. And while her beauty can be considered just another pretty face (it IS actually perceived like that in the series), she breaks another wall by showing appearance has nothing to do with inabilities, lack of competence or brains.
A woman doesn’t need to dress like a man to impose herself. She can still wear heels, dresses and make the rules like a BOSS! Also she doesn’t need to …
5. She doesn’t need to explain her life choices
I think it’s wonderful to have a baby and you know, form a family. But why should women who choose otherwise be judged and crucified? Peggy conscientiously chooses to focus on her career, on a bigger purpose and following the traditional “let’s get married and have a baby” doesn’t seem to fit her plans. That doesn’t mean she is less of a woman or that hasn’t fulfilled her destiny as a woman. (which, by the way, sounds horrible) Haters gonna hate and penguins gonna penguin.
Each woman is different, unique and beautiful in her imperfections and there is not a single thing that should define her femininity. Peggy agrees.
6. She knows her value
There’s isn’t much I can add here. Knowing your value doesn’t mean one is arrogant or pretentious. Too many times, however, we, women, are told we’re not good enough and are demotivated by mean, gross, creepy insults and comments from the other sex (and what’s even more sadly, this happens among ourselves too). That shouldn’t shake our confidence about who we are and the fact that we DO bring value to this world.
The world was built on women’s shoulders, really…
But better listen to Peggy and imagine it as a mantra:
Now replace “She” with anyone... :)
One perspective I have on this issue is that sometimes this isn’t even about men limiting our choices. It’s about us believing more in ourselves, being more confident and speaking up about OUR causes, OUR problems, OUR priorities, which matter as much as those of men’s. And I think Peggy Carter is an inspiring example and role model in this sense.
P.S. … totally unrelated, her British accent is SO.DAMN.AWESOME. :)