Let me tell you who I am not.
I am not Scarlett Johansson in the Avengers whose talent is in using her seductive sexuality to misguide men into sharing their secret plans.
I am not Lisbeth Salandar from The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo, a socio path who cannot relate to society but has the guts and know how to use a stun gun and computer hacking skills beyond the norm.
I am not Kate Beckinsale in Underworld running around in tight black pleather sucking blood and saving werewolves.
I am not Milla Jovovich in Resident Evil saving the future world from the Umbrella Corporation with super natural virus enhancing fighting abilities.
And while it is not a current reference I am not She-Ra princess of power either. For those of you that remember her, I will forever have a place in my heart for the answer to He-Man (welcome back 1987).
I am Addison Towne. An author, and a believer in what women can do when put to the test. When I set out to write Suburban Task Force, I wanted to create heroes I could relate to. Heroes that would hopefully end up on the big screen one day as well. Not just heroes that could complete unbelievable feats of super human skills one after another while maintaining perfect hairdos. My heroes had to have heart, a realistic quality to them, and at the end of the day, they had to be funny, because if we aren’t laughing we aren’t living.
Filmmakers used to be enthralled with the idea of a formidable female force. One that could do normal human feats, such as ride a horse, drive a car and put up a fight when attacked all while ensued in an action scene. But that no longer seems good enough. Women have to be given more, like an extra oomph to make them worthy of action on the big screen. For example, why do the women in the Charlie’s Angels movies have to fly up a fence during a fight scene? Wouldn’t it have been just as cool a scene if they had stayed on the ground?
One recent exception to this would be the Salt movie with Angelina Jolie, although I think we all find it hard to believe her skinny arms could inflict much damage. Yes, she jumps off a bridge and lands on a bus, but she does so without any extra help. As excited as I was by this movie, I had to remember that her role was originally written for Tom Cruise, not a female character.
I’m not saying I don’t enjoy these stars and the characters they portray. I just can’t say I get why an action star can’t be an every day ‘Jane’
We see it all the time with men like Bruce Willis in the Die Hard Series. He was just your everyday cop.
Or in the movie Unstoppable with Chris Pine, and Denzel Washington. They were just everyday railroad engineers. Or Tom Cruise in pretty much every movie. He is just the everyday guy who can run, really, really fast. No super human powers. No using sex. No sociopaths.
Writing Suburban Task Force allowed me to bring my vision of the everyday super hero to life; the moms, sisters, friends and women from my world. I wanted them to be able to look in their purse and know they had the tools to survive. I wanted them to step outside of their comfort zone and explore the strength from within.
I am lucky and proud to be a woman. I like action. I like adventure. I like to shop and have fun. So why is it so hard to find these types of women on the big screen? Why is it not enough?
Why do you think the movies can’t accept us for who we are when presented with the need to survive?
I look forward to the discussion!