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Sunday, February 28, 2016

From Hunger Games to Star Wars, and Beyond: The Rise of the Heroine

When the first Hunger Games movie was released in 2012, it was one of a kind: not many movies had a strong heroine type lead back then. The popularity of the Hunger Games series appears to have changed that forever. In the past few months, many big movies have been released featuring strong heroine type leads, including the latest Star Wars movie (a first for that previously male-dominated franchise, so congrats), The Fifth Wave, Joy, Sufferagate, not to mention the whole Divergent series.

Whilst this may be dismissed by some as just Hollywood's latest fashion, I beg to differ. I have always believed that cultural change is the path to real gender equality, and like it or not, Hollywood driven popular culture affects our wider cultural conversation to a great degree. Whilst some feminists have focused on political initiatives like affirmative action, I have always believed that they are not the way to go, that changing the culture is the only way to go. For 'cultural' feminists like myself, any signs of cultural change is an important victory, and wholesale cultural change driven by Hollywood is a big game changer indeed.

What do you think?