In November of 2015, the first season of Marvel’s Jessica Jones premiered on Netflix. Being more of a DC fan than a Marvel fan, watching the show was a spur of the moment decision, but it was definitely a good one. But after only a few episodes, it was very clear to me that Jessica is an inspiring, feminist hero. Here are my top five reasons why.
1. She’s strong
While she does have the superpower of exceptional physical strength, she also has inner strength. Throughout the first season, and the second season from what I’ve heard, it is apparent that Jessica has been through some really horrible things in her life. But despite these things, she continues to fight back against the demons of her past.
2. She knows who she is and makes no apologies for it.
Jessica is, understandably, a pretty jaded person. She doesn’t let people get close to her very easily, not to mention her alcoholism and anger management problem. While she does have a few issues to work through, she doesn’t let anyone make her feel bad for who she is.
3. She breaks the mold of what it means to be a woman.
Growing up, girls are traditionally encouraged to like makeup, dresses, jewelry, and the color pink. These are the things girls are supposed to like, and that’s it. Girls are also always supposed to be quiet and polite. Jessica breaks this stereotype. She never (voluntarily) wears a dress and always prefers to keep it simple, comfortable, and functional. She’s loud, and often times rude, but she always speaks her mind. Although she does not discourage others from being “girly” (because you can dress/act however you want), she offers another model of what it means to be a woman.
4. The message of consent
In addition to the comedic moments, Jessica Jones also addresses darker themes, most notably rape. Jessica Jones is especially important in light of the #MeToo and #TimesUp movements. Whenever the subject comes up, Jessica is always quick to emphasize that if there is no consent, then it is rape, and that is not okay. She is also invaluable to someone who was victimized in the same way she was and is quick to tell her that what happened was not her fault. Giving the message of the importance of consent is always important, and Jessica Jones is great at emphasizing it.
5. She’s realistically human
An important thing to note is that a being perfect is not a requirement for being inspirational. Jessica is not one of those heroes that excels at almost everything and has only one weakness. She has flaws. As I previously mentioned, she is an alcoholic, she has an anger management problem, and she pushes people out. Like everyone, she has her moments when she feels like a crap human, but she doesn’t let it stop her from living her life and doing what’s right. Although reluctantly, she does let people help her when it really matters. And when she does push people away, it is always in attempt to keep those people safe because, although she has a dysfunctional way of showing it, she really does care about them. Everyone wants to keep their loved ones safe, and this is what Jessica tries to do more than almost anything else.