In my class, students read a lot of comics. A goodly portion of them are superhero comics. Super HERO comics. Of those that aren’t “superhero” comics, they often still have “heroes” though not so super. “Heroes” do heroic things. A lot of those heroic things include SAVING PEOPLE.
So I laugh to myself when I read a student write about some comic they’ve read: “oh, hero saved the damsel in distress. I hate this trope, therefore I hate this comic.”
I get it. No really, I do. You’ve been told this for years—that women don’t need to be rescued, women are tough, they don’t need a “man” to rescue them, etc., so the story is old and therefore you should hate it.
The problem (often) is, it ain’t about the person being rescued being a woman. I mean, heroes can save THE WORLD (which includes men and women) like the Avengers do in the movies…but that, too, can get old after a while. No, it’s about the hero doing something heroic, saving SOMEONE in need of saving.
If heroes are saving people, they’re either going to save a damsel in distress or a dude in distress. You’ve got a 50/50 chance of either of those. I guess you COULD make it 33/33/33 and make it a “kid” where it doesn’t really matter if they’re a boy or girl, they’re a kid.
But…I dunno, people need saving sometimes. Sometimes that person is a man, sometimes that person is a female …let heroes by heroes. Let them save people. Let them save kids. Let them save dudes. Let them save damsels! I WANT to see my heroes doing heroic things!
And PS. For the uninitiated, “heroes” can be a male or female. It’s not about their biology, it’s about what they do with the power they have.
2 responses to “Not all bad tropes are bad”
“And PS. For the uninitiated, “heroes” can be a male or female. It’s not about their biology, it’s about what they do with the power they have.”
As was clearly seen by first responders, doctors and nurses when the pandemic broke out. Heroes all.