ByJack Carr, writer at
You are the Princess Shireen of the House Baratheon, and you are my daughter.
Jack Carr

It seems insane to be thinking about season 2 of Jessica Jones already when the first season hasn't even been out there a month, but isn't that what Netflix's binge-viewing culture has done to us? It made us greedy and now we're hungry for more.

So without further ado, let's talk about the real feminist hero of this show - and why it's actually not Jessica. It goes without saying that this post is full of...

Reading Jessica

First things first: Jessica herself is brilliantly written. She's such a step forward for female superheroes on screen that the idea of now saying somebody like Black Widow is a feminist role model seems vaguely insane.

Before this series, male writers positioned female heroes as "strong" by giving them super-strength comparable to a man, at the same time giving them almost no character development and having them wear latex suits so that we don't forget they have tits.

The best representation I've seen was probably Ant-Man's Hope Pym (Evangeline Lilly), who displayed a clear motivation for donning a suit whilst also holding down a career working for Darren Cross.

The difference between Jessica and those who've come before is that she's been adapted for the screen by a woman (Melissa Rosenberg, exec producer of the show), and for that reason she feels like a woman who exists in the real world and happens to have superpowers. She's allowed to demonstrate strength and vulnerability, but no singular trait defines her character. That's progress.

And yet...

There's an argument to be made that it's Trish, not Jessica, who is this series' real feminist hero.

For one thing, Rosenberg and the writers have established a deep bond between the two women at the fore of this show which transcends the vast majority of female friendships seen on TV, and completely cuts out all of the usual cliches about how women behave once a man enters their life.

We see this in the way Trish responds once Simpson begins to display obsessive and later aggressive behavioural traits, particularly after taking Dr. Kozlov's mystery red pills. Even before he turns "bad", Trish has no qualms about disregarding the instructions Simpson gives her with regards to staying indoors and out of harm's way. One quote is particularly enlightening: "Last night was fun, but that doesn't mean I need your opinion" (from episode 5, "AKA the Sandwich Saved Me").

That Trish doesn't even think twice about twisting her perspective to view Simpson as an enemy force speaks to her deep loyalty to Jessica; a lesser writer than Rosenberg would have fallen back on the lazy trope of having Trish side with the man she's had in her bed for all of five minutes, thus creating a fracture in the friendship.

And let's cast our minds back to the sex scene in Trish's apartment, when we see Simpson going down on her beneath the sheets. We're used to seeing this with the roles reversed, but for the man to be giving that pleasure? Not so much.

Far from being gratuitous, this scene serves a bigger purpose: to demonstrate that Trish is not passive in any aspect of her life. She takes what she wants and she does not allow herself to be used, a byproduct of the miserable childhood she endured with an emotionally and sometimes physically abusive mother.

Enter Hellcat

In season 2 we can expect to see Trish's dominant personality traits amplified when she steps up as the comic book heroine Hellcat. I've written already about why Hellcat will be crucial to Jessica's fight against Simpson, who's basically guaranteed to be back as the IGH mystery begins to unfold. A year from now, the case for Trish being a win for feminism may well be even stronger.

Trish Walker: Strong in more ways than one
Trish Walker: Strong in more ways than one

There's actually no solid word on when season 2 is coming, but the first season got such glowing reviews that Netflix won't want to hang around, so expect it to drop before 2016 is out.

Check out my previous article: Jessica Jones Has a New Enemy in Season 2 (and a Hellcat in Her Corner).

In the meantime, I want to know what you think...


Is Trish a step forward for feminism in the realm of superheroes on screen?


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