When Feminism Gets Tricky: Agent Carter and How She’s Treated

So, before this post begins: yay! Things have been updated! Are you interested in writing a guest blog? Apply! There’s a contact link at the top of this page. Also at the top of the page, my “Looking Forward To…” which typically outlines what I’m watching and reading each month, so check there for things you may not know about!fifty-fabulous-followers-final2

Also, over 50 followers? You guys! Thank you so much. I’m glad you enjoy my extremely opinionated and sometimes overly stubborn writing. If I typed emoticons, there would totally be a wink there.

Now, on to business: Did you watch Agent Carter? I hope you did! It’s a pretty fantastic piece and a great sub for Agents of Shield until it comes back on. I’ll attempt to keep my review spoiler-free.

Peggy is, obviously, one of my favorite characters ever now. I mean, not really since we’re still learning about her, but she’s amazing. She kicks butt, she’s a feminist, and she doesn’t need anyone’s help whatsoever when it comes to defending her honor.

But more than that, Peggy is flawed. The war is over and she’s treated as nothing more than a glorified secretary which makes her a bit angry (there’s a scene in a diner I’m thinking of), and on top of that it’s obvious that she has Survivor’s Guilt, mostly over losing Steve, but later on, because of others’ she’s lost as well. With this, she feels she has no choice but to be a loner in order to protect others.

On top of this, however, it seems as though she has a small disdain for the help of men. While she can get along withagent-carter-h-jpg them just fine, I question if having a woman in the office with her to defend her would leave her just as defensive, which is where the title of this post comes in.

Peggy’s not the perfect Agent and she’s not the perfect woman. She pushes others away as much as possible. Jarvis’ help seems impossible – which also has me questioning his wonderful character. He seems insistent on helping Peggy, but is this only because he wants to be helpful, or because he thinks she can’t handle it?

This is where Feminism becomes tricky: as women, we want to be able to do things on our own and prove ourselves (mainly because we haven’t gotten the chance to prove ourselves, especially in Peggy’s setting of 1946 New York), but at the same time, we need to be able to accept help when we need it, whether that help comes from a man or a woman.

This actually seems to be a bit of a theme in the show, where Peggy is refusing the help of others, while Jarvis is pressuring her to accept help if she needs it. We’ve pressured ourselves not to not need anyone, when in fact we as human beings need each other in general. Understanding the balance between showing that we’re Human while also demonstrating that we can handle ourselves and be just as powerful as men (and men can be just as powerful as women) has been the balance that we’re constantly working toward.

I’m looking forward to seeing Peggy balance out something that so many of us still struggle with in 2015.

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Did you watch Agent Carter? What did you think? (PS: Their Costume Designer deserves a Gold Medal).

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