Written by Mariem ELTagoury
*Please note that names of places & people are kept discreet for privacy issues. Also the use of Franco Arab in this article is to deliver the detailed picture of incidents.
So I’ve just watch “The Hunger Games” ‘and “Catching Fire” and couldn’t help but admire Suzanne Collins’ genius work. It’s not just that the “Hunger Games Trilogy” is a reflection of our sick over consuming present life, sick addiction to reality shows, and a spotlight on the inequality present in this world through this. I strongly admired how she did not picture men and women as the regular stereotypes we expect from stories. Even their love lives are not as glamorous or as appealing, and are definitely not part of the spotlight. In fact, I could not see the roles men and women are usually pictured in throughout the movies. I saw humans, equal humans. With different passions, different beliefs, different attitudes, different skills, different strengths, different weaknesses, none of these adhering the usual stereotypes we were brought up to expect from a story.
Here are 11 reasons why I think “The Hunger Games” is the best movie that has reflected gender equality:
1. Katniss, a girl, can hunt –exceptionally well – and feed her family. She is equally beautiful as she is smart and talented.
2. Katniss, a girl, does not dream of a fairy tale ending instead, she makes a firm decision not to ever have children.
3. The lead character in this story is a girl who’s not waiting for a savior. On the contrary, she gradually becomes the savior of all the people in Panem!
4. The games require both a male and a female tribute. They have equal odds of winning and both are only separated by their skill and ability to survive, as only one shall win.
5. Both men and women can be as cruel and merciless. We see through the games the heartlessness of some of the female tributes that can be equal, and sometimes more severe than men.
6. Not all men are violent as are usually depicted. Peeta is never seen fighting and remotely makes a choice before the games not to kill. Unlike Katniss who makes a resolution that she will kill if she has to. Peeta is seen choosing to use his smarts rather than his strength; he plants an attractive rumor for sponsors, allies with his enemies and hides using his artistic skills.
7. Not all women win by being smart. A very popular stereotype is that if the female were to be a hero in a story, she would have to show exceptional intelligence to win in the end, because heaven forbid a woman can’t use muscle! Katniss is shown as a stubborn introvert, who is strong, very talented with a bow & arrow, and holds lots of love and protection for her family. Her intelligence is all focused on her hunting skills. Other than that, she mostly gains ideas & help from others. But the games teach her a lot and she is seen as a brighter version in the second movie.
8. A woman can save a man, and a man can be weaker than a woman. The last part of the games where Katniss & Peeta unite was quite unique. I do not recall such a woman saving a man’s life in any story I’ve gone through like this. It had the full knighthood thing going on. Taking the fallen to a hiding place, feeding & taking the weakened soul into one’s arms for comfort & warmth, almost sacrificing your life to save theirs. It had it all but the knight was a lady. Brilliant!
9. A woman can have confused emotions. The usual ideal is the man gets to know two women and ends up confused about which one is his true love. In this case, Katniss, the woman, is torn between the love of a man who’ll sacrifice everything for her, who tried to protect her through the games and has not stopped loving her in spite of a word of unrequited love; and the other who has been her lifetime companion, best friend, supports and protects her family through her absence, and equally loves her deeply in spite of his loss of hope of ever being with her due to her situation with the games.
10. Women can be angry, notorious, foul mouthed bitches if they say the truth not because they actually are, but because that’s what they seem to be to others when they say the truth. Johanna Mason, thank you for clarifying that.
11. Love is never easy to either genders, and the choice of forever is not limited to the power of love. Whether it’s a man or a woman. In spite of her strong bond to both men, the events of the story would drive Katniss closer to either Peeta or Gale according to the timing and place of events, similar to reality. It’s not love that makes the final choice, it’s the course of events that cross our lives that makes the final decision.
Collins, that’s finally a love story that makes sense. (Maybe this one isn’t about genders as much as it’s about love, but I’m throwing it in any way!)
What do you think?
Will you be watching “Catching Fire” soon? Perhaps you have already! What did you think of the movie/novel? What are your thoughts about both? I’d love to hear your thoughts and opinions in our comments section below.