Why Jessica Jones Is One Of The Most Feminist Shows On Netflix

Why Jessica Jones Is One Of The Most Feminist Shows On Netflix

Jessica Jones season 2 arrived yesterday on Netflix, and, once again, it proved just what girl power looks like.

By that, I don’t just mean the fact that Jessica is physically strong because of course, she is very strong, I mean that Jessica Jones is strong as a series because it breaks every stereotype female characters are shoe-horned into. And that is something that is desperately needed right now.

First of all, the show is named after it’s female lead, and there is no fixed lead male. The first season featured David Tennant as the male lead villain, who played a huge part in the storyline, and in Jessica’s origins, but this season, there is no lead male character. There are male side characters who are important to the storyline, but the show focuses on Jessica and her adoptive sister, Trish.

On top of that, every single episode of this season was directed by a woman. To me, that is revolutionary. So many directors are male, they dominate the industry, but Marvel decided to have an entire series directed by women, and as you watch, you can tell.

Want to know how you can tell that Jessica Jones is directed exclusively by women?

There are no gratuitous topless shots of women. Not one. Not a single one. Not in any sex scene (of which there are a couple) or a shower scene, or anything. There is one scene where Jessica is in her underwear, but it was not for her to be seen as ‘sexy,’ or put in for her to be objectified. It’s not shot in a way that says ‘look at the sexy undressed woman,’ it’s shot like any other shot, the actress just happens to be underdressed, and for a reason that makes sense in the story at that point.

And that’s just the tip of the ice burg of equality in this show, there are so many more examples it makes my head spin.

The women in this show are so real, they all have motivations, all have back stories either explored or referenced, all have vices they cannot live without. They are fully fleshed out characters, with no reliance on stereotype. Jessica and Trish are friends, refer to each other as sisters multiple times throughout season 2, even when they argue constantly.

Even their arguments are real. They’re not arguing over a guy or trying to sabotage the other due to jealousy. They’re fighting over things like addiction, about the past Jessica refuses to explore, about family. Even those arguments are from a place of love, it’s never spiteful, or manipulative. You don’t realise how often you see women warring against each other in the media over silly reasons until you watch women fight out of a place of love.

Every episode passes the Bechdel Test, at least twice, if not multiple times. Women talk to each other about illness, about addiction, about solving cases. Yes, they also talk about relationships, but it’s not the only thing they talk about. On top of that, whenever it is revealed that a woman has slept with someone else, there is no ‘slut-shaming,’ or being judged for it. No character is ever shamed for having a relationship.

In fact, no female character is shamed for eating. In any scene involving food, no woman commented on her diet, or their body, or anyone else’s. They ate, and it was a normal thing to do.

Jessica Jones doesn’t just avoid stereotype, it also tackles some hard-hitting topics as well. Topics incredibly relevant for today’s society and today’s current events.

PTSD, rape and abuse are all topics carried over from series one, and will probably continue on into further seasons, as they’re so central to Jessica and Trish’s characters. But what season 2 builds on is rape culture.

From the first episode, Jessica calls out a man when he says that he won’t take no for an answer. This man is never forgiven and is made to be a more minor bad guy for the season. No man is ever allowed to take anything from a woman without retribution in this show, any who try to use, or abuse, any female character is always shown to be in the wrong. While the consequences don’t always fit the crime, the point still stands – no man gets to use a woman without consequences. And the consequences always comes from a woman.

And finally, and most importantly, there is a minor storyline about directors using young girls for sex. It is explicit in its reveal, without showing the actual deed, but it is made very clear that forty-year-old directors coaxing desperate sixteen-year-old actresses into bed was disgusting and deserved to be punished for their actions. Every woman involved in the storyline was in agreement automatically – he was in the wrong, the girl in question was a minor, and was a victim in the situation. There was no discussion between them as to what exactly happened, the victim was immediately believed, the director was not allowed to try and weasel his way out of it.

To say the least, it sends a powerful message to Hollywood and everyone in the film industry. If I’m honest, the entire series, the entire show, is a powerful message to the film industry.

Women are strong, they are powerful, they are diverse, with rich backstories and beautiful friendships. Women can hurt others, but they can also support them and help them through anything. Women can be flawed as people, but they are not to be shamed for their actions.

They are people, and their stories deserve to be written, directed and acted out. People need to see things like this. And they need to take away this message:

Jessica Jones should not be the only TV show out there like this. There should be more holding up these same values. Women are not sex objects or a thing to stereotype. They are real and wonderful, and human. Tell their damn stories, just like you would with any other male character out there.

Marvel'sJessica Jones


Black Panther Forever

Black Panther Forever

The world fell in love with T’Challa, AKA The Black Panther, in Captain America: Civil War in 2016, but 2018 was the year of his first solo movie, and it does not hold back!

It’s fair to say that Black Panther has been one of the most talked about Marvel films in years, you could go as far as to say that it’s the most talked about film of 2018 so far. Marvel films usually are the most talked about of any year, but this one has been especially anticipated.

The first superhero film to feature a black lead since Blade, and definitely the first to feature a nearly entirely black cast, this film had a lot to prove to the world. And it didn’t just prove itself, it outshone every expectation I had.

I was expecting the usual Marvel affair, light-hearted, funny and great action scenes. Instead, I got a lesson in African culture, in responsibility, and in what it feels like to be an outsider in a world which has not been kind.

Following in the same vein as Luke Cage, one of Black Panther’s main themes is racism, and how it can affect those prejudiced against. It shows what happens when it is ignored, especially by those who can help.

Also following Luke Cage’s example, the film brings culture to the forefront. Not superhero culture, or American culture, but Wakandan culture. Steeped in tradition, inspired by African culture, mixed with technology so advanced it would make Tony Stark’s head spin, Wakanda is nothing like anything I could have ever imagined.

Director, Ryan Coogler, could have easily ignored tradition and created a more Westernised Wakanda, a technologically advanced America. Instead, he decided to celebrate Africa, to finally bring the continent to the big screen. It was clear to see that he had done his homework, that everyone involved had too. From the warriors of Wakanda (including a specialised army made entirely of women) to the five tribes, to the country itself, everything had African influence. Everything tied back to tradition, to culture, and never let its audience forget just where they were in the world.

I cannot speak as for how accurate this was, as I know nothing of Africa or of the deep racist problems of the world, further than what I have seen in the news. But what I can say is this, Black Panther is a brilliant film, one that will break records and set an example for the film industry in terms of diversity. It is fast paced, full of life, and comes with an incredibly important message. It’s a must for anyone who enjoys the superhero genre, and a brilliant expansion of the MCU, one I hope stays on for years and years to come.

5/5 stars.

Monsters Of Verity by Victoria Schwab Review

Monsters Of Verity by Victoria Schwab Review

This time last year, I bought a trilogy called A Darker Shade Of Magic by an unknown author to me – V. E Schwab, and I quickly became obsessed with them, devouring every word, feeling like I couldn’t get through it quick enough and find out what happened.

Since then, I’ve had this desperate urge to read more of her work, to see what other stories Schwab could tell, and so, I decided to start 2018 with her duology Monsters Of Verity. 

All I have to say is wow. 

I’ve spent this week essentially binge reading This Savage Song and Our Dark Duet, and both are simply incredible. In concept, storyline, world building, and just about every other way possible.

The books tell the story of Kate Harker and August Flynn. Kate is a human from North City, the daughter of Callum Harker, who keeps monsters as pets and demands payment from citizens for their protection.

August, on the other hand, is a monster, a very rare form of monster, from South City, the adopted son of the leader of the FTF – a group trying to protect humans from the monsters bite. The two meet in school, and soon find themselves on the run, hunted by the monsters Kate’s father is supposed to control, as the cracks of so-called peace start to appear.

What follows is an incredible story, one I couldn’t help but adore every single second of.

At first, I was slightly wary of this duology – it’s a YA, whereas A Darker Shade Of Magic is a more adult series. So I was worried that there was going to be something missing from Schwab’s writing, that it could be dumbed down a bit, possibly sanitised for a younger, more impressionable audience.

Not true.

Not true in the slightest.

This duology is dark, dealing with murder and massacres, fights and fear, bombs and blood. It’s thick with it and doesn’t shy away from talking about it. About the consequences of violence, the sacrifices people make in war, of the ruthlessness of humanity and what that can create. It’s all there, never once talking down to the reader, never treating the reader like they’re anything but intelligent human beings.

From the first page, I was swept up into the story, constantly wanting to read more, entirely engrossed in events unfolding on the page. Just a quarter of the way through book one, I was already telling my mum and best friend to read the books. By the end, I’m not going to let it go until they do.

These books are a must read for any fan of Schwab’s more adult work. They’re a must read for urban fantasy readers. They’re a must read for anyone who likes reading about monsters and violence.

They’re simply a must read.

And, they’re also proof of V. E. Schwab’s writing power. She’s a powerhouse who produces two books a year on average, all high quality, well thought out, and utterly engrossing. I cannot speak highly enough of her writing skill. She’s in my top 3 favourite writers, fighting with the big guns Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett.

I cannot recommend this duology enough, it is rare that I find a series I want to devour so fast, and this was definitely one of them. If you ever get the chance to read these books, do it. You will not regret it.

This Is The Greatest Showman

This Is The Greatest Showman

Hugh Jackman started this year by making us all cry with his final appearance as Wolverine in Logan, he’s ending the year by making us all cry again with The Greatest Showman.

But this time, it’s happy tears, because this musical is nothing but a triumph you can’t help but love.

The Greatest Showman tells the story of P.T Barnum and his mission to create the first circus, through the soaring highs to the rock-bottom lows, all set to the most infectious music and excellent dance routines.

That isn’t what I’m here to talk about though. Everyone is talking about the music, the acting, the dancing, but no-one is really talking about the message of this film. A message we all need to hear, and all need to take on board. And that is a message of diversity, of acceptance, of open-mindedness.

It’s safe to say that this year has not been the best for minority groups, between the racial tensions increasing across the world, discrimination of trans people in the military, and books spreading wrong and harmful information about autism, it feels as it the world has taken a step backwards.

But The Greatest Showman shows us a different way.

A way of acceptance and of love. A way which means that we are all accepted, no matter our size, our skin colour, our sexual orientation, or our ability level. We all deserve to be loved, to be out in the open, to be considered human, because that is what we are – human.

It’s a message that means a lot to me, a lot to a lot of people. We have been pushed aside by governments and the general public for so long, to see something like this film, which is all about found families, or learning to accept our differences, is a breath of fresh air. It’s beautiful to watch, and a much-needed film after the year we’ve had.

With incredible music, exceptional acting, and fantastic storytelling, The Greatest Showman gives a powerful message in the most affective way possible. It’s a must watch for any cinema goer, especially anyone who has ever felt like an outsider.

An Autistic’s Thoughts On To Siri, With Love by Judith Newman

I’ve never made a ‘thought post’ like this before, or a discussion post, or anything like this, simply because I haven’t come across something that I’ve felt I was passionate enough about to write about. But this week, I have found it, and it’s for all the wrong reasons.

If you didn’t know, recently, the autistic community has been outraged by a book called To Siri, With Love by Judith Newman. The book is a memoir from a mother of an autistic boy, Gus, and her thoughts on bringing him up. Sounds like a nice, uplifting read about a mother’s love for her child, doesn’t it?


It’s a disgusting, dehumanizing and downright dangerous book, perpetuating stereotypes and applying 1950’s thought to 2017. I have not read the book myself, only seen quotes from it, but the quotes alone made me feel physically sick to my stomach. If you want to see a live tweet from an autistic author, reviewer and editor reading the whole book, I would check out Kaelan Rhywiol’s twitter thread. This blog post is more of an explanation of just how wrong Newman’s thoughts are, and just how dangerous they can be.

You’re probably wondering what qualifies me to make these observations and explanations. I’m just a 21-year-old blogger, what qualifies me to comment and say that these views are wrong?

For starters, I’m autistic. Aspergers, to be exact. Secondly, I’m a writer myself, and hold a degree in Creative and Professional Writing. And thirdly, I’m a human being on planet Earth who actually has a shred of compassion for others with Aspergers, autism, and everything else to do with neurodivergence.

So, personally, I think I’m a little qualified to talk about this, even if I’m not, I’m putting my opinions out there because people need to see that this book is not in any way acceptable or correct.

For starters, the author has not gotten permission from her son to write this book, so he has had no control at all over the content of this book. This takes away his agency and his chance of privacy. The author happily writes about everything, including this child’s toilet training, and she didn’t seek his permission first.

She sought permission from her neurotypical child, but not her neurodivergent one. It’s not like either boy is a child either, they’re 13 at the time of writing, and 15 at the time of publishing, and therefore more than capable of knowing exactly what they want to be published for the world to read. If that doesn’t already warn you of her opinions on her autistic son’s agency, I don’t know what will.

Newman goes on to talk about how:

“One, every person with ASD I’ve ever met has some deficit in his “theory of mind.” Theory of mind is the ability to understand, first, that we have wishes and desires and a way of looking at the world—i.e., self-awareness.”

Now, I can immediately call ‘twaddle’ on that, because I know that we autistics are more than capable of being self-aware. In fact, we’re probably too self-aware. We all know that others have wishes and desires, we understand that the people around us are people, that everyone has thoughts and feelings and emotions. We’re not robots, we may not totally be able to read a person, but we damn well know that they have emotions and thoughts.

To say that we don’t is so dehumanising, it equates us to robots, to automatons with no understanding of the world around us. We understand the world just fine, and we understand that the people around us do not understand us and that we are seen as ‘outsiders’ because of our neurodivergence. And guess what? It makes us feel awful, we feel scared and anxious, because people actually think that we do not have self-awareness.

This is also followed by the so-called conclusions of an undated study, which states this:

Several brain-imaging studies on autistic kids show a pronounced difference in blood flow in the areas of the brain that are thought to be responsible  for certain kinds of story comprehension—the kind that allows us to know what the characters are feeling, and predict what they might do next.

Which is such blatant ignorance and so utterly wrong I want to cry. Do you know how many writers out there are autistic? How many autistics love stories, TV shows, films, and theatre? You’re reading the words of an avid writer and reader, one who loves the written word loves guessing what’s going to happen next and loves writing about character emotions.

Every autistic I’ve ever known loves to read, or loves watching things on TV and generally loves storytelling. Some other people on my creative and professional writing university course were autistic, and guess what? We didn’t fail the course, we didn’t fail to comprehend the books we were reading, we were able to guess character emotions, discuss what may happen next. And we managed to write our own stories – using well-known characters as well as our own – and we were brilliant at it. I got a 2:1 personally, other’s got First Class Degrees. Could we do that if we couldn’t comprehend, predict and understand characters? I think not.

And, on another note, this study has no date, no additional information, not even a researcher name. So the audience cannot look this study up for themselves and see just how far the researcher was talking out of their backside. Never, ever trust a book which talks about scientific studies unless it has references you can look up yourself. That’s how the ‘vaccines cause autism’ myth still lives on to this day.

The author then goes back to the theory of mind rubbish, say that her son loves music, but can’t perform because:

It doesn’t matter how good he gets; I can’t imagine him performing in any way. Or, rather, before he does, he has to have that thing he has yet to develop, that theory of mind, so that he understands he is doing this for others, not just himself. You can’t be a good performer if you haven’t mastered the concept of audience, of playing for the enjoyment of others.

Excuse you, he does have the theory of mind, and would perfectly understand that he would be performing for others not just himself. I’m sure he could be an amazing performer if he wanted to. Ever heard of Mozart? Yeah, he was autistic. Tim Burton? Not a musician, but a writer and director, autistic. Dan Aykroyd? An actor, who has to convey emotions and have comedic timing, autistic. Screw you if you think autistics cannot perform well on stage and screen, or any other creative venture they wish.

Lack of theory of mind can, quite frankly, kiss my autistic ass.

A few chapters later, we come onto the more damaging rhetoric. The rhetoric I cannot believe was allowed to be published in 2017. I’ll only write about this one point and the most damaging part of this book, so I don’t go on forever, but these points have to be pointed out.

What could be worse than what’s already been said? I hear you ask.

Simple, the idea that autistics with ‘odd’ interests become criminals.

Yes, you read that right. This author, a mother of an autistic child, who she supposedly loves and understands, thinks that autism + odd interests = criminality.

What. The. Actual. HELL is this woman thinking?! Who in their right minds decides to write, with absolutely no evidence whatsoever that autistics with odd interests become criminals? Honestly, who decides to write that in a book?! And what kind of editor actually lets it get through the editing process and allows it to be published?!

What kind of editor lets any of this get published?!

That’s an entirely different story quite frankly, but seriously, who thinks that autistics become criminals because of odd interests? What even counts as an ‘odd interest’ anyway?

Does this author have any idea how much damage she can cause by saying something like this? Does she have any idea how many neurotypical people are going to read this book, believe everything she says, and distrust everyone with autism for the rest of their lives? We are already misunderstood enough, let alone without having the idea of being criminals implanted in people’s brains.

We have special interests, some of them are not as ‘normal’ as others, so what? We like what we like, it doesn’t mean we’re going to start stealing things, murdering people, or anything of the sort. We’re probably going to research our special interest, and if we can, use it to make a career of it. I’m using my love of writing to create a freelance writing business, others may use their great interest in crime and criminals to become a police officer or a criminologist.

We’re not going to start stealing, or anything like that, we understand the damn law and the difference between right and wrong. We are not toddlers with no concept of how the world works.

Finally, I reach the worst point possible. The worst, most disgusting, heinous, part of this book. The most dangerous, abhorrent and vile part of this book. The part that made me literally want to throw up in disgust that someone could possibly ever think this, let alone about her own child.

I’ll put a trigger warning here – if you are at all triggered by eugenics, yes eugenics in 2017, stop reading now. This will do nothing but cause more damage to your mental health than this woman is worth.

Because, Judith Newman, mother of an autistic child she supposedly loves (and I highly doubt she actually loves him at all, judging by this book), wants to sterilise her son so he can’t have children. You read that right, this so-called loving mother, doesn’t think her child should have children, simply because he is autistic.

Don’t believe me, here are the quotes on the subject from the book. Go and get a sick bucket before you read them though:

No, the medical issue that really makes me hyperventilate is fertility. It’s a question all parents of special needs kids wrestle with, whether they speak of it or not. What happens when you discover a lack of social skills isn’t a surefire method of birth control? That the kid you think would be entirely unable to find a partner does just that, though his or her ability to understand what it takes to raise another human being is limited?

Not feeling sick enough? Try another one:

Nobody wants to visualize their child that intimately, but when I think of Gus in a sexual situation, it generally has a Benny Hill soundtrack. And anything with that music does not end well. A vasectomy is so easy. A couple of snips, a couple of days of ice in your pants, and voilà. A life free of worry. Or one less worry. For me. How do you say “I’m sterilizing my son” without sounding like a eugenicist?


First of all – who the hell thinks about their child having sex? Second of all, who is this woman to decide whether her child should be allowed to have children? That is his choice, and his choice alone, it has nothing to do with his mother and her wishes, it’s about his. She has absolutely no right to decide to make that decision for him.

Judith Newman doesn’t think her son is capable of finding someone who could love him, capable of loving someone else, or capable of raising a child. She mocks the idea of her child having sex by comparing the idea to a Benny Hill sketch. It is dehumanising, abhorrent, and so utterly wrong it makes me want to throw up.

There are so many autistic parents out there in the world, so many autistic couples out there raising children. Neurotypical people are not the only ones who create children and raise them. Neurodivergent people do too, and they do it damn well. They certainly do a better job than Judist Newman does, especially when they too have neurodivergent children.

Neurodivergent parents are the best people equipped to raise neurodivergent kids, why? Because we understand what they’re going through, we lived through it ourselves when we were their age. We know how to get them diagnosed, we know what kind of help they’ll need if they need any, and we know how to support and love them just as they are. We do not neglect our children, we do not fail to love them, and we certainly do not need our choice decided for us.

Yes, some of us don’t want kids, I’m one of them, but some of us do. And we do a fantastic job at it. We certainly do better than Judith Newman, because we do not think any of the things she does about her autistic child.

If you got to the bottom of this mammoth post, I applaud you, and I hope you agree with me now if you didn’t already. At the very least, I hope you see why To Siri, With Love is a dangerous book. It is filled with stereotypes, outdated information and just plain horrendous opinions. It should not be on the shelves, it should not be read at all. Whoever greenlit this book, and everyone involved in it should be absolutely ashamed of themselves.

And Judith Newman, you should be the most ashamed out of everyone. How dare you think any of this about your child, how dare you spread this disgusting rhetoric in a world that already misunderstands autism, how dare you make it worse and profit from it.

And how dare you ever open your child up to such ridicule and bullying, you have given everyone he ever meets in his life the perfect ammunition to demean and bully him, to know all of his darkest secrets, and what you really think of him. You may have just ruined his life more than your awful parenting already did. Congratulations.

If Gus Newman or any other autistic person who faces this kind of prejudice ever reads this, I want you to know that you are brilliant. You are human, you are capable of love, you are capable of being loved. Everything in this book is a lie and should be completely ignored.

You can do anything you set your mind to, including parenting.

You are not a criminal.

You are nothing like what this woman purports you to be.

If anyone tries to tell you that you cannot be something, prove them wrong, if anyone tries to take away your autonomy, fight back, if anyone dares to stereotype you, show them exactly how fantastic you are.

There’s a lot of idiots out there in the world, and you are not one of them. You are loved, and intelligent, and a person. Never let anyone take that away from you.