Thursday, July 5, 2018

Where Are All the Mothers in Action-Adventure Stories?

I pretty much love the new Tomb Raider movie. Nowadays, my biggest criterion for whether I like a movie or not is if it entertains me, and this very much does. But it also reminded me a lot of Rogue One, and in that respect, it got me noticing a coincidence--possibly a pattern that highlights a glaring issue--in women's stories.

In Tomb Raider, one of the main focuses is Lara’s relationship with her father. Her adventures start when her long-lost father leaves her a puzzle box in his will and she decides to literally follow in his footsteps in the hopes of finding him. In Rogue One, the story’s similar. Jyn hasn’t seen her father since she was a little girl (and hasn’t seen her surrogate father-figure since she was a teenager). Part of her motivation in joining the Rebellion is to find him, and the reason she’s able to complete her mission is because of him.

In so many stories where the main character is a woman, her primary relationship, one that drives the story, is with a man--in this case, her father or father-figure. There’s nothing wrong with telling stories about a woman’s relationship with her father, of course, and I think it's good to depict good father-daughter relationships, which both of these movies do.

It just has me wondering where all the mothers are. I'd love to see Lyra being the driving mind behind the Death Star and then planting a flaw only her daughter will find. I'd love to see a woman in her fifties who's been lost on an island for seven years patching up her daughter's wounds, running through a jungle, and helping her save the world.

In conclusion, I'd love to see more stories centered on mother/daughter relationships. And by all means, please recommend some!

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