i love how much jim respects women and deconstructs gender stereotypes and the hyper-masculine hero trope in general
he loves cooking and cleaning and taking care of his household, a typically feminine role, not because his mom made him do it–she in fact sucks at cooking and rarely has time to clean–but because Jim just genuinely enjoys doing it.
he’s nurturing and compassionate. he enjoys taking care of his mom and best friend. he enjoys getting up early to pack his mom and best friend lunches. jim is shamelessly the Mom FriendTM.
his hardworking, single mother is literally his hero and he would do anything for her
“i am james lake, son of barbara”
the only time he’s ever willingly gotten into a fight with the school bully was when said bully insulted his mom. jim literally knocked him out and delivered the most iconic line: “she’s a doctor actually.”
he calls his best friend, toby, out when he mistakenly thinks toby’s insulting another woman, “okay so she’s not your type, you don’t have to be rude about it”
also gets fed up with toby when toby tries using ‘winning older girls’ as a reason jim should run for spring fling king
the gender roles are reversed between him and his crush, claire
she’s bold and confident. she takes the initiative, she asks him out, and its not until he’s sure she’s comfortable that he makes any real advances toward her.
claire’s also “the popular girl” but jim doesn’t care about her status. he doesn’t care about popularity. she’s not a prize to be won. he admires her as a person, and an equal.
claire’s also sorta “the smart girl” but she’s never just “the info dump” and jim doesn’t view her as such either. he doesn’t depend on her to tell him whats going on, like a lot of other male heroes i can think of.
between the two of them claire is more likely to be charging headfirst into the fray while jim is losing hair watching her. claire and toby both probably give jim gray hair by the time he’s 20.
jim is not brash and bold. he values safety. he’s constantly thinking about the danger around him. he’s patient. he works hard in training to be prepared for fights ahead of time. he takes his job seriously.
he actually reads the book. a lot of male heroes dismiss what the book has to offer, preferring to rely solely on their brawn (or, again, a “smart girl” to tell him what’s up), but jim doesn’t. he actually uses the book along with his combat training.
jim’s sensitive too. he literally cries.
he’s just really well-balanced?? he doesn’t lean extremely traditionally masculine or traditionally feminine. he likes cooking and taking care of his home, but he’s also into bikes and scooters and baseball. he’s an actual, well rounded person.
i can’t think of any one label you could pin him under except maybe “stressed”
The Beatles rehearsing an excerpt from Shakespeare’s ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’ at the Rediffusion TV studios in Wembley, London, 28th April 1964. (Photos by Jim Gray/Keystone/Hulton Archive/Roger Jackson/Central Press/Getty Images)