Okay, so, I don’t normally post my own things, I usually just reblog other people’s wonderful and, frankly, amazing stuff, but I need to get this out.
I’ve been reading lots on how Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.’s ratings are bad, and to be honest, the second and third seasons were not the best. But the show needs to be renewed because here’s the thing: girls need heroes too. Not just Captain America or Iron Man - they need female heroes. They need to know that heroes don’t always have powers. Melinda May never needed powers to become a legend, she honed those skills herself. She became a hero because she chose to be one, and Grant Ward was not a hero, despite the many chances given to him, because he chose to not be one. Daisy, or Skye, was a hero before she even got her powers because despite her past with the Rising Tide and an abusive childhood, she chose to do some good.
Girls need to know that being weak and breaking down is alright because it is a human thing and not a silly, girlish weakness. They need to know that silence can mean strength and dresses don’t stop you from fighting. They need to know that being a scientist, a person who loves learning, does not equate to having square glasses and dull clothes and no friends. They need to know that there are different kinds of strength and bravery and love. They need to know that you can have accents on your tongue and colour on your skin but it doesn’t matter because you are more than what men label you. They need to know that they don’t need a man to complete or define them, that they are extraordinary by themselves. They need to know that despite everything, despite the impossible, they can succeed because the only person you need to believe in you is yourself. They need strong women to look up to so they can learn to become them.
I’m fifteen years old. Asian. A second-year university student in a developing country with an anxiety disorder. It means everything to me to have an Asian female character to be able to look up to and to have so many other well-rounded female characters. When I feel like I’m too small, too young to be in university, and people call me a nerd, I think of Jemma Simmons and her two phDs in fields Coulson can’t pronounce and I smile at them. When I walk through dark alleys filled with shady men on my way home and my mom tells me to be careful, I think of Melinda May and her fearlessness and I become a little braver. When people tell me that I can’t possibly be smart enough to pass a class, that everything I say is only a bravado, I remember Peggy Carter and tell them I know my own value. I pass by them three weeks later with a certificate full of A’s. When I feel like I can’t possibly go on I think about Bobbi Morse unwilling to apologize for what she believed was right and if she can be that strong, I can at least be half as strong. I think about being different and Daisy Johnson will remind be that being different can mean making a difference, and as long as I’m showing people that a tiny, little Asian woman can kick their asses in class, then I’m making a difference because I’m showing them that we can, that I belong here as much as they do. And that is what Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. shows too. Or at least, the part I love most about it. The strength, the diversity, the equality, of women. And that is why, when people ask me what S.H.I.E.L.D. is about, I say, “protection.” Because S.H.I.E.L.D. protects me from the darkness of life, it gives me a place to fall back on, a place to remind me that I am strong enough to go through each day, and when I do go through each day, it is those ladies who poke my shoulders and nudge my chin up, giving me the confidence to look at life in the eye and tell it that I am more than whatever it throws at me.
Since I can’t do much to affect the ratings from where I live, I suppose I’ll just let my fondness and my attachments to these character out and hope that abc realizes how fundamentally important it is to have a show which gives girls the strong women and the representation they need to look up to, and that despite past mistakes, season 4 (especially 4x15) has been incredible.
Small addition cause when last night I posted this little rant I did not expect so many notes but I’d like to add that Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. also has female antagonists, it doesn’t portray women in black and white, good or bad. The characters are so completely human and not exaggerated. It portrays women as they are. Jemma has panic attacks and Daisy made some wrong choices but they are both more than capable of saving the day using only their minds. It shows that bad things happen sometimes and you can be forced to make hard choices and all you can do is choose what do to next and that doesn’t make you evil or bad. It shows that women are capable of being villains, that we’re not just angels. And that is important because it reminds girls that being good is a choice, that we have the potential to be otherwise, that we can make men fear us as much as we can make them respect us. It shows that sometimes we make bad choices and people will think the worst of us for doing what was right but despite our human flaws we need to remember to put on our own oxygen masks first before trying to fix things. There’s a post somewhere about how Melinda May left Providence in 1x19 and she left for herself because the environment was too toxic and that speaks a lot to me because it reminds me to take care of myself and my anxiety first and leaving a place that no longer is healthy is alright. I’ve found my social anxiety taking hold of me less since I’ve found strong women, and more specifically, Asian ones too, to look up to. Because they show me that it’s all human to feel like that, and they have so many flaws but they can also save the world, and most important, save themselves. Real or not, the characters have had a profound impact on me. For that I have to thank the writers and the amazing actors. To the person who said to tweet this to the creators, by all means, go ahead since I don’t have twitter. But I realised I didn’t thank the writers and the actors last night when they’ve given me those wonderful characters, both the women and the men.