Why Can’t Women Be Cat Women?

I’ll preface this by saying, yes I am a TED geek. And while browsing their site I came across a familiar face, a young girl by the name of Tavi Gevinson (who I am familiar with because I’m also a fashion blog-browsing geek.) Tavi Gevinson is a fifteen year old, self-proclaimed “feminist,” who’s popular fashion blog and magazine, The Rookie has created a buzzing community for teen girls. At a frightening young age, Tavi offers provoking opinions on the image of women that the media has created and how it effects teens today. Her magazine itself isn’t geared toward your typical image of the teenage girl, but more so for those who feel out of the norm or who feel they don’t fit the ideal image let’s say, “The Hills”-type of girl (which I don’t know anything about *sarcasm insert - for those of you who don’t know me well enough yet*.) 

Though this video is only 7 minutes long, time that most could spare to listen, I’ll go ahead and spoil it with a few thoughts. Tavi explains how most tv and film have portrayed women as flat, 2 dimensional characters; such as Cat Women, 

“who plays her sexuality up a lot and it’s seen as power. But they’re not strong characters who happen to be female. They’re completely flat and basically cardboard characters. The problem with that is that people expect women to be that easy to understand and women are mad at themselves for being that simple. When in actuality women are complicated, women are multi-faceted. Not because women are crazy. People are crazy and women happen to be people.”

I admire such honesty of a brilliant 15 year old. While Tavi gears most of this speech towards the media’s effect on the perception and identity of teen girls, I dare say that this struggle to “figure it out” doesn’t end as you age. Though our ever-evolving culture and media has grown to enable and broaden what was once a generalized view of women (think of characters such a Betty Draper, Liz Lemon or even Pam from the office) the picture of the ideal women still effects what men expect from women and what women expect of themselves. I myself, know I have moments when my emotions and brain feel like mush and I wonder why I don’t have it “figured out” just yet. Why can’t I be Cat Women? How can we know what we want, see it and take it? Life just isn’t that simple. And striving to be so simple would deplete the female gender of the multi-faceted, complex and beautiful ways that her character enrich life in more ways than one. 

Take a listen to Tavi and tell me, especially you women out there, if this topic still doesn’t effect females today. I think grown women may need their own “Rookie” magazine as well…