The problem with escapism is that when you read or write a book society is in the chair with you. You can’t escape your history or your culture. So the idea that because fantasy books aren’t about the real world they therefore ‘escape’ is ridiculous. Fantasy is still written and read through the filters of social reality. That’s why some fantasies (like Swift’s Gulliver’s Travels) are so directly allegorical—but even the most surreal and bizarre fantasy can’t help but reverberate around the reader’s awareness of their own reality, even if in a confusing and unclear way.
is it weird for me to be excited for Korra to be kind of a jerk? or rather, to be obstinate, moody, and the total fame-and-bravado type? i know it’s early to tell but she seems overall very brash and do-first-ask-questions-later. like i just realized how many male heroes i’ve seen with all those traits, especially male leads (shounen heroes, etc.) but…never really that many female leads? like usually minor female characters who are meant to be knocked down a peg for their brashness (as opposed to main male characters who are either rewarded for it or learn to overcome it in a sympathetic manner) but i am super excited for a female lead who is just allowed to be…kind of a dick!
like Katara and Toph were good examples of the ATLA team’s track record of having girls who were flawed and not always nice, but weren’t constantly punished for it. Toph was kind of a jerk! Katara was kind of passive aggressive and extremely vindictive. But at the end of the day they were allowed to be those things, and it never had to end in some great knockdown, “haha silly ladies you should be nicer/more helpful/quieter” kind of thing.
i am just really, really happy about this! it is cool to have flawed girl characters without having to have giant knock-downs or excuses. it’s very organic, and it’s good writing.