Let’s hear it for the grit: A producer for a new movie based on a Young Adult book series, is happy that the main character is a Strong Female, unlike all those other characters out there. Popwatch interviews the producer:

“It’s an amazing character for a girl,” says Hunger Games producer Nina Jacobson. I asked Jacobson if she could name any other girls in pop culture with Katniss’ mettle and she paused for a minute. “Lisbeth Salander,” she finally said, referring to Stieg Larsson’s marvelously resourceful and spectacularly whack hacker heroine in The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. “And I think that’s the only one you can really point to and it’s not YA literature. So she’s much more scary than Katniss. She’s more damaged than Katniss. She’s a really dark character, and she’s the backbone of that book as well. But other than those two characters it’s a very short list.”

Lisbeth Salander, in case you’ve forgotten, is described in the book as looking like 14, yet A) all the men in the book want to sleep with her, and B) she can beat up big guys. One would suspect this says much more about the author than it says about “dark female characters.” We go on:

The Hunger Games goes into production this spring, though which actress—and she better be good and tough if she’s going to represent District 12—will play Katniss remains a mystery. Rooney Mara is going to put her own spin on Noomi Rapace’s blistering turn as Lisbeth Salander in the David Fincher adaptation of Dragon Tattoo. So many interesting young women to root for and wish well.


They offer some sweet relief in a culture where every hour-long crime drama opens with the shot of a mutilated woman and every tabloid salivates over a starlet gone wrong. More please. More of these girls who would make Clarice Starling proud.

I don’t watch a lot of TV, but it’s been my impression that the era of helpless, non-capable, non-gritty female characters ceased to be a cultural norm around the time “That Girl” went off the air. It’s also a mystery how Lisabeth Sanders - a borderline sociopath, mind you - compensates for the existence of tabloids that deal with starlet misbehavior, but nevermind. Are we really still stuck in some sexist cultural rut that discourages strong female characters? Or did I hallucinate that pirate movie where Keira Knightly swings around a sword that probably weighed forty pounds?

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