Feminism Awakens: Why Rey Is The Feminist Hero We've All Been Waiting For

We have all seen it. The “strong female character” type we’ve seen too much. The films that go out of their way to empower their female characters in such an on-the-nose way that is almost embarrassing. The feisty female personality who supports the male lead, who is strong up until the point where it really matters and then falls back while the man saves their asses, or gives it her best shot but needs saving when it comes down to it. Those female characters that teeter between strength and helplessness, objectification and empowerment.

Rey isn't this cliche. She isn't stoic, emotionless or hardened by violence. She is nobody's love interest and never falls back- instead she is handed the light-saber and cast in the final confrontation where she not only delivers, but owns. She isn't a damsel in distress at any point and never once needs saving. In fact, she is rather constantly saving Finn, and in one of her darkest moments she discovers the force and rescues herself, even getting herself a weapon in the process. Rey even validates her anti-damsel character on a few instances, which I found really amusing- saying things like, “I know how to run without you holding my hand”, and telling Han Solo "I can handle myself" when he tries to give her a gun, to which he replies that's why he is giving it to her. 

Rey is athletic, clever, resilient and has learned to fend for herself. She is self-sufficient, a quick learner, an advanced scavenger with advanced martial abilities, and really a better pilot than Han Solo. She is a true fighter, survivor and nurturer. She doesn't need to be any one thing to be a powerful woman, but she is, in fact, everything- and so quietly. She is a fully realized character whose "girl power" isn't forced or even obvious, but powerfully and simply there.  A full-blown badass that transcends gender and whose character will have both men and women inspired and both boys and girls wanting to be her.

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