The time change really messed with my head this week. I woke up at what I thought was 3.10 a.m. and, unable to sleep, convinced myself that it was okay to sneak out of bed, write this blog, and return to bed. Imagine my surprise when later I discovered I’d got up at 1.20 a.m. Some may believe that it’s a fine distinction, but for me it sort of summed up my week, which is why the blog I planned to post has been ‘shelved’. A lot of weird thoughts go through your head in the middle of the night!
Fortunately, Emmy nominated ‘Strike Back’ came to the rescue. Yep, I know I’ve blogged about this superb series before, but I wanted to pick up on a particular element: the role of women in fictional Section 20.
Before I begin, it’s time for a confession: I’m on record as saying that I find it easier to inhabit male characters than females, which is true. But I also go on to say that my reason for this is because men can get down and dirty in a way that women can’t. Scrap that! Hands up, I was wrong.
When you come across women who are trained to kill, they are, as Rudyard Kipling cottoned on, more deadly than the male. In ‘Strike Back,’ they lead. They do the brainwork. They operate technical gadgetry, crack codes, locate bad guys and operate in the field on the same level as their big meaty, pumped up male counterparts. They look as ruthless; move lightly on the balls of their feet at speed, do that whole 360 degree scoping the enemy stuff; their skill with a submachine gun is cold and surgical. They don’t shirk from manually breaking an enemy’s neck when the need arises, or sticking a knife in, or cutting a throat or three. But the female combatants in S.B. are not simply professional killing machines. They have other lives. Some have children. They joke. They have fun, a lot of it. They are passionate about their jobs. It’s a country mile away from the portrayal of women as victims, as the exploited and downtrodden, as helpless damsels in distress. And thank goodness for that.
Next time my back is against the wall and time is tight, I want Sgt. Julia Richmond to come to my rescue.