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Another thing I've been turning over in my head a lot lately. I am deeply enjoying The Musketeers on BBCA. The Three Musketeers was one of my first favorite books. I adored it as a preteen. I so wanted to be a musketeer. In high school, at a carnival, there was a photo booth guy that would photoshop your face onto whatever fictional character you wanted. I chose the musketeers. So he made me D'Artagnan, beard and all. (As an aside, I feel like this is the weird dissonant identification mass media forces on women. I have never wanted to be a man, but I wanted to be a musketeer, and since those were only ever men, there you go.)

But this had me thinking--where's my female musketeers? For real. I feel like I've been waiting my whole life for a team of women that made me feel the way I did about the musketeers, and later about The Hunt for Red October, another film with no women in it at all (unless you count Gates McFadden's one line).

There are action/adventure type things with teams of women, but these tend to go one of two directions. Either they are hyper-sexualized, like Charlie's Angels, or, as is more common in books than movie or tv (cause oh look! women write and edit books! way more than women write and direct film!) is the "sisters of the heart" trope (a phrase I HATE HATE HATE). These are women who are overly and effusively emotional with each other. Now, I have seen groups of women do this (and men! it's not just women), become artificially incredibly emotionally intimate very quickly. I mean, I went to summer camp. I don't know what else you can say about a ceremony where we stand crying while telling each other how much we mean to each other after only knowing each other for SIX WEEKS. Anyway.

But the brotherhoods I see in media? Not effusive. Largely made up of clams. And you don't get clams in groups of women as portrayed in media. Also, while the Musketeers are all awfully hot, they're sexuality isn't the most important part of their characterization, the way it usually is with women in action/adventure.

I had an epiphany, though, about exactly what it is that I am missing: stories about groups of women soldiers. These stories of brotherhood that I love so much, they're usually stories of soldiers. Action adventure and loyalty, all together. And right now, I can't think of a single anything that was about women soldiers. There are plenty of smurfettes in media about soldiers, everything from the GI Joe movies to The Losers. But a group of soldiers that is exclusively or even mainly women? I got nothing. Closest I can think is Battlestar Galactica.

So yes. Where are my stories of women warriors? (without cleavage being the main focus of attention) Where's my all for one and one for all sisterhood? Dear Hollywood, I am waiting.

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August 2017

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