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She Hulk Seems Like The Same Patriarchal Hogwash In A New Bottle… And Made Me Squirm

She Hulk series seems to say that even a woman with a flourishing career and super powers is happy only when she is validated by a man.

A comic fan from my childhood, I never miss any superhero movies or series, no matter whether they deserve viewing or not. After nearly 50 years of reading and connecting with comic characters, I feel they deserve a view, even if it is derivative characters like Batgirl, Supergirl, or She Hulk.

When ‘She Hulk’ was aired, I looked forward to every Wednesday to check out the new episodes.

It began well, nothing to amaze viewers, but it was not disappointing either. There were few moments like when She Hulk rants about the problems women face day in and day out, which showed how different the world out there is for women.

Of course it did not go down well for many. The social media response to the sexualized post credit dance scene was very negative as well. From CGI to many other things, social media’s response to the show has not been good.

*Spoilers Alert!

But, what is this about Jen suddenly becoming a needy woman?

The problem for me began when Jen was convinced and started to check out dating sites. All of a sudden, the smart lawyer became a person which doesn’t suit the character that has been created by the comics or series so far.

I started to squirm as I watched Jen become desperate for companionship, to be validated for who she is as Jen, her disappointment at being admired as She Hulk, and other things thrown at the character from all angles. Then comes the ghosting of her by Miller after sleeping with her, following which Jen/She Hulk desperately looks forward to his message.

Why is Jen shown as ‘desperate’?

There is nothing wrong in a woman seeking a relationship or being in love and looking forward to a message after a romantic evening. But the series made it appear as though someone who has always been an independent career woman was suddenly becoming desperate… maybe because she is already in her 30s?

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The man was not a person she had known for long, nor someone who she knew closely. She had been on just few dates with him. To show such an obsession with that encounter was kind of disappointing.

All her dating and other parts of the relationships she has in the series kind of makes it appear that even if a woman has a flourishing career and super powers, finally she is happy only when she is validated by a man. I thought it was only me, but then many of those who watched the series shared that the episodes of Jen and her relationship struggles made them uncomfortable as well.

Even a superhero isn’t spared if a woman!

Then they throw in her one night stand with Daredevil out of nowhere, as though she is sex starved. What follows is what happens everywhere. The guy she trusted and dated earlier, Miller, has taken her naked photo when she is fast asleep. That is shown on the big screen at an award function, which has her parents among the audience. She is branded a slut and insulted at gala show, triggering her anger and showing her as a monster.

Do we really need these portrayals of women and the way society treats them to be aired, even when we are showing them as superheroes? I think the series could have done more justice to Jen/She Hulk and women (especially those who pursue their careers) than it did so far.

The final episode is yet to come, and I hope that they justify the character and make it up to us viewers.

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About the Author

Farida Rizwan

I am Farida Rizwan, 55, Counselor and Psychotherapist working as Senior Curriculum Developer with Chimple Learning. I am ardent blogger and share my life experiences of surviving breast cancer 3rd stage for read more...

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