Every now and again I read something online that seems to just shock me in how sheerly stupid it is. You know articles that you read and cannot help but think, are they trolling me or are they serious? In this vein of thought I have to wonder what was vice thinking when they posted an article titled ‘Stranger Things’ Season Two Would be Great if Not For All That Sexism… I begin this with an open mind but struggled not to slam my face into a desk. The writer theorises that Stranger Things 2 is telling us – ‘Girls are not people with individual personalities and complexities, they are girls’. This is due to the fact that new girl in town Max joining the group causes friction between the boys in Stranger Things. To me this shows a pretty twisted look on the world, one where the writer chooses to look for problems they may not necessarily be there. Yes the boys do end up with a rift because of Max’s addition to the group but maybe thats because Micheal is afraid to let anyone close to him or the group because of his deep connection to Eleven, or maybe he does not like how two of his best friends are fighting over her. The author mentions about groups having ‘token girls’ and this leading to rivalries between the girls in groups. Yes there probably was some element of that when it came to Eleven’s attitude towards Max, but being one of the few guys in a group of girls I myself have found an instinctive jealousy towards any guy coming into the group, this is not sexist, this is human. Another reasons for Elevens aggressive behaviour is how she was raised, she was created to be a weapon and when she lashes out its almost without though or control, we see this when she hurts Max but also when she breaks every window in the Sheriffs home.
On top of all that you have Joyce a hard working single mother who after working a below average job and raising two pretty decent kids still has the grit and determination to face the Mind Flayer and save her youngest, Nancy who goes up against a government organisation to get justice for her best friend, Max who stands up to her abusive older brother, Kali a girl leading a rag tag group on a path of brutal revenge against her captors and of course Eleven the little girl that saved the world.
Yes there may be sexist stereotypes in Stranger Things. We might even argue that its period appropriate, something which the show really pushes, but what about the closed off grumpy sheriff who cannot communicate his emotions, the group of nerdy boys than can only befriend girls who are complete social out casts, douche bag jocks, the lonely weird but tortured artist and evil scientists, if you really look at it the boys do not come out so great either. In a show that never oversexualises any of its cast members and has a female lead save the world I am far from shocked to say that Stranger Things is not sexist.