So, I actually had been contemplating making something for fragrantwoods’s birthday, but while pondering whether it should be a Mary McDonnell or Laura Roslin piece, I got distracted thinking about Laura Roslin in general - (as one does). Now, maybe it’s because I’ve been spending so much time on Tumblr where the standard battle-cry is “Strong Female Characters With Flaws!”, but I started to think about how rare a character like Laura Roslin really is. Not just as a female character, but as a woman character of age.
Think about it: The standard practice in Hollywood is that a woman over the age of forty is ‘the mother’ or the ‘the wife’. Laura was neither of those things. On top of that, they weren’t afraid to give her flaws. Laura was strong, but she had weaknesses. She was given a load of responsibility and she wasn’t always sure she was doing the right thing. She wasn’t sure which was the right decision and even when she made the decision, she wasn’t above doubting herself. But at the same time, she didn’t let other people push her around or manipulate her decisions. That’s not to say she didn’t respect counsel from certain people or listen to advice, but she knew these were her choices to make, her responsibility to carry, and she did so on strong shoulders. Even with the cancer, she carried it with grace, except when she didn’t, but that’s okay, because she’s human and Laura was a strong woman but she was also a human being and humans hurt.
I also think she had to have moments where her mind just reeled that this was even her life now. I mean, when she was in her what, early 20s, she was heading into being a teacher, educating the minds of young people…and then here she was the fucking President. Being the Secretary of Education probably occasionally blew her mind when she looked back on where she started - (as I imagine that kind of thing does with anyone in that situation) - but then to become President. Though, to be fair, she was also living on a spaceship in a Cylon induced apocalypse, so maybe the President thing didn’t phase her so much.
Anyways, I’ve read a lot of stuff lately about how a woman doesn’t have to run around shooting everyone and kicking their asses with karate chops to be a strong female character - (and that if she does run around karate kicking everyone, she should still be human, not some sort of ass-kicking robot…unless she IS an ass-kicking robot, then it’s cool). And then I thought of Laura Roslin and all of the sides she showed us and how not one of them made her less of a strong female character but, in fact, more of one.
In semi-related news, I recently watched ‘Alien’ and ‘Aliens’ for the first time. I’d seen most of ‘Aliens’ in bits and pieces but never in full - (I know, how is that possible?) - and I am in love with Ripley. Who’s surprised? I spent a great deal of the first movie worried about the damn cat, even though I knew how the goddamn thing ended! I think I liked ’Aliens’ better, in general, and I know how the third movie starts and it basically negates everything in ‘Aliens’, so I’m not going to watch it. My head-canon end is the end of Aliens, with all possible futures laid out before her, hopefully one that hooks her up with Hicks and gives Newt a nice normal life. Sadly, I think Jonesy will be dead by the time Ripley gets back to the station, but they’ll get another cat. Newt can name it Casey.