Saturday, March 31, 2012

Female Characters in Video Games

This article and its follow-up, written on the blog Paging Dr. Nerdlove addresses the issue of sexism in video games and geek culture quite fully. Well, the first part  presents the issue and the second article was written in response to the vast amount of negative responses the author received because of the first post. That is one of the key problems: gamers are extremely hostile to the idea that they are being sexist. Either they deny the issue, say no one cares, or that it's okay because it's a male-dominated culture so games would obviously pander to a male audience or that male characters are sexualized as well, so it evens out. Dr. Nerdlove goes into depth deconstructing these foolish arguments and why they're not helping.

Even though geek culture and media are generally male centric, women are making great progress in fantasy, movies and comics at an increasing rate. However, it seems that video games are lagging behind. One of the most egregious failing of the gaming industries that the author brought up and I am most annoyed by is the profound lack of good female characters that have. Female characters that actually have interesting stories and development are few and far between, while virtually every game has some swimsuit model gyrating or prancing around as a love interest. Even games that put in an effort to have female characters end up perpetuating stereotypes by treating them as objects of desire first and characters second. Let's look at the author's example from the recent Batman game Arkham City.
These are three very obviously different characters, with different motivations, stories and, most relevantly, body types. The hero is ridiculously muscular, one villain is rail-thin and the other is on the chubby side. Now, see the difference in them and the female characters:
Now which of these is the villain? The hero? They are certainly different, but from looking at them all we get is sexy. There is only one body type: skinny with big boobs, paired with tight and revealing clothing. What changes between them? Hair and skin color and makeup, mostly. They could even trade outfits without much confusion. It's as if for male characters the designers thought, "Okay, how does this character fight? How can we show that?" and for female characters, "So we start with a barbie what color spandex defines her seduction style?" This is coming from a modern, otherwise well written game, of which there are many that have the same problem. This isn't even mentioning fighting games such as Soul Caliber or Dead or Alive (which even had a beach volleyball spin-off), which introduced "jiggle physics" to the female characters' exaggerated breasts to boost sales.

Looking at recent games, it was very challenging to come up with any female characters that had interesting stories and were not overtly sexualized. The only ones from major games this decade I thought of were Elena Fisher from the Uncharted series, Alyx Vance from Half-Life 2 and FemShep from Mass Effect, who only ha an interesting story because she is the main character who you decide the personality and look of. Feel free to give me more examples.

Video Game Superheroines: Appropriate role models or just “a 13 year-old boy’s fantasy”?

Many video games I grew up playing had the main characters as male. Legend of Zelda, Mario Bros., and Sonic are all examples of games that starred a male character. In addition, many of these games had the main character, such as Link or Mario, saving the helpless female, (Zelda and Princess Peach) who had been captured by the main boss. However, as the years have passed, many more games have been created, or at least evolved, to have female main characters. Some games have it as choice between gender characters and some strictly have a female protagonist. Nonetheless, these female characters seem to be modeled after a woman that has the perfect breast to waist to hip ratio with flawless skin and hair. Thus, has this evolvement toward a more female empowering gaming world really contribute positively to the cause?
            I have mixed feelings and so do other critics. Peter Hartlaub, writer of the article “Top 9 greatest video game heroines” mentions how The Chronicle’s video game critics picked “nine playable characters…judged on toughness and coolness, with no swimsuit, or evening gown competition” since many of these characters still have exaggerated body images. Still, that doesn’t take from the fact that these characters still kick serious butt and can stand on their own two feet. The fantasy world these characters live in have their community depending on the character’s success. That is a serious load to have to carry. So don’t these females get credit for that?
            Yes, it would be nice to have a game focused around a woman who radiates strength and independence without her having to have the next Miss America body but would that game really sell?  I feel that we are making progress toward a more gender-equal society but the step is just really small. Nonetheless, any step counts and we should appreciate the step for what it is worth. While some people may initially start playing the game to admire the woman’s shape as she moves across the screen, I feel that eventually these people will begin enjoying the game for its storyline. This may be a very small fraction, but at least it is something, right? A drastic leap from powerless, but beautiful women to strong, but physically unattractive women may just be too much of a shock to society. The cause must be eased into or all the efforts may be lost. As a final note, give the public what they want but slowly habituate them to an idea that truly puts women on a pedestal that is equal to a man, without the degrading body image stereotypes. Whether this is in video games, books, movies, or government, these small steps to the common goal will eventually reap praiseworthy benefits.

Read more about the “Top 9 playable characters” article at:

Hunger Games to Inspire More Strong Female Characters?

I came across a great article written just this morning on E! online questioning the effects the success of The Hunger Games will have in Hollywood. It seems that the huge success of the movie (grossing "$152.5 million in its opening weekend") may lead to more strong female characters in movies and more "female-centric projects". This makes complete sense, because if something makes money, everyone is naturally going to jump on it.

However, if you step back and really consider this, it's very interesting. Feminists have been trying for so many years to emphasize the potential of females and the strength of the gender, yet when does everyone start to really pay attention and support this portrayal of women? When a strong female character makes big bucks in Hollywood. In this way, our society truly revolves around the media. So was the popularity of the Hunger Games partially caused by growing support for strong females in our society? Or is the Hunger Games just a good story that happens to have a female main character?

If you believe the latter, then what better way to get public support of an idea? If we introduce these topics that we want to garner support for in new, entertaining ways, the public almost subconsciously starts to see the topic in a new light. Simply telling people that women can break stereotypical gender roles is nowhere near as effective as showing them.

According to another article on the effect the media has on gender, children learn these gender stereotypes from a young age, and mostly through TV and movies. The article contains many interesting statistics, including the frequency of female characters in the media, as well as the way in which they are portrayed, and the effect it seems to have on children growing up watching these portrayals. 

In all, it seems that the best way to influence the public view on a topic is through portrayal in the media. So why isn't this used more often?? Why don't we see more of this subdued version of propaganda, used to manipulate our minds into thinking in whatever way the media intends? Or is it used so often that we don't even notice it anymore?

Turning The Hunger Games into "The Gender Games"

Anxiously awaiting when I could finally see The Hunger Games movie for myself, I came across a really interesting article in the Wall Street Journal about how the movie was marketed. According to the article, the movie required a different games of its own: “The Gender Games.”

The book adheres to many famous ideals, focusing on a female heroine, Katniss, in a fight to the death among 23 other contestants of both genders. The fight encompasses both genders, showing that female kids have the ability to fight equally against kids of male gender. Additionally, by making the main character a female in the fight, this book takes an even bigger stride for feminists. Not only is there a female protagonist, but she also does not show any weakness where bravery is needed most and comes out victorious in the end.

Although there is a love story integrated into the plot, this love triangle is merely for entertainment in the novel and does not play a huge part in the story. Most importantly, the love story does not conflict with Katniss’s character. She remains a strong female heroine, not being swayed or forced into a stereotypical gender role at the end of the story by falling in love.

However, although the love story should not be the main focus of the novel, this very component of the book caused a “Gender Games” when trying to publicize the movie. It’s presence in the book and the characters cast for Gale and Peeta left many young girls across the country swooning. This “female cult fandom” may have deterred males from seeing the movie, as they become annoyed by the fanatic focus on the love story instead of on Katniss’s strong character in the brutal situation that she fights to get out of. In fact, the article states that 73% of young women had definite interest in seeing the movie, while only 48% of young men said they were definitely interested.

In order to reverse this thinking, marketing this movie required some playing of “The Gender Games” in attempts to bring male interest back up to the substantial male interest the books themselves had without losing the huge female following the movie already gained. An online videogame was made and the movie was screened in IMAX, both of which target male audiences.

However, in order to bring the movie back to what males found intriguing in the book in the first place (it’s fast pace, strong characters and violent sport), these specific traits were highlighted in the trailers. Bruzzese, president of Ipsos MediaCT's Motion Picture Group, mentions, “They've taken away the love story and focused on the hero, who, by virtue of her altruism and fire, is going to stand up against this situation.” 

Watching the trailer for myself, I found this to definitely be true. Her bravery and determination are unquestionable, and the focus on the action of the movie could leave anyone, whether male or female, yearning to see more. With these trailers and overall product of the movie, The Hunger Games was definitely triumphant in “The Gender Games”.

Where Have All The Strong Women Gone?

Searching the web the other day, I came across this interesting article about the lack of strong female leads in popular TV series of today. In the article the author, Daniel Bettridge, makes an argument that shows such as Gossip Girl and 90210 feature female leads that are “little more than expensive clothes horses.” He claims that their male counterparts define these female characters. The shows center around who’s doing what and who’s seeing who rather than an interesting, female empowering storyline. Bettridge questions where shows like Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Veronica Mars have gone. Shows that instead feature, according to him, petty, vein, and overall pathetic women have replaced shows that included leading female superheroines.

           I agree with Bettridge’s argument, but I think that he is too fast to dismiss the female characters of such shows as weak. Sure, Gossip Girl centers around Blair Waldorf, a spoiled Upper East Side princess, and her numerous love interests, but it also shows Blair as an independent, powerful (in that she can manipulate anyone and basically always gets her way), and intelligent woman. She goes to Columbia with her best friend, Serena, and gets a competitive internship. Her mother owns her own fashion company. Another character in the show, Jenny Humphrey, proves her talent as a designer before she even graduates high school. Although the females in this show are born with countless privileges, they also work hard to succeed and be independent, proving that they, too, are strong female characters. They may not have Wonder Woman’s superpowers or Buffy’s ass-kicking mentality, but they are certainly viable representations of a strong, modern-day woman trying to succeed in the real world.

            It was written in 2009, so it is a little outdated, but I still think that Bettridge overlooked some of the strength that can be seen in leading female characters today. Also, many new shows, such as The Vampire Diaries, center on strong female characters that are honorable, independent, and fierce. It is unquestionable that there has yet to be a show that features a character as powerful as Buffy, but I think that Bettridge didn’t give enough credit to the leading ladies of today’s shows. 

Friday, March 30, 2012

Women Victimized in the News

While home on spring break, I saw a local news story that caught my attention.  It was about a fight that broke out in a McDonald’s in New York City.  In this story, the reporter emphasized the fact that this was not the first act of violence to occur at that specific McDonald’s.    Both this and the first violent act went viral when caught on tape, but the first was different in that it involved women.

                The first fight, which occurred in October of 2011, took place when two women jumped over the counter and were subsequently beaten with a metal rod by the cashier.  The women were hospitalized and the cashier was fired and arrested, but charges against him were dismissed. 

                This is a clear act of brutal violence that led to these women being seen as victims.  However, when reading comments on the article on the NBC website, I found it interesting that many people believed the reporting to be heavily biased.  Those who commented claimed that the women got “what they had coming” or “were looking for trouble”.    These viewpoints seem to contradict that of the reporter and bring up the question of how violence against women is portrayed in the news.

                This report suggests that whenever women are injured in a violent incident, they are automatically victimized, and the men are the offenders.  The reporter did not spend much time discussing the women’s part in jumping over the counter or starting the dispute with the cashier that led to the entire incident.  Instead, the report focused greatly on the violence on the part of the male cashier.

                Some of the comments on the article encouraged readers to view the full, unedited video of the incident (below), to understand the role the women played in instigating the actions of the worker.  The edited version does not include the women yelling and creating a scene prior to the violence on the part of the worker.  Of course, it cannot be overlooked that the women were injured enough that they were hospitalized, but edits such as these seem to help create a bias in the story.   This then begs the question of whether the women were victimized in the media because of their gender or because they really were the victims in this story.

                After watching these videos (both here and from the NBC article) or reading the brief summary of the incident, do you think this story was really “slanted” or was the reporter right in presenting the women as the true victims of the incident?  There may not be a clear answer, but it does seem that the story had a bias towards the women.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

The Hunger Games Movie: Hit or Miss?

After watching The Hunger Games movie, I think it is safe to say that the movie has lived up to all the hype. Overall, the movie was backed by strong performances of Katniss and Peeta. Although there were some discrepancies in the movie, I think that the movie was definitely well worth the watch.

For the most part, the movie remained faithful to the book. It included key scenes including the Reaping, training with other tributes, and in the Games, the Cornucopia scenes, the tracker-jacker encounter, Rue’s death, the cave scene with Peeta, and the finale of the Games with the mutations. Although I felt that the movie was fast paced, it did successfully covered these important scenes in brevity.

I also thought that the choice for the cast of the movie was well picked. Jennifer Lawrence played a strong, steadfast, and reliable Katniss. The movie portrayed her to be very protective over her younger sister, Prim and along with helping Peeta when he was injured. Likewise, I thought that Peeta was very likeable and convincing of his love for Katniss. His portrayal in the movie was very representative of the book, particularly his monologue on the roof with Katniss the night before the Games began. Also, I thought Elizabeth Banks made a great choice for Effie. Her costume and demeanor were exemplary of the Capitol.

However, one discrepancy that I found strange was that during the end of the movie, Peeta was left almost unharmed. In the book, although Peeta’s leg was much better after applying the magic cream sent from the sponsors in the Capitol, his leg did not fully recover. In fact, he needed a prosthetic in the end. Likewise, during the final scene in the Games, Katniss is still bleeding from her ear. However, in the movie, both Peeta and Katniss appear only to be a little disheveled. It seems that they are just wondering around the woods. As a result, the movie lacks the sense of desperation for survival and tension.

I also noticed that the movie added a scene that was not in the book. In final scene of the Games, in the Cornucopia, Cato was wrestling with Katniss and almost has her head dangling off the Cornucopia. Fortunately, Peeta comes to her rescue. I found it particularly strange why this scene was added. Rather, in the book, the muttations attacked Peeta’s leg and made him more vulnerable than Katniss. 

Since the movie is an adaptation of the book, the moviegoers will instinctively compare the movie to the book, making it harder for Hunger Games fans to be satisfied. However, overall with excellent casting choices and its faithfulness to the book, though despite some discrepancies, I thought that the movie is definitely worth watching .

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

The Hunger Games: Reasoning behind the changes made from the text to the film

I found this great article on E News website that discusses the specific differences between the Hunger Games movie and the book and tries to help us understand the reasoning behind those changes. The author of the article, Leslie Gornstein, points out five apparent changes. First being that the story about the Avox girl that waits on Katniss while in training for the games is completely left out. Katniss is cast as Jenifer Lawrence who has fair skin and light hair when in the book she is characterized as having olive skin and dark hair. In the film, there are scenes added about the dictator of the capital and the creator of the games. There is a lack of violence in the film compared to the fighting described in the novel. The fifth change that Gornstein points out is that a riot scene in District Eleven that was not in the book was added to the plot in the film. In my opinion, the book was a great read so I was very curious to learn why these changes were made in creating the movie and I bet you are curious as well.

Gornstein discovered the answers to our questions regarding these differences from the Hunger Games team that consists of director Gary Ross, scriptwriter Billy Ray and the novel’s author Susanne Collins. In regards to deleting the Avox subplot, the team felt that there just was not enough time allotted to the film in order to fit in the story about the Avox girl. It would have taken too much time to stray from Katniss’s narrative to portray what happened in the woods that day. Do you think that the film should have been extended far longer to include the interaction between Avox girl and Katniss?

As we discussed in class, there has been much controversy about the casting of Katniss as a fair skinned blonde. The team says the answer is simple really, they just could not imagine a better fit for the character than Jenifer Lawrence. Is there another Hollywood star that you believe would have made an amazing Katniss?

In the film, the team created scenes with the dictator and game-maker in order to provide more clarification about the thinking behind creation of the games and the hierarchy of their society. Do you think that this is a necessary add in?

The lack of blood and guts in the film is due to the fact that the makers of the movie wanted it to be PG-13. They wanted to target a similar audience as the novel that being young viewers.

In the film, they added a riot scene that takes place in District Eleven. The team created this addition as a precursor to the second novel Catching Fire and to demonstrate the effect that Katniss and Peeta’s victory has had on the districts. I agree that this change was necessary because I felt that the ending of the novel wasn’t completely satisfying in that it didn’t insinuate what could be coming up in the next novel.       

Check out the article at:

Self-Esteem in Hayes' "Shafro"

In Terrance Hayes' poem "Shafro", the theme of celebrities inevitably holding the burden of being a role model for their fans is explicated. An ordinary black male (deduced from Hayes' word choice "black halo") aspires to have the confidence that the media portrays Shaft to have ("three movies & a brief TV series"). Shaft is not only described to be this action-packed individual, but one also of sexual appeal, "always a woman sleeping next to him."

Despite an ordinary black male such as the narrator obtaining the physical characteristics similar to Shaft, there are some situations where the possession of these characteristics does not change who he is. The narrator says, "I keep the real me tucked beneath a wig" and states later on that "I grow beautiful as the theatre dims." It seems by these two statements that he cannot truly express himself when in the "spotlight" of the public, only being able to portray what he desires to be from other individuals. However, when the attention is directed elsewhere, the true being of the narrator can come to shine. It is ironic (a sort of play on words) how when the spotlight that the public places on individuals disappears, that time is when the individual really shows their true being. The irony, more explicitly, is the drastic effect that this public spotlight has on the way an individual portrays himself/herself to the public.

To bring this discussion back to the context of the poem, Shaft may very well be a completely different individual than the media portrays him to be. Thus, the failure of true confidence comes about in the narrator's thoughts, shown in the following excerpt: "Bits of my courage flake off like dandruff."

In summary, though a black individual is shown to be heroic and successful, the young black public gets the wrong idea of how to go about achieving these qualities. I say young black public, because I feel adults would know that such meager actions as growing one's hair out will not lead to the obtainment of these qualities. However, the adults may still be swayed to believe other "false" actions will lead to these qualities.What are your thoughts on the subject?

Terrance Hayes' poem can be accessed here:

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Why Don't We Care About Women's Sports?

During this time of March Madness and the NCAA Hockey tournament (let's go Red!), I found myself wondering why most Americans put so much energy into following men's sports, but couldn't care less about women's basketball or hockey. While it can be said that this is because men are naturally more athletic, so in any sport that both genders compete in, the male games will be more exciting, I feel that this doesn't fully explain the issue. Why aren't there any sports that would be more exciting to watch women compete in, such as ones that favor smaller, more graceful people rather than the stronger and faster? Or do these sports exist and I just am not aware of them?

The only women's sporting events that I can recall watching are gymnastics, swimming and beach volleyball, all of which have been every 4 years at the Olympics and also feature fairly revealing outfits. I think that there could easily be a team sport that it would be more exciting to watch women play than men due to the nature of the sport, or variations on currently popular sports with rule changes that favor women, without incorporating sex appeal, such as the Lingerie Football League (that's a thing, I promise).

On the other hand, am I imaging this lack of exciting women's sports simply because I don't enjoy watching them as much as their male counterparts? It could be true that many people prefer watching women's soccer and I just don't know it. Please enlighten me with your opinions on this matter.

Edit: just realized I forgot that women's tennis is extremely popular. That is because I dislike tennis, not women.

The Walking Dead- How Come Men Get to Kill All the Zombies?

After watching AMC's new hit show "The Walking Dead", it was hard to look past the clear and uncomfortable gender roles that the show displays on a regular basis. For those who do not know the show, "The Walking Dead" is set in post-apocalyptic America, overrun by zombies, or walkers, that terrorize the few left living on Earth. Filled with violence, gore, drama, and Southern accents (the show takes place in Atlanta, Georgia), "The Walking Dead" explores life without boundaries, and the fight for survival that more often than not seems hopeless.

Unfortunately, even amidst a zombie invasion, gender boundaries still remain strong and unforgiving. Throughout the show, men protect the lives of women and children; guns and decision making are controlled by men while women hopelessly follow the guidance of those who are just as clueless as how to survive a zombie apocalypse. Sure, there is a point where the men realize women need to be able to protect themselves against zombies, but it is only once the men decide the women are ready do they get the luxury of carrying weapons. Even then it is clear that the women do not deserve that responsibility. In the episode that women are granted the right to bear arms, one women accidentally shoots one of her companions in the head, persuading the audience that she and the other women should not be allowed to protect themselves in fear of harming others. It is more often then not that women are cowardly screaming and running at the sight of the all too familiar zombies, and rely on a strong male counterpart to skewer the awful creature for her. There is no hiding the issue of gendered violence in "The Walking Dead", and men and women almost always fit stereotypical gender personalities- men are capricious and aggressive while women are passive and overly emotional. Although the show takes place in the South, it seems as though the gender roles are overly exaggerated, and modernity has yet to shed light on the advancement of women rights in the past few decades.

While the examples provided so far revolve around my own personal understanding of gender dynamics, the dialogue within the show proves the gendered nature of violence in the show. When one female character expresses her interest in protecting the group by surveilling the surrounding area for zombies, a female counterpart exclaims, "The men can handle that on their own, they don't need your help. There are plenty of other things to do around here, cooking, cleaning". Regardless of my interpretation of the show, this is a clear indication that women are being socialized to view their duties as cooking and cleaning as opposed to taking a position of leadership. "The Walking Dead" supports the notion that women should be seen and not heard, and that their duties should not extend beyond the shelter of their home.

This explicit and implicit display of gender roles and violence affects the way that women and men perceive gender in today's world. Regardless of context, "The Walking Dead" provides a lens for which people around the world are socialized to believe that women and men should occupy the roles of leadership (or lack thereof) that are displayed on television. We as a people use mass media as a reference point to understand what is acceptable and unacceptable behavior, and "The Walking Dead" only helps to perpetuate a negative understanding of the role that women can have in a modern context.

Katniss and Bella: How the Two Queens of Today’s Fiction Industry Relate

           Katniss is certainly a strong female character. Her courage, power, and survivor-mentality cannot be disputed. She provided for her family, took her sister’s place in the Hunger Games, and fought against the other twenty-two (not counting Peeta) tributes to win the Games. However, as the fictional series became more and more popular and the movie was finally released in theaters, people seemed to have forgotten her inherent strength as a female individual and have instead become fixated on a less important, more superficial aspect of Katniss’s story: her love interests.

            Sure, Peeta and Gale embody a large part of the story line, but I believe that Katniss’s story has more depth than a mere love story. I admit that I was rooting for Peeta while reading the series (yes, I couldn’t just stop at the first novel…), and I’m sure I’ll swoon over the actors once I get around to seeing the movie, but I can’t help but thinking that the newfound obsession with this Hunger Game love triangle parallels directly with that of another major player in the industry of fictional series: the Twilight Saga.
      In my opinion, Katniss is an obviously stronger, more powerful female character than Bella, but while reading the Hunger Games series, I kept relating her predicament with that of Bella. Just as Bella was torn between Edward and Jacob and couldn’t seem to make up her mind, Katniss was torn between Peeta and Gale and remained undecided until the very end of the series. The love triangle surely brought more conflict to Katniss’s story, but it also weakened her image as a powerful female character in a way. I found it hard to believe that as her life was on the line (as it was countless times throughout the series), she couldn’t make up her mind and realize who she truly loved as more than a friend.

I know that it was a difficult decision, but such uncertainty certainly caused Katniss to seem less powerful, especially since it was centered around her own emotions. Just as Bella did in the Twilight Saga, Katniss wavered back and forth between the two men in her life. Rather than taking a stand and realizing her true desires, she remained undecided and tiptoed around her actual feelings.  I still think that Katniss’s strength is undeniable, but I just wish she made up her mind earlier in the series and did not show much of the typical “girly” problem of not knowing what she wanted when it came to love. I guess it made for good drama, but I couldn’t keep myself from relating her commonplace dilemma to Bella’s, and this definitely caused me to view her as a weaker character overall. 

Female Protagonists in Twilight & The Hunger Games


Even before “The Hunger Games” movie was even released, there has been a lot of comparison of the two. Likewise, there have been 13 year olds infatuated with Team Peeta and Team Gale, as they were with Team Edward and Team Jacob with Twilight. In fact, something I found funny watching The Hunger Games movie was that the last preview trailer was Twilight’s Breaking Dawn Part II. After having read the Twilight books and reading and watching the Hunger Games, I can seriously say that Twilight and the Hunger Games are two different stories and should not be compared. Although both focus on female protagonists, Bella Swan is portrayed to be a damsel in distress, while Katniss Everdeen is portrayed to be self sufficient and protective of her family.

Although Bella and Katniss are presented in a love triangle, Bella and Katniss differ in their reliance on males. Edward seems to be the one true love for Bella. In fact, in the second installment in the Twilight Saga, “New Moon”, Bella almost died from cliff diving, hoping that Edward would come back to her. She is almost obsessed with Edward, refusing to live without him. However, in The Hunger Games, Katniss is more independent. For instance, in The Hunger Games, Katniss is reluctant to be part of the “star-crossed lovers” narrative with Peeta. She also has doubts of what her relationship with is Gale, if they just very good friends or something more. In the Twilight Saga, the main story arc is the love story of how Bella is in love with Edward rather than Jacob, whereas The Hunger Games, the love story is only peripheral to the main story arc of how omnipotent the Capitol is over the twelve districts.

Another way that Bella and Katniss are different is their role in the family. Katniss is the breadwinner, hunting beyond the fences of District 12 and gathering with Gale, her confidant, and trading for various items in the Hob. She also tries hard to protect her sister, Prim. For instance, she volunteers to take Prim’s place during the Reaping and insists that she does not take any tessaraes. On the other hand, Bella is always running into trouble and requires the protection from other vampires. In Twilight, two bloodthirsty vampires, James and Victoria, chase after Bella, just because her blood smells sweet and she presents to be a challenge. Edward is able to kill James. In Eclipse, Victoria comes back for Bella for vengeance. Thus, Edward and his family devise a plan to save Bella. In all the books in the Twilight Saga, Bella is presented to be vulnerable, always requiring the protection of others, whereas, Katniss is a much stronger female protagonist, both physically and emotionally.