Terry Dresbach

Outlander Costume Designer

Reply To: On the TV portrayal of the "Strong Woman"


[quote quote=6842]There is such marvelous variety in people, isn’t there? I find that a lot of what sets us off is what we’ve been hurt with, and one of the aspects of strength that I think is so valuable in women is that our strength is an empathetic one, a protective one. It’s a thinking strength, and I cherish any time I see that onscreen.[/quote]

I’ve planned, as soon as I’m no longer a struggling college student, to get a tattoo of the Anais Nin quote: “We see the world, not as it is, but as we are.” That concept stood out to me in profound ways when training to be a counselor. I had to face some of my own demons to avoid transferring them onto clients, and that process made the quote real. We all have knee-jerk responses, mine is to be intimidating and sarcastic to avoid appearing ‘soft’, but in doing so I’ve trained myself to respond with indifference instead of empathy. I’m a deeply empathetic person, but my childhood taught me that wasn’t safe. What I appreciate about this group is the way many of us, regardless of our perspective, are willing to listen and discuss opposing perspectives.

Connie, I know we’ve talked about the lack of POC representation, and how jarring that can be. I feel the same way about the lack of feminine diversity in cinema. It’s getting better, and the fact that we are all able to have a discussion that names several different characters, speaks to the changes in industry. Someone referenced Orange is the New Black, HOLLA…a strong female lead that happens to be Trans* and a Woman of Color…hell yes. I never thought I’d live to see the day that mainstream tv was allowed to do that. I’ve been overly aware of the need for Trans-inclusivity in the world of feminism and what it means to be a strong female character. I’m interested in your insight into the topic?