So, the last Hunger Games movie came out and, with it, came criticism for the ending.
Katniss, the great and brave warrior woman, is now reduced to a lowly wife and mother? GASP!
Honestly, if Katniss was neurotypical, I would get it. Romance wasn’t the focus of the books/films and so the ending would feel like they just couldn’t comprehend a happy ending for a woman that didn’t involve MARRIAGE and CHILDREN because that’s all women are good for, right?
But Katniss isn’t neurotypical and this critique is very much an example of women in a position of privilege assuming that their experience applies to ALL WOMEN EVERYWHERE.
It really doesn’t.
Disabled women aren’t often forced into feminine roles.
They’re often denied them.
Able-bodied and neurotypical women have to deal with the pressures of being told that they have to marry and have children to live fulfilling lives.
I have to deal with people assuming that I am fit for neither.
I was diagnosed as Autistic at nineteen. Before that I was pretty much “person most likely to opt for working part time so that she could spend more time baking cookies for her children.”
Now, the same people who (kindly) teased me about being too much of a mother hen, tell me that it’ll take a saint to marry me. My future partner will be “putting up with” me, or will have to also be Autistic.
They went from assuming that I was going to have children to assuming that I wouldn’t.
Now, if I talk about it as a possibility, I’m told that children are probably too demanding for me to deal with.
These are people who have known me for years, and yet my diagnosis completely changed their estimation of my future.
I’m no longer a woman to them. I’m just Autistic.
Katniss ends The Hunger Games series with PTSD.
For a neurotypical woman, getting married and having children is the stereotypical ending.
For neurodivergent characters, the stereotypical ending is death.
Living a life that most able-bodied/neurotypical women take for granted is a happy ending for her.
And it’s not an anti-feminist one.