Even in 2015 the debate about equality between men and women is not finished. While there have been changes for the better, we are still facing the reality of women being treated differently.
As a grown woman with a fair share of disappointing and hurtful experiences on this matter, I am all for women empowerment. But what does it mean? It means that females should be encouraged to be self-confident and brave. It also means that females should be paid the same as males when doing the same job. Females should be encouraged to build a career and occupy high positions. Females should not be objectified by men, they should not be faced with oppression and/or sexual harassment.
From an early age on, little girls should be encouraged to develop demanding and fulfilling life goals. And they should grow up in a world where men and women are equal. Not the same, but equal.
So here is what Halo is doing right on that matter:
- You find many brave and self-confident female characters (some would say strong but to those I recommend watching Joss Whedons speech on Equality. It is old but brilliant and should be watched by every person on earth. Here is the link: Equality Now).
- Females occupy male-dominated positions like Scientists or AI’s. Smart and sharp. Examples: Dr. Halsey or Cortana and Iona.
- They are Spartans and Marines/Navy. They are battle hardened and fearless. Examples: Kelly, Linda, Foehammer, Polaski, Vale, Tanaka, Miranda Keyes.
- There is no differentiation and no highlighting the fact that women fight or are in a higher up position. It’s natural and the way it is.
- It is not about the looks of women in the Halo Universe. They are described/shown in a ‚matter of fact‘ way. And just like the men. There is no sexy connotation when Cortana is described in the books or when you see Linda and Kelly in Halo 5: Guardians.
- The core of the Halo story is that of a man and a woman (Yes Cortana is an AI but a female one). He is a super soldier and fulfills every cliche in the book. But Cortana is not the weak and helpless girl that he has to save. That would be the other cliche. She is there to help John as a companion. And, in the end, they both help each other, they both depend on each other. They are a team.
What I like most about the issue of Equality in Halo is, that there is no issue. It is so wonderfully unimportant. Women and Men are equal in the Halo Universe and I wish for our world to reach that state very soon.