I’ve often said that fiction gives us a safe place to deal with difficult issues. The fact that the characters are not real, and in this case have special powers, may make the issues raised in Jessica Jones more easy to view and discuss.
1 in 5 Americans will be affected by a mental health condition (NAMI), 1 in 6 women will experience stalking, and 1 in 5 women will be raped at some point in their lives (National Sexual Violence Resource Center).
Despite these statistics, men and women dealing with rape, stalking, and mental illness remain dismissed, trivialized, stigmatized, and misunderstood. Discussing rape, stalking, and mental illness helps friends and family understand the complexities, challenges, and reality of these issues. This is why it’s important for writers to include these topics in their fiction, opening up discussion that can enable awareness, empathy, and understanding.
Marvel’s Jessica Jones explores:
- Death, Loss, and Grieving
- Parental Abuse
- Partner Abuse
- Drug and Alcohol Addiction
In the past, I was led to believe that a superhero was “super” because of his or her strength (of body and will), moral compass, and physical attractiveness. Aside from superior physical strength, Jessica Jones has none of these traits.
Jessica Jones is a rude, selfish, slovenly, mess of a human being. She drinks, vandalizes, and stoops to the same stalking behavior as her abuser. She makes terrible life choices. She is broken and hurting. She is real. And, in the end, she struggles to do the right thing.
To me, Jessica Jones is hope. Not the fantasy of rainbows and pixie dust, but the embodiment of something good rising from the ashes of abuse, violence, and heartache.
Want more about Jessica Jones? Check out my DragonCon Panel Discussion.
E.J. Stevens is the bestselling, award-winning author of the IVY GRANGER, PSYCHIC DETECTIVE urban fantasy series, the SPIRIT GUIDE young adult series, the HUNTERS’ GUILD urban fantasy series, and the upcoming WHITECHAPEL PARANORMAL SOCIETY Victorian Gothic horror series. She is known for filling pages with quirky characters, bloodsucking vampires, psychotic faeries, and snarky, kick-butt heroines. Her novels are available worldwide in multiple languages.
BTS Red Carpet Award winner for Best Novel, SYAE finalist for Best Paranormal Series, Best Novella, and Best Horror, winner of the PRG Reviewer’s Choice Award for Best Paranormal Fantasy Novel, Best Young Adult Paranormal Series, Best Urban Fantasy Novel, and finalist for Best Young Adult Paranormal Novel and Best Urban Fantasy Series.
In addition to 15 speculative fiction books, E.J. has written two how-to guides on self-publishing and book marketing. She also owns the award-winning blog, From the Shadows.
When E.J. isn’t at her writing desk, she enjoys dancing along seaside cliffs, singing in graveyards, and sleeping in faerie circles. E.J. currently resides in a magical forest on the coast of Maine where she finds daily inspiration for her writing.
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