Are you Team Peeta or Team Gale?
Yeah, but Catching Fire (the book) wasn’t about any of this, and it disappointed me. It was all about Katniss forgetting that she’s the most badass motherfucker in Panem so she could fret about which boy liked her the most. After the phenomenal Hunger Games, I expected so much more from its sequel, and I was sadly smacked about the face with the reality that I’m apparently not in its target demo.
Still, I’m so happy that a generation is seeing and reading it as a call to arms. That’s amazing.
Yeah, I’m going to have to go ahead and break the internet and cause people to hate me for disagreeing with the King of Tumblr, Wil Wheaton, but I didn’t see Catching Fire that way at all. In fact, I see this analysis of Catching Fire to be one-dimensional and problematic.
To me, it was about learning that you have power—those moments between adolescence and adulthood where you realize your actions are no longer happening in a low-risk bubble. Also, about learning you had a voice and that you should use it. And yes, even the strongest of women can still have romantic ties that complicate life at the most inconvenient of times.
But more importantly, if the protagonist was a young (hetero) man, would we be judging him for having feelings—complicated and untimely ones—for two different women? Or is this the double standard we still hold women to, even if we simultaneously claim they are “the most badass motherfucker in Panem”? That we request our strong female protagonists to check their personalities at the door in order to be strong still means we have so much further to go.
Frankly, Catching Fire was the most powerful of all of the books for me because it was more than just a story about war and revolution—it was the story of a girl smack-dab in the middle of it as she’s coming of age as a symbol of that revolution. I think what Hemsworth is saying is right, that there is no rivalry between Peeta and Gale and it’s not like Twilight in the Team Edward/Team Jacob nonsense. But that doesn’t mean it has to be completely devoid of emotional and romantic ties either…and it isn’t and that’s what makes it relatable.
Even badass women are more than their badassery.