Not Your Typical Woman: ‘Arrow’ sets gold standard for equality

Will Hyde

The cast of “Arrow” is one of the most diverse comic-to-TV adaptations on the air, featuring heroes and villains from a variety of races, social circles and sexualities. 

Definitely one of the most equally represented casts on CW’s lineup, “Arrow” gives viewers an intricate plot-line, connecting characters across the DC landscape. 

“Arrow,” despite being centered on Green Arrow, allows alternate side stories of leading female characters to develop alongside the protagonist.

The writers have tied in geniuses like Felicity Smoak, bad asses like Black Canary and cold-hearted villains like China White. “Arrow” doesn’t stop there — viewers witness family hardships with Thea Queen and Katana and harrowing romances like the one between Nyssa al Ghul and Black Canary (Sara). 

“Arrow” does more than just characterize women in diverse ways — the writers included tragic backgrounds filled with triumph and despair. Audiences are emotionally in-tune with all the women on the show because we are able to empathize with their struggle. 

The “Arrow” universe is set in a ruthless city. Starling is gritty, tough and corrupt. And, much like the people of Gotham, only the tough make it. Unlike “Gotham”, the women of “Arrow” are not automatically conditioned to be apathetic and self-serving.

The show includes women of all backgrounds, choosing to perpetuate injustice and those who have chosen to rise against it. “Arrow” differs from many superhero TV series by allowing the female cast to acknowledge their pain, accept their situation and rise above their suffering.

The fight against evil is not reserved for just men here. “Arrow” proves anyone can fight for justice — anyone can defend themselves from harm.

The ladies of “Arrow” are not distant, out-of-touch vigilantes, but actual women dealing with hardship and loss the best that they can. Viewers are reminded that men are not the only ones in the superhero universe who refuse to back down from conflict — women, too, are able to stand up and fight for justice. 

“Arrow” is not just about one guy’s attempt to fight crime — it’s about many people. It’s about the struggle to persist and the courage of justice and the reality that it takes many different kinds of people to fight for what is right. 

“Arrow” airs on CW, every Wednesday at 7 p.m. CT.