Hunger Games and Gender Empowerment
The Hunger Games series depicts a society in which male and female characters display a full range of characteristics that do not always conform to traditional gender stereotypes for men and women. Katniss Everdeen is a 16 year old female who is strong, intelligent, and confident, and skilled at hunting, archery, and caring for her younger sister. Peeta Mellark, the male counterpart to Katniss, is a physically strong, emotionally expressive, and a baker and cake decorator. The society in which they live conducts an annual reaping, selecting twelve girls and twelve boys to compete against one another for survival, creating a world in which boys and girls have equal power and equal opportunity for survival. Katniss and Peeta demonstrate that males and females can both be strong, vulnerable, likeable, admired and ultimately their true selves. Katniss and Peeta are equally strong, but in different ways. In a world where Katniss is skilled, confident, and a rescuer and Peeta is emotionally expressive, caring, and vulnerable – each person is free to be their true selves. Men and women take control over their own lives. Katniss and Peeta and the other characters pursue their own goals, live according to their own values, develop self-reliance, and are able to make choices and influence - both individually and collectively - the decisions that affect their lives. Being free to express your true self is critical to becoming a healthy individual and achieving a healthy relationship.