There are many things I love about Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. from Phil Coulson to #GirlPower and I loved Grant Ward even when he became a creepy alien dude but of all the #GirlPower things to love in Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. nothing can top Agent Melinda May. She rocks my world on so many levels as an awesome feminist icon who doesn’t give up one iota of her femininity while being a total badass. I’ve watched Supergirl and adore Peggy Carter and Jessica Jones will always hold a special place in my heart, but of the current crop of female heroes it has to be Agent May all the way.
What do I love most about Agent May? Perhaps her understated power. Never doubt that she is one tough woman – a one woman army even. She is an amazing ninja warrior whose body is a highly-trained weapon and yet she is famous for using only sufficient power to defeat her foes preferring to use her hands rather than a weapon. But she is more than a fighter. She is a thinking, caring, intensely loyal person. She is the epitome of a superhero even though she doesn’t have special powers or alien blood. She is very good at everything she does from fighting to flying to planning. While she hates her nickname, the Calvary, because she knows that the heroic rescue that spawned the name came at a terrible cost, it is also the perfect name for her because she is devoted to protecting and serving. She will always fight for the good and rescue those who need it.
We have watched Agent May come out of her shell over the course of the show. We learn, when we discover the story of her nickname and the tragic circumstances behind her change in demeanor, in the Season 2 episode “Melinda,” that she was not always so aloof and distant, but we also learn over time that she is funny and warm and loving in a fiercely maternal way. It is her love for her country and humanity that leads to her career in S.H.I.E.L.D. because she believes in their mission to protect and serve. She follows the rules and orders, but she will break with authority when she believes it is for the greater good. But perhaps her best quality is her extreme loyalty to those she loves as well as her country and the agency that strives to protect it.
It is the package of power and humanity that make Agent May a tremendous representative of femininity that redefines womanhood. Unlike Supergirl or Jessica Parker, she has no special powers and she was not born on another planet. She is fully human with all the quirks and frailties that package includes. As both an experienced field agent and clear second in command, she assumes the mantel of leadership without effort. She doesn’t demand respect, but she gets it because she is worthy of respect. She is tough. She is smart. She is caring. She is everything we want our heroes to be and she just happens to bring all that in a small feminine package that challenges every superhero stereotype.
I love Agent Melinda May because she is a human badass redefining womanhood and we need heroes like her. What do you love about the Calvary? Do you believe Agent Melinda May is a good role model and inspiration for women? Whenever I need a feminist icon to give me heart I’m going to picture Melinda May. What about you?Tags: #GirlPower, #Heroes, #Stories