Last week, I spoke briefly about Robin Hood’s Marian. This week, I’ll touch just as briefly on the other female character in the ensemble: Djaq (sounds like Jack).
When we first meet Djaq, we are to believe she’s a boy. She’s being held prisoner by the Sheriff along with other Saracen men, and they’re all being transported to work as slave labor in the mines. Enter Robin and his crew. Stuff happens, the Sarecens are let go. IIRC, this is about where Will Scarlett happens up on Djaq changing her shirt, and obviously discovers she’s not a he. Yikes. He doesn’t say anything, though it’s clear he’s disconcerted.
Robin et. al. do whatever they were doing (sabotaging the mines), but then Little John falls down a hole. Djaq still sticks around. Her father was a physician, so she can help John. She’s also the smallest. She goes down the hole, wakes John up and then they all get away.
I can’t remember if she asks to join them or if they invite her, but it’s at this point where Will reveals her gender. Everyone else’s response is “who cares?” She’s proven her worth already by saving John. And Robin implies he knew she was a woman.
It doesn’t stop there, either. Occasionally there’s a bit of “girls can’t do that” which could also be interpreted as plain old competitiveness among all of them. Every time someone even hints that Djaq shouldn’t do something because she’s a woman, she ends up outwitting and outperforming the guys. She’s smart, she’s trained and she’s got skills they all need.
Like Marian, she holds her own among all the testosterone.