Growing up watching Degrassi Junior/High – I was five when it went to air, ten when it went off the air and about fifteen when the ABC stopped rerunning it – I think it was Lucy Fernandez (Anais Granofsky) who started me on this road of feminism – particularly feminist women on a quest to change the media’s attitude towards women.
Lucy is a teenager and aspiring filmmaker. She cons her affluent-but-neglectful parents into buying her a video camera of her very own, and sets about documenting everything that interests her, as well as making her own movie. She’s highly opinionated about the treatment of women in the world and takes on every feminist challenge that crosses her path.
And for it, she misses out on a lot of male interest. At one point, she bemoans the fact that her mouthiness has cost her many a boyfriend. She even attempts to restrain her feisty personality for the sake of winning a guy. This little foray lasts all over a couple of days before she gives said guy what-for over his chauvinistic defence of the men’s basketball team over the women’s volleyball team. She makes her point, and loses her date for the dance. In the privacy of her room (to a video diary to her friend in hospital) she admits she “˜really wanted to go to that stupid dance’.
What I took away from that scenario was that she was sorry she’s lost a date to the dance, she was sorry she’d had to choose between her principles and a boyfriend, but she wasn’t sorry she chose the principles. I liked that they showed this as a hard decision and Lucy wasn’t just some bulletproof budding feminist which no amount of rejection or criticism could hurt.
I would make a closing comment about the lack of Degrassi-esque shows around today but, well, I think I’ve already made it.