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WOMEN AS HEROES…Looking Ahead to Outlander Episode 14   51 comments

Hello followers!

We are starting a new weekly segment with blogger/writer Beth Wesson. Beth has become our official Outlander Online blogger. Every Wednesday she is going to post a new article preparing and hopefully getting you all excited for the upcoming episode. We hope you enjoy her posts and be sure to leave comments and discuss your thoughts! Conversation is always welcome.

– Erin


By Beth Wesson

“Love forces you to choose…you find yourself doing things you’d never imagined you could”, Jenny Fraser Murray Outlander on Starz.

Episode 13 of Outlander “The Watch” left us with the image of Claire looking searchingly down the road that leads away from Lallybroch. She has just been told that the Redcoats took her husband away and yet, like so many of us who would hope against hope, she continues to search for a glimpse of his shining red hair. Soon, her denial will fade and she will be forced to face a harsh reality, her love is gone.  Once again, 1743 becomes all too real.  Her husband is in danger and at least three days away and she isn’t able to hop into her car to go find him. She can’t make a phone call, pay bail or call a lawyer. She really has no choice, SHE must go bring him home.

Fans of the books know what Claire will face and we are admittedly having a rough time. We know we are about to see a nightmare come to life right before our very eyes. Quite a few of my readers have expressed the concern that they aren’t entirely sure they’ll be able to watch.  They tell me they had a tough time just reading what happens to our couple. They are afraid the trauma will become much too real if they “see” it happen.  Can’t say as I blame them.  I’m sure Ron Moore, Outlander’s Executive Producer, and his crew will handle the upcoming episodes as fearlessly as they have handled the other difficult scenes. I KNOW they will do it justice and I have concluded that sometimes knowledge isn’t such a great thing to possess! However, “Love of the series will force me to choose” watching anyway.

Having read some of the critics’ reviews of previous episodes, I’m pretty sure there will be some focus on Outlander’s women being heroes and not damsels in distress. Admittedly, in the not so distant past, this scenario has been rarely portrayed in film and on TV. However, recently, especially in the Young Adult Literature/film genre, we have seen an increase in this type of role reversal. The Hunger Games and the Divergent series both feature strong female main characters that save the day and their male counterparts. Both of these series are set in dystopian societies which really might say something about how we view women in the role of hero and savior and I’m sure there is a graduate student somewhere writing research entitled “Why Must the World Fall Apart Before Women are Allowed to Save the Day?…a Feminist Perspective on YA Literature”.

Outlander is certainly not YA literature and Diana Gabaldon wrote these books over twenty years ago. I just had to restate that fact because this woman and her books continue to amaze me. I often joke that the Outlander series is my point of reference; all problems can be solved with an example from Outlander!  And, that includes examples of strong women who strike out on their own to save the day and rescue those they love from harm. Although, what Claire and Jenny do for love of Jamie may seem a bit remarkable and maybe even fantastical, I would like to remind the world that women “choose to do things they never imagined they could” every day for those they love.

To tell the truth, it makes me a bit sad that “The Search” WILL be a topic for discussion because of the perceived novelty of Claire’s heroism.  In truth, Claire will only be doing what women choose to do on a daily basis. They may not be riding across the Scottish Highlands on horseback, but they ride across the bumpy terrain of raising a child with Autism, or provide food, shelter and nurture for their children with a money bag filled only with the coin of a minimum wage job or maybe they fight the evil of addiction that threatens to destroy a spouse or find a way through the darkness for a loved one suffering with cancer.  On the other hand, millions of people will be tuned in to watch two women care enough to do whatever it takes to keep their loved ones safe from harm.

I’m happy to report that the male gender specific definition of “hero” seems to have fallen out of favor and a hero is now being defined by Merriam-Webster as:

: a person who is admired for great or brave acts or fine qualities

: a person who is greatly admired

I know Claire and Jenny will show the world that women can be heroes that commit great acts of bravery that save the day. And…they will be admired for it.

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