William Gibson recently wrote on his Twitter account, regarding Molly Millions, that:
“In 1984, amazingly, [the] idea of [a] protagonist’s female buddy kicking more and deadlier ass was considered radical and outre”.
There is no question in my mind that Gibson is right, and that in popular culture, in the decades prior to Molly Millions arrival on the literary scene, many of the women were characterized as damsels in distress rather than ass-kicking warriors. For me, it was Molly’s innate differentness that initially drew me into reading and re-read Neuromancer when I was 15, because, at that age she was like nothing I had ever seen or read before.
However, how unique is Molly’s characterization as a masculinized female mercenary really? The late mythologist and writer Joseph Campbell wrote in several of his books, including Hero with a Thousand Faces and The Power of Myth, that heroes/heroines throughout history come from a shared set of mythological touch stones. For Campbell, and somewhat Carl Jung before him, it was truly possible that all our heroes and heroines arrived at our feet in the shape of similar archetypes, having followed similar paths. Could Molly, and the other driven, autonomous women that popped up after her inception, be echoes of mythological identities and journeys from the past? Could female protagonists that display an abundance of masculine traits and/or feminine strength just be an echo of Greek mythology’s Athena, for example?
This is my first attempt at making a video. If you watch it there is a cat in it for you