The Legend of Korra and Mixed Message Feminism
The Legend of Korra is an animated television show on Nickelodeon which just concluded its third season. It is a continuation of the world built in Avatar: The Last Airbender that aired from 2005 – 2008, to much critical acclaim. In this world there are certain people who have the ability to “bend” one of the four elements: Fire, Earth, Water, and Air. Even with these abilities, for the most part, benders are regular citizens who go about day-to-day life. There are exceptions: some use their bending to perform in certain arenas, such as the nation’s one professional sport (Pro-Bending) or the capitol city’s police force, all of whom are Earth benders.
In this world there is always one person who is capable of bending all four elements. This person is referred to as the Avatar. The Avatar is meant to bridge the gap between the physical world and the spiritual world, and thus maintain worldwide peace and harmony . The Avatar mantle is continued through the process of reincarnation, with a new Avatar being born after the previous has died. It it then the new barer of the title’s duty to master all four of the elements and engage in the responsibilities of peacekeeping and harmony.
This iteration of the show seems to have broadened it’s appeal to a more mature audience than the original. This popularity is due mainly to its older characters (late teens to early 20s, as opposed to the very early teens shown in Airbender), who have more mature, and more flawed, relationships. There are also complex motifs of political intrigue, classism, and family dynamics, among others. When The Legend of Korra was first announced there were many things fans were excited about, chief among them being the introduction of a strong female lead. With the show now in its third season, there have been many saying that Korra is poor depiction of a feminist character–that she relies too much on men, and isn’t the role model she had been hyped up to be. While some of that can be substantiated, the mixed (but mostly positive) feminist message Korra sends to its viewers is well worth the discussion.
The Fire of Korra’s Feminism
A problem with assessing something through the lens of feminism, whether it be pop culture or not, is that a lot of people misunderstand what feminism actually is. Contrary to popular belief it isn’t a movement that thinks women are better than men, that women should have more important roles than men, or that women deserve more. It is, at its core, simply about equality, equality in the sense that women are entitled to the same political, social, and economic opportunities as men are. With that in mind, a lot of the complaints about Korra being anti-feminist seem a little silly.
Sexism, in the overt sense, is basically non-existent in Korra. Gender is never used as a means to tear someone down or to say that a character is less than capable. Korra is never once begrudged for being a female Avatar (or a person of color). Similarly, Lin Bei Fong, the capital’s chief of police, is one of the show’s strongest and most well respected characters, looked at with nothing but admiration and esteem.
Another supporting character, Asami Sato, is a great example of a formidable woman. She is the only main character who is not a bender, but this in no way prevents her from being involved in every scheme and fight the gang gets into. She is a trained martial artist and often utilizes technology from her family’s corporation, a corporation that she eventually becomes the leader of. In later seasons she and Korra form a strong friendship, an important aspect of which is their differences. These aren’t two girls who rely on others, are helpless, and are waiting for a man to sweep them off their feet, but that is where their similarities end. Korra is depicted as somewhat masculine, short-tempered, and is not atenderhearted, caretaking, nurturing type of girl—she’d sooner water-bend your drink into your face than tell you how she feels. Asami, on the other hand, looks much more feminine, is warm-hearted, and known as a debutante. What’s so important about this friendship is that it shows two completely different types of women—notably ones who, stereotypically, should not get along. This friendship breaks the archetypes of the strong independent woman and the pretty socialite respectively, without demonizing either character.
While Korra is trying to learn airbending during Season 1, she is being mentored by one of the last remaining airbenders, Tenzin. He has three children, two daughters, Jinora and Ikki, and a son, Meelo. Throughout the first two seasons Jinora becomes a more than competent character in her own right. She becomes one of the only characters able to communicate with the spirit world, and is able to perform spiritual feats no one else is capable of. She and her two younger siblings also save Lin, while she’s guarding the Northern Air Temple, from attackers using their near mastery of airbending, despite being so young. Later in the same episode Lin downs two enemy airships by herself, running across the tops of them and ripping them to shreds using her metal bending (an advanced form of Earth bending). These are just two examples of action scenes in Korra, which are just as likely, if not more so, to have a female character leading the charge.
Strong women in Korra, then, are depicted in many forms: from the protagonist, to two very young children, to the older chief of police, to an upper class debutante. What is important about this variety in characterization is that it does not degrade something that many assume goes against the principles of feminism—femininity. Asami is a beautiful woman who has essentially no masculine traits; and Jinora is a pre-teen girl who based on her personality would likely be watching Lizzie McGuire (if only it was still 2006) and giggling at cute boys. The show never makes these characteristics negative, because they aren’t. It has seamlessly over three seasons depicted female characters who emote myriad of types of femininity, and who stand up for themselves and others. The women of Korra provide great role models, representing almost any archetype of girlhood you can imagine.
Bending the Bad Into Good
A major criticism regarding The Legend of Korra and its feminist message is in regards to Korra, Asami, and the third part of their love triangle, Mako. While their three-sided-love-shape is nearly pointless in the larger arc of the show, it never detracts from Korra’s agency. It is also full of clichés: She likes him, him doesn’t like her, he likes the other girl, then realizes he really liked her in the first place. In fact, the reason Korra is the focus of Mako’s, and his brother’s, affections is because she is such a tough woman, not in spite of it. While Mako leaves Asami for Korra at the end of Season 1, Korra ends things with him eventually, in a very mature way, with all of three of them remaining friends. This, in turn, results in the aforementioned close friendship between Asami and Korra.
Though not all of the male characters play into this detraction of feminist idea like Mako does, even if he does so inadvertently, most of the men in the show are incredibly respectful and treat the female characters with complete equality. When Korra is being trained by Tenzin he treats her as an untrained pupil, but that is exactly what she is, he never looks down on her because of her gender or takes away any of her agency because she is a female Avatar. By the third season their relationship is one of the strongest in the series, with Korra giving him advice and guidance at times, the mutual admiration and respect is clear.
On the other hand, what I do find problematic are the two instances of female characters fighting over a male character, once between Korra and Asami, and then through dialogue between two older characters. This is not to say this doesn’t happen in real life, or that pining after the same man makes them weak. The problems begin when that becomes the crux of character’s personality. When everything the character does is based solely around their focus on the male character’s affections, this denigrates them into something far less than they are. This is also something very rarely seen between two men on screen, because it seems emasculating when men do it, but dramatic and necessary when women do it. Continuing this trend erases the aspects of the female characters not focused on romance, while asserting the masculinity of the male characters as the objects of so much female attention.
Another complaint made about Korra hones in on her resentment of Asami’s femininity. During the rivalry over Mako’s affections, Korra seems to resent Asami and assumes she is just a brainless pretty face. It is not until she sees Asami driving competitively that she gains respect for her. This is certainly not the ideal we’d like to see—again, two girls clashing over a boy. Korra’s respect for Asami only emerging when the latter proves herself in a ‘masculine’ arena falls in with gendered stereotypes about motorsports (Danica Patrick would have something to say about this!).
The Legend of Korra is not perfect. But a strong female lead who is only human—and a teenager at that—is going to make mistakes, sometimes involving boys. Sometimes she is going to do things that aren’t feminist. This fallibility is present in even the most empowered and independent of teenage girls. It is how she handles these mistakes that makes Korra the role model her fans want her to be. This is why she is a fantastic example for young girls growing up among a host of ditsy boy-crazy modern television characters. Korra is exactly what we need her to be.
What do you think? Leave a comment.
I watch this show with my 2 daughters and we all love it. It is refreshing to see a strong character who is not dependent on a male counterpart. The writers do a good job with the love triangle in that Korra is not haunted by it.
I enjoyed your article. Well done.
This show is amazing. Very few of her problems were because she was female. It was pride and overconfidence.
I am not anti-feminism. but this show isn’t about a female proving her worth as a woman being a role model for women everywhere. It is a legend of an Avatar named Korra, who is learning how to be a better avatar, while trying to restore peace and balance to the world.
I all honesty, if it was about her winning as a female, the show would have died in a fiery crash.
The point is that it really isn’t that Korra has a consciously feminist angle to it and the narrative, but to look at it through feminist lens is still inherently important in terms of the messages it sends to its audience when they do see a female character in this position. It’s still going to mean a lot to people that the Avatar is female in the role of protagonist and savior.
In some ways, Mike and Bryan aren’t without a consciousness of feminism. Back in the original series, Azula and Toph were actually originally male characters until they decided to switch their genders.
In the first series, it felt like it was goofing off until near the end of the series when things started getting heated, and it basically had the most badass ending for a ‘kids show’. Of course there were serious moments all throughout, but they never lasted sooo looong. Not to mention I can’t really bring myself to like Korra, even though I like the whole ‘women can be strong, too’ message the show is sending out.
And the relationships… not everyone has to be in a relationship all the time! I know the first series had it’s share of relationships, but they weren’t ‘on again off again’. I just wish they didn’t choose to put that much focus into that.
But I do love the work they do and will continue to watch. I feel like the creators really came up with something nice. They are great story tellers. There, now, I will get off my Avatar soapbox!
Kids watching this were asked whether it bothered them that this Avatar is a girl. They said that they didn’t care, and that Korra was ‘awesome’. This is the positive thinking feminists need.
How would this have a feminist message? i can’t even see it like that. Allowing diversity in a story isn’t adding or subtracting a message to an audience. So much as the writer is allowed the freedom to form and create what they wish. Just because strong female lead exists means nothing in aspect of Feminism. Nor does a strong male mean “women suck balls”. It’s merely a character that is portrayed. Indeed in some ways there is the lack of a dynamic female character. but that is generally formed by the lack of wanting a “dynamic” female character for whatever reason. i know some people who dislike playing female characters because they are male all together.
Though i feel in many ways that we have come to the point that if something isn’t about feminism, or something opposed or somethings in other topics. People will just toss it on it anyways. I watch Korra because i enjoy the characters, the way it’s put out, and how i don’t feel like a moron watching it. Many modern cartoons need to take up the pace, and stop being so dimwitted. Yes all shows have their time and place for it, but if they are just that, it lacks anything of value to bring up. Children learn what they learn, we just need to learn how to balance out both male and female powerhouses, and create a good season of cartoons like that. Hopefully, Korra is a right step in that direction for other companies to see the value of creating something with some consistency and value in their shows. and not just “Bob decides to flip burgers. OH AN A MONKEY CAME!”
However, i’m aware this is merely my opinion, and the opinion of others may be against or for it. I merely stated my own.
“Just because strong female lead exists means nothing in aspect of Feminism” That’s just incorrect.
Definition: “Feminism is a collection of movements and ideologies aimed at defining, establishing, and defending equal political, economic, cultural, and social rights for women. This includes seeking to establish equal opportunities for women.”
So by Korra being a strong lead, she is being an example of equality. Showing that not just a man can take the lead role in a country’s security or in the front lines of a battle. Same with Asami, a woman can be the owner of a massive corporation, and with Lin, a woman can be the bullheaded chief of police. And yes, it is merely a character portrayal, but that doesn’t mean the portrayal can’t have meaning to a lot of people.
The Relationships, pride, friendship, personality clashes, fall, self confidence, ignorance, anger, love, responsibility, revenge – This has little to do with gender. It is accurate human psychology.
I disagree. While gender doesn’t usually apply to whether these aspects of life *happen* or not is true, but how they are perceived and how individuals are treated are. For example you mentioned anger, if an adult man were to yell at the cashier at a store it would most likely be considered frightening and threatening, while if a woman did she would probably not be viewed as frightening but just as someone who is hysterical. Same with ignorance, such as the “dumb blonde” trope, you rarely, if ever, see that applied to a man. I think it is a very useful tool to look at the things you mentioned through the lens of gender.
I have a love hate relationship with this series. The first season I loved but not so much the second season. Season three gives me mixed feelings but then again I think all TV shows now in days are repetitious and dull. I haven’t made up my mind about Korra yet; she kind of gets on my nerves though.
I totally agree about the second season, it seemed like they were just trying to go bigger than the first but it ended up lacking the substance the first did. The high point of it for me was the original Avatar two-part episode they did. I did loved the third season though, I thought it had a echos of the first, by keeping the story smaller in scale. Plus I just love Kya, and she had way more screen time in the third haha.
Yeah, with the second season that was almost entirely about her relationship problems… you can totally see she wasn’t meant to be a trophy…
Great article, I think you cherrypicked some of your arguments at points through.
Thanks for the comment! I’m curious to know which ones you think that about?
I can’t believe how terrible LOK’s writing is compared to A:TLA. It’s like.. a caricature of the stereotypical teenage girl as opposed to her actually being a complex person.
The same goes for just about everyone and everything else going on in this series. It is very flat and simplistic. And it’s not like they don’t even have any elements to work with, I mean there’s a war going on and spiritual craziness happening and modernization. But they just keep diverting to this stupid forced love story. Also, it doesn’t matter how much or how little they expected to write, four seasons or one mini series, I’ve seen much better, much more MOVING things accomplished in fewer episodes. It’s a mess.
Korra disappointed me as the fact she reminds me of a man. The silly thought that a girl wearing pants and playing sports and burping makes you a strong female lead. It does not! And I hate that women have been brainwashed to think that being a female with man qualities and mannerism makes you a strong woman. I wanted to see a female avatar well rounded. Smart, Beautiful, Clever, maybe even funny/dynamic.
So do you think that a strong female lead *can’t* have, what you described as, “manly” qualities? What I tried to point out in the article is how well the show depicts strong female characters across the spectrum of femininity, from highly feminine, Asami, to less so, Korra and Lin. Playing sports and wearing pants don’t make her a strong leading character, it’s her desire to be the best Avatar she can be, her incredible fighting skills, her maturity (even if it took a seasons and a half to get there) to end a relationship that obviously wasn’t working, and her willingness to sacrifice herself for the everyone she loved. The fact that she doesn’t fit in with the societal stereotypes of what a “perfect” woman should be is part of what makes the character so great, especially in conjuncture with the other women on the show.
Thank you. Personally I identify the most with Korra; while I don’t care for belching contests I’m pretty athletic, I don’t feel comfortable in most women’s clothing and have to consciously force myself to “behave” in a more feminine way – it doesn’t come naturally to me. But I’m no less a woman. It’s annoying to constantly be compared to men or have my gender mocked. Women like Korra do actually exist, and we’re not “trying” to be men. Korra just represents another kind of woman, but she’s strong for the reasons Tyler mentioned above. Unlike Korra, I’m not strong, not emotionally. I look up to her for her courage and moral compass. That’s what makes her strong.
Oh god I am so with you! We definitely need newer adjectives that don’t compare women to men and vice versa. And Tyler I love the fact that I found a guy who is an actual honest to evolution feminist(thank god I’m not part of a very minor minority)
Interesting and insightful article. Good stuff.
Nice article! Even in the original series, Katara, Toph, June, Mai, Ty Lee, and Azula all could hold their own without any problems.
And there was the episode in ATLA season one where Katara breaks the sexist rules of her sister tribe and gives light to the flaws in their culture. Also, the show points out how amazingly awesome girls can be in the episode Kyoshi Island where an elite team of warriors prove you can be feminine and athletic at the same time.
Oh I totally agree! Katara, Toph, and Azula are some of my favorite characters from A:TLA and television in general (Especially Azula, whatever that says). The episode where Katara battles the water tribe leader because he won’t teach her because she’s a girl is one of the best episodes of either series. So many good messages for girls / women in both The Last Airbender and Korra.
Good article, and I’m hearing great things about Legend of Korra so I’ll probably check it out.
This was one aspect I liked about the original Avatar series as well. I haven’t given The Legend of Korra much attention, but in the original series sexism didn’t play much of a role because there was such a broad range of female characters. Katara, Toph, and Azula were all strong-willed, independent women, but in their own way (even Katara and Toph didn’t have a whole lot in common). It’s good to see that our generation’s TV shows are tearing down the barriers set by previous generations in regards to gender roles.
In addition to “The Legend of Korra”, I found the original series, “The Last Airbender” full of strong female characters as well. In my opinion, Toph was a very well developed character and despite her disability, she was very independent and strong. The creators of the series have done a great job in creating positive role models and hopefully this will ocntinue with future projects after Korra (fingers crossed).
Three cheers for feminism and feminist articles! I realize I had not commented on this yet. Great work with your analysis! In response to other commenter sexism did exist explicitly in ATLA but it was always shutdown and refuted which was brilliant.
In regards to character development, I’d say that TLOK surpasses ATLA. Korra has made real strides as a person, and though she still has her hothead moments, she’s shown progress through her experiences, which is reflected by the people she interacts with. I think her relationship with Asami is the most realistic one on the show, and it’s a reliable constant that shows the growth that Korra has made.
Couldn’t have said it better myself 🙂 I totally and completely agree. Her relationship with Asami and the growth she’s shown over the first 3 seasons is so real and so well portrayed.
I’m not really sure I agree with that statement not only because I love ATLA but Korea’s development is frankly unfathomably convoluted. Korea ever since Season 1 has been a character who has too many anger problems and can’t handle any responsibility. For example, I don’t think her actions this season (spoilers- she runs away because she gets too impatient in her recovery after fighting Zaheer) are indicative of a change from her character in the first season. While obstinacy is not a fatal flaw, she still seems unwilling to grow in any way but rather be a passive figure in her own life.
Thank you for your analysis! The representation of women in The Legend of Korra has impressed me from the beginning and I can’t wait to see how their character arcs play out during this last season.
I can’t wait either! This season has some really interesting themes and characters, it’s going to be interesting to see where it goes.
So first off – I’m a dude . . . so let’s get that out of the way right now haha. With that being said, I couldn’t agree more with your views on feminism and the way it pertains to the show. As long as equality is the main objective, I don’t think anyone will protest the demands of feminism. As far as the show itself is concerned, I was really excited to realize that this show has created a character that is appealing to both genders simultaneously. Young boys will admire her for her prowess and hot-headedness (let’s be real here), and Young girls will aspire to her independence and personal strength. Appealing to both facets of the world is perhaps the protagonist’s greatest success. Well, that and being the Avatar.
Haha as a dude as well, I completely agree. There was actually an interview with the creators where they talk about a screening that did of the first few episodes with a group of kids. They asked the boys what they thought about Korra and none mentioned her gender just that she was awesome. So cool.
Interesting read. I am halfway through season three of this show and you can see that it is made for older audiences. I really enjoy the show and it is one of the shows that tries its hardest to present this image of equality. I know sometimes shows fall to stereotypes but this show has tried to remain consistent throughout. Good article, it covered a lot of good points.
The fact that Korra is a female and that her main issues in the show are focused on the fact that she is the Avatar rather than a woman is refreshing. I think that the show is very progressive in terms of Korra being defined through her role as the hero rather than as a character who needs the support of other characters, i.e. being defined by her relationship with Mako, etc.
She is her own person and the show thrives on her independent and strong personality. Well done with this article.
I agree that Korra is an example of female strength, and that the show does a great job of promoting equality. As far as Korra being dependant on men, I see her as being human and a young adult who is still learning. Creating moments of ignorance and vulnerability allow the creaters to push a message of teamwork and continued personal growth. I find that to be a more positive message than unflinching strength.
Korra is a strong female character. No doubt about it. As far as the love triangle the mot important thing I have to say about is, it ends. It isn’t nearly as important in season 2 as it is in 1. In season 3 its basically no existent and in season 4 it isn’t there at all. Of course in season 4 all the characters are 3 years older so maturity comes along with age. This is a strong point because it shows the women and men of this world are able to move on from things like love triangles. They all show this strength (something those of us in real life often lack) and focus on what is really important. This is a strength and maturity that everyone shows, regardless of gender.
The greatest choice they made in the third season is to have Korra and Asami forgive each other for who the utter garbage that was the 2nd season relationship drama. It subverted the dreaded Betty & Veronica trope. Instead of all their interactions being about Mako, they can now have a genuine friendship.
I think this is a great analysis of the show. This show has such great representation for gender and race. I think that you brought up really great points from many perspectives and critically analyzed them in a very accessible way. I love this show and I think that it is one of the best in terms of treatment and representation of women.
I was especially excited about Legend of Korra because not only does it open up dialogue for political regimes, ethical ideology, privilege, power, etc. It does with a main character who is both a woman and darker skin-toned. By having this character go through her journey was so powerful because it shows an honest look at intersectionality. By paralleling many issues that plague the Western world, we can have a character that refuses to submit to Western standards for female characters. Also, you highlight very powerfully the role that Asami plays in a bit of a opposite the “masculine” traits that Korra has. Asami is also very strong and powerful in her “feminine” traits that the writers prove do not demerit from the Avatar team that much of the Western World would consider weak and bothersome. This to me shows equity in what each characters personality and skill set can bring to the table in order to save the world or overcome a challenge.
I would argue though, that Meelo’s character had many fits of misogyny that I feel were brushed off as “boys will be boys” or were not addressed in the show. This disappointed me a bit because I would have liked to see a moment where his words/actions were deconstructed and he could have a bit of character development. However, he seems to be the one of the more underdeveloped characters that was a ploy for comic relief at the expense of womyn that to me was unnecessary and detracting from his character.
I also love the friendship of Korra and Asami. It emphasizes that strength is not confined to a particular female personality; rather, strength is embodied in countless personalities – both male and female. Legend of Korra didn’t grant that strength to all its characters (mostly due to the fact that many characters did not have enough character development to exhibit that strength). Still, the characters who do exhibit that strength are excellent role models for so many viewers.
Really well written article! You make your points clearly and concisely. Despite being a big fan of the original show, I still haven’t seen Korra, but I’m definitely going to give it a watch with the lens of feminism in mind.
Having just watched through all four seasons (and as such knowing about the relationship at the end), really don’t think there was mcuh resentment between Korra and Asami. Korra was frustrated that Mako was interested in ‘some pretty, rich’ girl but they very soon met and became allies. After that point, Korra and Asami didn’t take out their frustrations with Mako on each other, instead they respected each others’ worth.
Then in season 3 and 4, their complementary characters made for a very strong friendship, one that was never undermined by Mako’s presence or absence.
The Legend of Korra had something else that I thought was astonishing is the sheer number of female characters leading to one incredible fight scene in later season 3 where Lin Beifong and her sister square off against P’li. Half of team Avatar is female, half of team Anarchist is female, one of the primary villains is female, there is an assortment of females who all-around kick a lot of ass both individually and cooperatively.
I don’t remember a show ever been so good in this regard, not even its predecessor The Last Airbender.
I do not see how a show that plays sexual harassment (against women) and abusive romance (against men) for laughs in any way could be feminist; I’m talking about the second season here. However, I also doubt the writers’ (Mike and Bryan) credentials regarding feminism when their attitudes towards young girls has been less than stellar (i.e. portraying the fangirls in the Avatar Promise comics as frivolous little things spouting the word “like” a lot while antagonizing the main character’s love interest, calling anyone who took issue with the unhealthy pairing of an unlikeable character with Korra in the first season as “angry fangirls”). Anyway, if anyone is interested in more analysis regarding Korra as a show dealing with feminism, privilege, etc then I recommend a great site called Avatarreviews.wordpress.com (Marshall Turner as blogged and v-logged extensively on the show).
LoK has its issues (as stated above, certain horrifying scenarios like the Eska/Bolin abuse being played for laughs), but it definitely looked up in Book 3 and 4 in terms of female agency and representation. I wish they gave Zhu Li more to do though. Regardless, I enjoyed the array of different gender expressions in LoK’s female characters, which I loved in A:tLA as well.
could you please recommend us with the journal/thesis/whatever researches that relate to feminism in this tv show? it may help me for my research also.
“I do find problematic are the two instances of female characters fighting over a male character” “This is also something very rarely seen between two men on screen, because it seems emasculating when men do it, but dramatic and necessary when women do it.”
I find this kind of argument not only fallacious but completely cynical and asinine. Males compete and form animosities because of women all the time in history and in fiction, like ALL the time, on medieval settings it even goes as far as causing wars, gravity falls has entire episodes dedicated basically on Dipper and Robbie fighting over Wendy’s affection while Mabel has silly temporary crushes on boys but never really any episode pairing her with someone. It’s really cynical that feminists just act like those situations just never happening with men but when they do they attribute it to objectifying women as just something to be won but when it happens with women then it’s over-glorifying the importance of a men in a woman’s life.
There’s a point when your own argument just starts to crumble over itself where you have to just stop trying to push it and just reevaluate your views and your values, start by looking at what actually is out there and not only through your own perspective of things.
Korra proves she is a strong (female) character. While the show does fall into tropes in the first season especially, it does expand on those tropes. Korra, Mako, and Asami each grow from the people they were in the first season to more mature adults in the last season.
If the female charachters were men and men female, everyone would be going on about how its disrespectfull towards women. Seriously think about a woman and man interact and switch sides for a moment. Its like they made the show only to please people that just cant be pleased with equality and want more and yet people are still complaining. I actually came here expecting more people thinking like me.
Korra is terrific in every way and so is Asami. both of them smart and accomplished and beautiful, Even Jinora is super talented and mature beyond heryears. These three all exceptional young women.