Welcome to this week’s installment of Geek Girl Authority Crush of the Week, wherein we shine a spotlight on strong women who inspire us. Now, this not only includes fictional female characters in geeky media, but creators as well. These ladies are a prime example of female empowerment and how crucial it is for young girls to have said example to follow.
DISCLAIMER: The following contains spoilers galore for The Expanse. If you’re not already watching this series, I suggest you stop whatever it is you’re doing and hop aboard the Flip and Burn train. Then, go ahead and read the novels the series is based on by James S. A. Corey. You won’t regret it.
Chrisjen Avasarala (portrayed by Shohreh Aghdashloo) is the Deputy Undersecretary of Executive Administration in the United Nations on The Expanse. Phew, that was a mouthful. She holds one of the highest offices in the United Nations. As the already tenuous relationship between Earth and Mars begins to fray, Avasarala senses something else is at play here. Is Mars really responsible for decimating the Canterbury? Avasarala does some digging of her own and discovers an intricate conspiracy involving the wealthy business magnate Jules-Pierre Mao (Francois Chau) and her boss Sadavir Errinwright (Shawn Doyle).
Now, Mao and Errinwright are the catalysts behind the impending war between Earth and Mars. Avasarala eventually confronts Errinwright for his collusion with Mao, and his surreptitiously funding the elusive protomolecule project. She believes the UN will use Errinwright as a scapegoat, especially after the Eros incident. Errinwright appears to cooperate, documenting all his crimes via video.
However, Errinwright orders Avasarala’s assassination after the latter has a sit down with Mao aboard his ship. Thankfully, Avasarala escapes said assassination attempt with the help of Marine Martian Bobbie Draper (Frankie Adams) and bodyguard Cotyar (Nick E. Tarabay). Errinwright orders his men to continue chasing down Avasarala and finish the job. He also throws her under the bus with Secretary-General Gillis (Jonathan Whittaker), convincing the latter that Avasarala is colluding with Jules-Pierre Mao.
Next, Bobbie and Avasarala eventually meet the Roci crew. Avasarala persuades Holden (Steven Strait) that the war between Earth and Mars is one ignited under false pretenses. She sends the communication logs documenting Errinwright’s extensive crimes to Anna (Elizabeth Mitchell), a friend of Sec-Gen Gillis. Finally, Errinwright is arrested for treason, but the war between Earth and Mars is far from over.
The Real Deal:
Now, Avasarala has obtained one of the highest positions in the UN without being elected to do so. She’s one of the most influential people in the entire solar system, being just below Errinwright and Sec-Gen Gillis. Not only is she a whip-smart politician who worked hard to get where she is, but she also has a family. A career woman harboring a family? Say it ain’t so! Yes, it is possible to obtain both and successfully find balance between the two.
Anyway, Avasarala is the real deal, folks. She’s not your stereotypical politician – she’s compassionate. Avasarala truly cares about the people of the system, and attempts to prevent war from escalating between Earth and Mars. Plus, she exposed Errinwright for the snake he really is, outing him as a traitor to Earth. Oh, and Jules-Pierre Mao is currently in her custody aboard the Roci, and I can’t wait to see what she does with him. Avasarala is continuously fighting toward peace in the system, and incessantly putting her life on the line to do so.
Why She Matters:
So, why exactly does Avasarala matter? Avasarala doesn’t take s**t from anyone. Not to mention, she’s unfiltered and bold. You don’t need to worry about what she’s thinking, because she’ll tell you outright. Avasarala has some of the best lines on The Expanse in my opinion. Well, maybe not t-shirt worthy since many of them are loaded with expletives, but memorable all the same. She’s brash and uncensored, which is rare in a politician. However, she possesses a sharp intellect and can manipulate when the situation calls for it.
Also, Avasarala is a fighter – in every sense of the word. She wielded a weapon while aboard Mao’s ship, when she was under attack by Errinwright’s agents. She withstood immense high-g pressure while fleeing the scene with Bobbie, which is remarkable for someone of her age and inexperience in space. Avasarala can do anything.
Lastly, she’s an exemplary role model for women from all walks of life. She shows us that we can have immense power and be responsible with it. Avasarala is a prime example of someone in a high position who uses said position in a positive way, and aims to enact change that’ll bring lasting peace to the system around her. She shows us that, as a woman, you don’t have to choose a career over family. You can have both! She possesses an unyielding determination that most of society would deem as “stubbornness.” However, we don’t like those people and they should take a seat. She’s incredibly smart, and will surely inspire young girls to pursue more positions in government so they too can bring about positive change. They too can save a system from war and bring traitors to justice!
Honestly, we could all use a dose of Avasarala in our own lives. There aren’t enough whip-smart, compassionate politicians in our own government (but I’ll refrain from falling down that rabbit hole). I’ve been considering making Avasarala-themed motivational posters: expletives included, and highlighted for good measure. Swearing is caring. Long live Chrisjen Avasarala, Queen of the Universe.
Yam Seng Beltalowda!
This article was originally published May 23, 2018