In an intense two-month sprint, the DH Lab at MIT hit the ground running with the Gender/Novels project. Their mission? To teach a program to deliver meaningful data about gender from a truly colossal number of books on a sentence-by-sentence level of detail—and to establish their new lab as a force on campus. This is what they learned.
Suddenly, massive blockbusters resolve around the power of a woman’s body, to a greater degree than its sexualization. These brutal women are the wickedly, unapologetically powerful characters redrawing the genres that so long excluded them—and doing so not as novelties, but as icons.
The two Maries seem precisely the opposite of all the fear and worry that I’d felt in the Women’s March.