There was a moment in Jessica Jones’s second season that floored me, despite its seeming mundanity. It was when Trish Walker, former child star and Jessica’s best friend, turned down a marriage proposal from all around-great-guy and super-reporter Griffin. As Trish tries to handle the blowback from her toxic mother (who keeps insisting that Trish is throwing away her life by refusing the engagement), she finally puts her angst into words: “I don’t want to be with Griffin—I want to be him. I want to do what he does. And that’s not love, and it’s not fair to either one of us.”
This problem, this exact one, is wrapped around me like cling film, impossible to spot and harder to eradicate. I took a moment to try and count up the number of times I had been told that my admiration or emulation of a man (even a fictional one) amounted to romantic interest or sexual desire. I could not find an end to that number.