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Wicked Nerdery

Where psychology, pop culture, and true crime collide

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psychological trauma

Stranger Things Trauma

There are easily a thousand amazing things in the Netflix series Stranger Things, from the literary and film references to the scientific concepts behind the “Upside Down”.  The music is classic 80s’, the tone wonderfully nostalgic, and the story a great mix of humor, drama, and tense, sci-fy, horror.  The characters are classic 80s’ cliches, but also deep, complex, creations with unique personalities, distinct faults, and, in certain cases, possible psychological disorders…specifically PTSD.  Two specific characters on the show exhibit symptoms even prior to having to battle a Demogorgon — Eleven (aka El) and Chief Hopper (aka Hop).

— Please note there will be many, many, spoilers for the show coming up. —

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The Trouble with WHY Tough Women Have Traumatic Pasts

In the previous post I described some various ways in which tough women inevitably have traumatic pasts, but so what?  I mean, sure, that’s strange and all, but there are lots of tropes out there in the pop culture world.  True…but not all of them indicate a key issue that still plagues the world of entertainment and beyond.  Inequality.

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Tough Women Have Traumatic Pasts

It takes a special kind of woman to be as tough as the men and in pop culture it takes one with a traumatic past.  Something that’s hardened her enough to hang with the guys, do a “man’s” job, and perform those tasks most often considered masculine in nature.  The trauma itself is not always the same – domestic violence, sexual abuse and rape, the death of a parent at a very early age – but the results are.  Someone tough and determined enough to live and succeed in a male-dominated world, but never without some terribly painful past that underlines she’s still the “softer” sex. 

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