Wednesday, 19 July 2017

What Wonder Woman and Other Female Superheros Taught Me!

As a kid, and a teenager I was considered one of the boys. Truth be told even now I only have a couple of girlfriends. On my dad's side between my cousins and my brother, there are 6 boys. So it was either play with the boys, or hang out with the adults. I chose the boys.

Even at school, I preferred to run around with the boys. We would play sports, super heroes or power rangers. I always wanted to be the Red Ranger. As a super hero I wanted to be Wolverine (I still do). I never wanted to be the Pink Ranger or Batgirl. To me the male heroes were much more fun to play. They were strong, indestructible and quite frankly no one seemed to be able to take them down. As far as I knew back then anyways.

So why did I not want to be a girl superhero? Well quite frankly I didn't know much about them. Yes they were on tv shows, but they were never front and centred or they didn't last long as a solo superhero. They were in comics, but most of the time they weren't as popular as say Batman or Superman.

This by no way means I was less feminine than my female friends. I still loved to dress up, took dance lessons, organized school dances, and wore makeup. Lots of makeup. I read girly magazines, dated and crushed hard on silly boys. In my mind, I was the right combination of girly and tomboy.

As an adult and dating a comic book "enthusiast", my movie and tv show choices, are mostly about superheroes. I haven't missed a DC or Marvel movie in years, and currently watch 6 superhero shows every season. While most of these shows are focused on the male superhero, we are finally seeing more female superheroes come out and kick some real ass.

Supergirl, Black Widow, and White Canary are just a few superheroes (or Legends in White Canary's case) that are changing what it means to be a female superhero. Each one of these characters have proven that while it is nice to be part of a team, you can also rely on your own strength and abilities to do some serious damage. Bad ass? Absolutely!

This summer another female superhero hit the big screen. Wonder Woman! This was huge for every female out there, especially the young and impressionable. We have never had a female superhero do so fantastic at the box office.  Kudos to DC for giving Wonder Woman her own movie!

So what made her the strongest female role model we have seen in years? She fought to make the world better. She wanted to end the war in order to save mankind. She had no hidden agendas, or ulterior motives. She succeeded, when every man told her basically to let the men handle it. According to them, she had no place taking part in decision making. Unfortunately that was the norm during World War 1.

Most of the heavy hitter superhero movies and shows are shot in a modern setting. Most of them are also very team driven. In these movies, we have seen more modern themes, and scenarios. It is a nice change of pace to remind us how women had to deal with society in the 10s and 20s. It made sure we remember all the real life female superheroes who stood up and helped make positive changes for us present day females. Rosa Parks, Elenor Roosevelt, Margaret Chase Smith, and Margaret Thatcher, are just some of the names we should never forget. It is important for us women to remind us of where we came from, so that we can continue to make changes in the future. Thank you DC and Wonder Woman for reminding me of that.

Where as some other female superheroes have an extremely tough exterior, Wonder Woman showed us that a sense of innocence, a pure heart and good intentions will help you achieve greatness in life. Sometimes we forget that. Sometimes we think that it is easier to fight fire with fire in order to get our voices heard. Maybe it is easier, but is that the message we want to send to the younger generation? Here is what I want to impart to the next generation:

  • Become your own superhero. Learn to rely on your own abilities and skills. You're stronger than you think.
  • Find a cause you're passionate about. Work towards making the world a better place. We all need to leave the world a bit better for the females who come after us.
  • The best defense does not mean you need a strong offense. Just because some one attacks, does not mean you should attack back. Gandhi was a smart man, "An eye for an eye will leave the whole world blind". If you want to make the world a better place, do it with kindness. It may take a little longer, but you will be remembered for positive actions rather than negative.
What do you think about how the female superheroes are being portrayed? What qualities do you want to emulate? Let us know in the comment section below!


Amanda

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