OK, so, this isn’t technically a movie…but the first episode is pretty long, and when you’re talking about an icon of second wave feminism, exceptions can be made.
Over the holidays, my college BFF came to visit, and she brought presents for the kids. For The Boy, Legos of course–she has three boys, she knows the way into a young man’s heart. For The Girl, she wasn’t sure what to get. Because as much as we don’t want to admit it, we live in a world today where toys are completely gendered. It’s fucked up, but it’s true. So, I suggested dress up clothes that aren’t a princess (we have a crapload of princess stuff already). She went on Amazon and she found a Wonder Woman costume.
When The Girl saw it, she was completely stoked and immediately wanted to put it on. I mean, who wouldn’t? She’s got those rad silver bracelets and a gold crown thing and those crazy boots, and a skirt filled with stars. That costume is fucking rad. But fashion isn’t really what The Girl’s excitement was about. It was about her getting to be a superhero.
Some girls who are into superhero stuff are cool with pretending to be a male hero, like Iron Man or whatever. But my girl likes being female characters. She strongly identifies as female. And the fucked up thing about all this princess crap is that the only female characters she’d seen in children’s television who made for good pretend play were princesses, and Doc McStuffins. (She still isn’t really into SuperWhy, and she’s too young for Harry Potter. Hermione will certainly be a hero to her, with her love of books.) Doc is cool and all, but she isn’t magical the way a superhero is.
So when The Girl saw that one can be a feminine super hero, she was like “WHERE HAVE YOU BEEN ALL MY LIFE.” I started singing her the theme song, and she was hooked. We found the 1970’s TV series with Lynda Carter on Amazon Prime, and bam, my little girl had found a hero she could look up to.
We talk a lot about girls being able to do anything boys can. But if we don’t show them female role models doing anything, will they really believe us? I would have never known that my girl wanted to play super hero, if we hadn’t given her a feminine super hero as a role model. And that’s why it’s so vital for us to teach our girls about women who do rad stuff. Like Sally Ride, and Madeline Albright, and Sue Bird.
The great thing about 1970’s television is there’s no nudity, there’s no swearing, and the violence is pretty tame, even in a superhero show. So it’s kid-safe, but still exciting. And then there’s all the female empowerment in the show. There are female bad guys as well as a female superhero, because women are individuals capable of both good and evil, just like men. Wonder Woman has to politely tell the Nazis that women can do anything men can, before she punches them out, crashes their plane into their own submarine, and rescues her hapless love interest.
I mean, how can you not love a show whose main character says things like “Sisterhood is stronger than anything” and “You obviously have little regard for womanhood. You must learn respect”? That’s some good shit right there.
Lest you believe that Wonder Woman is only for girls, I would direct you to The Boy, who will tell you that he likes the show too. He especially likes when someone takes out a Nazi.
Let me know what your kids think of Wonder Woman in the comments!