When I was a little child of the nineties, one of my all time musical groups was the Spice Girls. While Scary Spice is now a person whom the modern audiences just know as Mel B of America’s Got Talent, she was once one of five female vocalists during the era of nineties pop music who promoted one major anthem to a generation of young girls heading into the new millennium.
As a child, I always assumed strong women and strong female protagonists were the norm of our society and not the exception. I assumed that no one would try to ever stop me from doing whatever I wanted to because I am a girl/women. I thought equality with men was real because I wasn’t given a reason to doubt my concept of what real life was like.
Wow, was I wrong.
Up until the past few years of my life, I never once questioned the way the world works because I must have been living in some sort of feminist bubble. My earliest memories of strong women come from the awesome television program Xena: Warrior Princess. She was strong and incredibly badass. She was always the strongest person in the room, and everyone just accepted it or was subjected to her strength if they doubted her. A few years later, I was introduced to the television show Buffy: The Vampire Slayer, where the titular Buffy was always the strongest character in the room, and the other men and women just accepted her as the strong leader. Other books and television shows I consumed in my childhood repeated this same idea.
Then, after a few years, my safe world of feminist strength was shattered.
We still experience moments when we’re supposed to be less or seem less than our male counterparts. I’m not sure exactly when I started to see my fixed role in society. Maybe, it was when my favorite show Charmed was cancelled and left me without any sort of female role models as I finished my adolescence, and I struggled to find any major show that put a female in the lead role in a position of true power. I found shows, movies, and books that showcased strong women, but they were always partnered with a male figure that overshadowed the female lead. This trend continued into my adulthood, women could be strong, but the man in the story had to be equally strong or stronger.
…until Wonder Woman, that is.
I’d been so incredibly frustrated with the underrepresentation of strong, independent women in pop culture that I had all but given up on hope that little girls of the modern generations would ever realize how strong the could be. Then, the movie Batman Vs. Superman: Dawn of Justice premiered. While the movie was uneven, Wonder Woman was univerisly cheered for in her silver screen debut. Since then, DC Comics has thrown every inch of their marketing efforts to paving the way for her solo film debut, and it paid of and then some. The movie premiered to rave review and become the highest grossing movie for a female director of all time. She has arrived, and the world will not be the same.
She is strong, but more importantly, she is hope.
She gives me hope that we want more for our wives, daughters, and sisters. Not that little boys can’t gain acceptance and knowledge from the Wonder Woman character. Of course, they can. She is a character that embodies strength and courage despite a cruel world of man. Little girls finally have someone to represent them, and she is more than worthy.
With a lasso, shield, and sword, I am able to take up the battle cry of girl power once more.