Women of Power

I need a hero. I’ve been thinking about the rise of the super hero movies and how great it feels to see some of my heros on the big screen. Thor I’ve always had a soft spot for, and Thunderstrike came out just as I was in High School and loved having a more mortal kind of hero to admire. The Maxx even if he wasn’t really the hero of the story, he was .. symbolic. He Meant Something. Mattered. Struggled. A hero was never perfection for me, and the closer they got to being human, the more entangled the path of Hero became, the more it meant to try. A hero isn’t a hero just because they were the strongest, fastest or bravest. A hero was the one who got back up after everything they’d been through and looked the problem in the eye and “planted themselves like a tree by the river of truth and said. No. You Move.”

She texted in the middle of a work day. Mind you she doesn’t say much. It might take you years to know if she was serious or just that dryly sarcastic. There is a march coming up in Chicago. Chicago is full of people you might have noticed. Also going there involves being in a car or train for several hours with people. Still, she doesn’t do things like this. It means a lot. It means a lot because speaking up and saying something isn’t something good girls do.

I’m a girl. Woman. Person with female genitalia probably because of double dipping on that good old X chromosome. What does that mean? What is has meant is to me is that there are always certain expectations the culture I grew up in has in regards to my role in that culture. How and when I should marry, or how and when I should have children, how and what I should wear, who I should talk to, what kind of work I pursue.

I’ve grown up pretty insulated from the worst of it, pretty liberal urban areas when I was a kid. I thought we were a post-sex, post-race kind of society, where I could grow up to be an astronaut if I wanted (Thank you Sally) I could do anything, but man that boy really likes you, isn’t that sweet! You might grow up and marry him someday and have kids of your own and wouldn’t that be great?

Over time you learn that you’ll be who you damn well please and that you don’t actually have to do anything anyone expects you to. You’ll get friends with all kinds of different experiences and read more and learn more. Sure if you want to hold your own door open that’s fine. Except when it isn’t, except if you have an idea in a conversation and say anything people will smile and keep talking then someone else will state the same idea and all of a sudden it’s great! Tom that was a really terrific idea! Except to this day you’re still regulated on what you can wear and how that influences criminal behavior. Except that down to your very internal reproductive system you are told what you can and can’t do with your own body.

Saying what is on your mind is god-damned super power. I passed the Marvel *TM Women of Power! Coloring book in the Barnes and Noble and had the thought that this is perhaps what it is about. Women saying …well… anything. To some degree I’ve been afraid of saying what I really think for fear of sounding like one of “THOSE” women, the ones who take themselves too seriously, who are too sensitive, who are just women, trying to speak their mind. When I think about it, sometimes, just speaking your mind IS a god-damned super power. Not being afraid, and making it so that those behind you don’t have to keep fighting up this hill. Till all assumptions are blown away by actually meeting and getting involved with people and caring about ALL of them as people. As individuals who have the rights to their own bodies, to be treated as equal citizens.

We are so damn close, in moments you can almost forget that you aren’t one of the boys.  You might think that you can be taken seriously as an individual. Then you get in a serious situation and you realize there is a different way you are treated based completely upon assumptions of your gender. No matter how much respect you think you have earned, no matter how much you’ve worked with someone, there is something very deep in our culture that just others the ever living crap out of you. We can do better, I read it in comics, I see it in movies, grand old stories that inspire us. We can be better. We can change assumptions and start treating people like, well people.

Testicles are amazing, don’t get me wrong. I’m not saying “Down with men!” I’m saying “DOWN WITH THE IDEA THAT THERE IS A DEFAULT!” “UP WITH THE IDEA OF JUSTICE AND LIBERTY FOR ALL!” To those that are even more marginalized, I will always strive for understanding and discussion and inclusion for all. I am privileged and though I fear for my body becoming something the state can legislate, I promise to not turn a blind eye and to keep working to bridge the gap. To fight the ideas that systemically regulating us into some kind of default power structure is ok. I don’t know where to begin but speaking/writing is something I can do, so I will do as I can. Please always feel free to call me on bullshit and or have honest discussions looking for solutions as a people.

I bought the comic book. I’m marching in Chicago. I’m going to speak my mind, not with out fear, but in spite of it.


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