I’ve been thinking a lot about how I feel about being a woman thanks to all of the think pieces going on now in regards to “Wonder Woman.” Overall, I don’t relate to a lot of what’s being said. But I can say that after bingeing on “Orange is the New Black” and “The Handmaid’s Tale” I’m ready to kick the shit outta some old, conservative, rich, white dudes and shake some white women until sense returns to them. (Disclaimer: Today is a bad day for me to express this, I just realized. I’m not tone deaf, mostly.)
“Wonder Woman” did have an impact on me, however. A much bigger one than I realized but, still, not in all of the ways it’s impacted other women. By the time the movie was over I was thinking “All of my life I thought Batman was the only superhero I needed in my life. How was I so wrong?!”
Generally speaking, I have to accept and acknowledge just how confident I am in who I am as a person in the world. I don’t feel the need to see myself reflected in my entertainment. I don’t watch things to see my story, after all, I’m living my story! I go to be entertained. So it doesn’t matter to me, really, if the cast is all men, white, black, women, Asian, speaks with weird accents or anything else. Is the story good? Great, I’m set. (Disclaimer: It does matter for me to see a movie based, say, in China told with Chinese actors, however. Some things matter, I’m being broad here, OK? I understand about representation and how important it is, I’m only speaking for myself now. Which puts me in the asshole privileged white lady category and I know that.)
I also realize that my experiences aren’t the same as everyone else’s, either. So many women report dealing with sexual harassment and discrimination in various ways and I just don’t have that experience. Or, the times that I can sit and point to that were somebody trying to be sexist in my face I didn’t internalize because that was on them, not me. They’re a jerk, I’m not and it didn’t hold me back or change my view about my place in the world around me.
I explained this to a friend at work and she smiled and said “You’re Wonder Woman.” And after seeing the movie I can understand why she said that and it kind of makes me feel awesome.
But it also makes me feel kind of sad. That there’s apparently so many women that do internalize this and question themselves and their place in the world. (Disclaimer: Here I am not talking about the women who are actively held back and discriminated against due to sexist assholes. I’m talking about the women who hold themselves back because they are women and have the belief that they should hold back.)
This isn’t to say bad things haven’t happened to me at the hands and actions of boys. They have. But I never ever once raged and thought “If I’d not been a woman….” Never, not once. My only thought has ever been “That asshole! Why did he think he could do that?!” And I guess I just wonder why more women don’t think that. And I know the answer is misogyny and sexism. But internalized misogyny sucks balls and I just wonder what we can do to get that out of our fellow females’ brains? I want so much for women to just be more confident in who they are and to never question their ability to do something or assume they can’t do something simply for being a woman.
Your own individual limitations, sure. We all have reasons we can’t or think we can’t achieve something. I can’t climb certain mountains because I’m super afraid of heights and the thought of falling paralyzes me sometimes. Is this because I’m a woman? Hell naw, this is because I’m a neurotic mess in some regards. That’s genderless!
So, overall this is sounding a whole lot like I’m saying “Y’all just need to be more like me.” I’m not perfect, so that’s not what I’m saying. Especially since this is reeking of soooooo much white lady privilege right now. I should just shut up.
My main point, if you’re still with me after realizing I’m an asshole, is that we women need to help each other let go of that internalized crap. We need to help our friends and mothers and daughters and nieces to believe what I’ve always believed (so much love to my parents for that one), you can be/do anything you put your mind to. No limits. No exceptions. What do you want to do? Work toward that without doubt or question and you can do that. You can be that.
I just look forward to the day that it’s not such a breath of fresh air for so many women that they allowed the Amazons to have wrinkles and scars. To show their bodies jiggle when they made contact with the ground. So forward. That, to me, would be the freshest breath of air.