Wonder Women

I resisted the Wonder Woman movie. My inner little girl was 100% loyal to Lynda Carter and I wanted to hold onto my memories of running around in my WW bathing suit and underoos, pretending to ride in my invisible jet and wrapping my lasso of truth around liars. But then I saw the reviews and I began to rethink my loyalty. Was I being disloyal to the grander concept of WW? Was I resisting seeing her with fresh eyes?

I made a snap decision to see the new movie last Wednesday at a theater near my house and decided I was going in without any expectations. As soon as it began, I knew it was special. From the first few scenes, it took the series, which was campy in order to make a strong female character palatable, to levels beyond my expectations and imagination. I was surprised and a little embarrassed that my eyes welled up with tears at seeing the Amazons unapologetically unleashing their power.

Over the course of the movie, I cried in at least six spots. It’s not because it was sad–it’s the opposite. It’s when Wonder Woman rises, shines her light and uses her power to save people and defeat evil. Her courage and strength moved me. I finally understood the Marianne Williamson quote, “Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.”

I’ve battled with my own power. Fully embracing it can make some people nervous and it also alienates others. As I’ve played with the edge, several people have said, “You’re so confident,” and “You’re so clear and certain.” They haven’t said it with smiles on their faces. Sometimes people prefer the damsel, the little flower, the woman who doesn’t want to rock the boat. She’s controllable because she defines herself by what others think. It’s more comfortable for everyone. I’ve dimmed myself and played small, but I’m letting my fire burn much brighter. Will people burn away under the light?

Wonder Woman doesn’t even think about it. She has a mission and she’s going to save people and the world. She doesn’t for a second even consider hiding her power. Watching her let me feel like I had permission to embrace mine too.

We see World War 1 through Wonder Woman’s eyes and what a mess man has made of the world. She is driven to save each and every person she can, powered by love. It made me wonder if the world would be in the state it is if we had female leaders. From my theater seat, I wanted to smash the patriarchy, and most importantly, that I believed I could. After the movie, I returned home, grounded, empowered and wondered how I could change the world.

I thought to myself, “The greatest lie ever told by man is that women are the weaker sex.”

When I got home, I made some dinner and turned on the TV. The Real Housewives of New York was on and it was the opposite of everything I’d just watched. These women entertain us by sniping at each other, gossiping, blaming, fighting and tearing each other down. It’s this behavior, and these kind of TV shows, that keep women down. If we’re expected to compete with each other and prove we’re better than one another, then we’re too busy to actually look at the larger picture. We don’t embody our power. Feuds between Joan Crawford and Bette Davis, Katy Perry and Taylor Swift, Jennifer Aniston and Angelina Jolie and Debbie Reynolds and Elizabeth Taylor sell magazines, albums and movies. We view similar feuds between men as petty, but between women, we eat it up.

But why?

The archetypes of the good girl and the vixen, two sides of every woman, is at play. Do we be the women society wants us to be (the controllable good girl seeking approval) or do we act out without inhibitions like a wild goddess (accountable only to herself and God)? The patriarchy prefers the former and attacks the latter. Centuries ago, empowered women were called witches and burned at the stake and today are just shamed on social media and in the media. Vice President Pence won’t even be in the presence of a single woman without his wife.

Whether we realize it or not, women want to be the goddess, but are afraid of the ramifications. Collectively, we shame the vixen archetype and behold the good girls as the ideal. What if we didn’t need to?  What if we integrate all sides and forget what society wants? What if we as women stopped fighting with each other, stealing from each other and rose up like all the slayers in the final season of Buffy? We’d have a lot more Wonder Women (or slayers) and I think the world would be better for it. It’s starts with each of us.

I’m embracing my inner Wonder Woman. How about you?

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