So the advance word on the Wonder Woman film is good, and that’s a relief. I’ve found every other DC movie to be heartless and cruel, so I was seriously concerned that they’d screw this one up as well.
But, as I said, the advance word is good. And that same advance word comes with a now-typical response from crying manbabies about how anything that celebrates women denigrates men. I have no time for that kind of childishness, because I’m concerned about my actual children.
I have two sons, and a daughter. For the most part, we love the current crop of superhero movies, particularly the Marvel films. And while I enjoy them, I do firmly believe that the prime audience for superheroes is and will always be children. The best of these films understand that.
For my sons, I can say, “See? Captain America always sticks to his principles, even when everyone else is against him. Even when his friends are against him, which is the hardest thing of all. Try to do that.”
For my sons, I can say, “See? Thor had to lose his powers and be willing to die for the sake of others before he realized it was important to fight for something, not just fight for the hell of it. Try to do that.”
For my sons, I can say, “See? Peter Parker could have stopped the bad guy, but he didn’t because he was being snotty. And look what happened. He learned from that. Try to be like that.”
(Sorry, DC, but so far none of your superhero movies demonstrate any behavior I’d want my kids to emulate.)
And yes, those lessons apply to girls, too. But there’s something about seeing someone like yourself up there on the screen that resonates. I, and my sons, are lucky: we’re white guys. We have scads of superhero role models, including the three mentioned above.
My daughter, not so much.
Sure, there’s Supergirl on TV, and it’s an okay show with moments of brilliance (the first-season scene where a power-less Supergirl talks a robber into giving up his gun is one of the greatest superhero moments ever, in any format), but no matter how well-done she is, SuperGIRL will always be ancillary to SuperMAN. She was created to be.
No, it’s nice to have a Supergirl, but my daughter deserves a Wonder Woman. All little girls do.
So while I’ll need to see the movie first before deciding if she can watch it (it’s a PG-13 movie, and she is just five), I hope it’s good. Hell, I hope it’s great. Awesome, even. I want her to look forward to seeing it the same way I did Superman: the Movie, or Batman, or even Thor. I want her to see someone up on the screen that she can aspire to, that she can take to her heart and believe, “That’s my hero.”
Yes, hero. Not “heroine.” A hero is a hero, regardless of gender.
And I want my daughter to have one.