Before I walked into the theatre, I reflected back on my introduction to comic book heroines. The mid 70's were a time when young women started to see female comic book heroes come to life. Heroines in the comics adorned the small screen. That "I can do it" attitude was being laid in my 11 year-old foundation. In my youth, Isis was the first goddess I recall wanting to embrace. I was transformed by simply saying, "Oh Mighty Isis" as if that's all I had to do to become strong, to become powerful. That's what the female science teacher on the television show said in order for her to change.
As most youth, I had a wonderful imagination growing up. I enjoyed taking on the personality of many television characters. Isis was followed by The Bionic Woman, and next came Wonder Woman. These shows overlapped one another for a few years. Lynda Carter was the Wonder Woman of my youth. As a former Miss American, she was a kick-butt brunette, who had brains and curves. When I was younger, I had darker hair, and my Italian heritage hinted at curves that I would grow into. It would be several more years though before my hour glass shape truly took form. As for brains...well, I was studious, and ended my high school days in the top fifth of my class. I have always LOVED math and science, too. I don't recall exactly when my dad gave me a cuff bracelet that had belonged to him as a child, but I suspect it was around that time. Maybe he sensed that I needed a little help in feeling strong. Bra burning was popular and in the news during my youth. I would wear that cuff to ward off invisible bullets, or to gain my silent super powers. It didn't leave my wrist, and it was my secret weapon. I never told anyone how empowered it made me feel.
I spent time reflecting back on the little girl I was, and the woman I have become. A realization set over me. I have felt that the generation of ladies who preceded me were the ones who set the woman's rights movement in motion. I am grateful for them, but what have I contributed to help the cause??? Mostly, I followed social norms. I had children and stayed at home to raise them. I kept the house, did the cooking, and the cleaning. I supported the head of our household, as a good wife should. My staying home, meant our family looked to be at a higher status level than others. As I pause now, I think none of the roles I filled sound very much like I did my part to help the cause. Yet, I know I would do it all again, exactly the same way. Choices, we all make them. I made the conscious choice to stay home. No regrets. I have always been a teacher, I just didn't realize it. The lessons I needed to teacher were to a smaller groups of students.
Watching the Wonder Woman movie, I realized I am living in an era where women are still gaining power. Women are still finding out who they are and defining who we, as women, are suppose to become, which is to be an equal to all others. We are not only defining, for our gender, we are defining for all races what it means to be equal. Equality, that's the cause. Women are doing all this with grace, and with wisdom.
As a mother, I shared my love and compassion with my children. Those were two of the life lessons I taught. To see one's child help another, means my role as a mother and caregiver made a difference. Really, I was the strength that cemented the foundation of my household. I see that now. Power.
In honor or my friend, I made this bracelet. I know that we, both male and female, are really stronger than we think, or know.
I want to do my part to make society a better place. I want to show the world that I am not a slacker, who is riding on the coattails of women who came before me.
As I pause, I am reminded that I wake up, and live each day, and I inspire girls all around me. I went back to further my education, after I raised my family. I embarked on a career that I had always dreamt of holding. I am surviving, and thriving. I want to inspire my daughter, and my nieces. They can be and do anything they want in life! I believe in them, and I will be their biggest supporter. The other collateral beauty of my inspiration lands on my being able to inspire my sister, my friends, and my peers. The funny thing about inspiration...it is reciprocal. My sister, my friends and my peers also inspire me, as do my daughter and my nieces. Today, just like in my youth, there are many role models of strong, powerful, graceful, compassionate heroines who inspire all.
See the line where the sky meets the sea? It calls me...
And no one knows, how far it goes...
If the wind in my sail on the sea stays behind me...
One day I'll know, how far I'll go...
This summer, I have realized how important my female friendships are to my being. I believe we all need the friendship of many in our lives. Friendships at this stage in my life seem more meaningful, than they were when I was younger. There is a richness that comes with experiencing life, and I feel it allows me to connect in deeper, more meaningful ways with others. I find I can appreciate more of what lies beneath the surface in a person, too. I am cautious who I let close to my heart, but it is with my female friends that I know I can really let down my guard. We support one another emotionally, and are no longer trying to impress or out do each other. Maybe we've reached that stage in life where we all really do know how precious is our time left on this Earth. Although my close friends emotionally support me, and I them, I know that the world is still a competitive place and regularly women will knock one another down. I'm still trying to understand why. Is it out of fear? Fear of what though? Not getting ahead? Being liked more or less than someone else? I see it where I work, but it happens in all environments. Grown women can become mean girls. There are so many things we do to hurt one another...little digs, unspoken looks down noses, people being left out of the loop. I believe, in order for our society to become the place with which I am most comfortable for our future generations, we need a balanced world. We need more women in power.
Ladies, we need to support one another, and in all ways! We need to be kind and compassionate. We need to help one another. We need to elect women at the local level and then up through the ranks. We need to financially support strong, female candidates. We need to seed the campaigns of those who are comfortable speaking their minds on behalf of all of us; those with voices who will be heard. I certainly haven't been an example of someone who was comfortable speaking her mind and making waves. But "still, it calls me...." Men will not take care of our issues. They hear us, but they cannot know what it is that we truly need. We need a world that believes in equality, and compassion. Not equality and compassion just for women, but for all. During Wonder Woman, who stood up and walked through the battle field because she believed so strongly that what was happening was wrong?
I am officially now on my summer break. My camp teaching is over and I can relax. I am looking forward to a little quiet time to myself, and then I plan on filling my days with home improvement tasks and lunches, drinks, dinners, movies, what ever I can...with my friends who are girls! I need you my friends! Not just during the dog days of summer, but always.
And the call isn't out there at all...It's inside me...It's like the tide...Always falling and rising...I will carry you here in my heart...You'll remind me...That come what may...I know the way...
I WONDER where my future path is leading me?
I think I've just awakened the feminist in myself, and I really like it love warrior, feminist, teacher
Tonight's blogging music: Moana: Original Movie Soundtrack, with special thanks to my sister who made sure I now own it.