Kara mia

When we were kids, my sisters and I watched the 1984 Supergirl movie…not a small number of times. Several. More than a few. We loved it.

It was, in fact, the only female superhero movie we could watch. I don’t know if we realized that. There have only been five since. (But we’re on Spider-Man movie seven!) There are two more in development–Wonder Woman and Captain Marvel–but first there will be a Supergirl TV show.

Do you have six minutes and a hanky?

I watched this with Grace, who did not understand why I was sobbing so hard. And that was before I read that Helen Slater (Supergirl from the movie) is playing Kara’s mother. It’s on imdb, so it’s not verified, but a freeze frame at 27 seconds looks pretty good.

Oh, my fangirl heart.

I don’t give a damn about Spider-Man.

Spider-Man is Sam’s all-time favorite superhero. He loves him so much! He was so excited last fall when he saw a Spider-Man costume in the Halloween aisle that he begged to buy it with his own money (I bought it for him). He plays him when we play Marvel Super-Heroes. He LOVES Spider-Man.

So I really want to be excited that Marvel has reclaimed the film rights from Sony, and Spidey can be a part of the MCU. But I can’t.

There have been hundreds of male-led superhero movies. HUNDREDS. Half a dozen of them were about Spider-Man. The first superhero movie–Mask of Zorro–was made in 1920. The first superhero movie with a female lead–Supergirl–was made in 1984. There have been five since. FIVE. At least one of which was direct-to-video. There won’t be another until Wonder Woman in 2017 and Captain Marvel in 2018. (Side note, Captain Marvel was supposed to come out on my 40th birthday. Now it’s being pushed back several months for yet another Spidey movie.)

And don’t even get me started on non-white superheroes. In 1977 there was apparently a blaxploitation movie called Abar, the First Black Superman. If we count it, the grand total is ONE. (I should say that I am not counting superhero teams here, just solo leads. But even if I count teams, nada.) ETA: sorry, I missed the Blade movies, and have been informed that Steel and Meteor Man were also men of color. So they are tied with women. Yay.

(Please note that I’m discussing U.S. movies only. Source.)

Will was excited when the Spider-Man news hit. He imagined Sam’s delight at seeing Spidey interact with Thor. I wish I had the privilege of being excited. Sam will never know what it’s like to have no superheroes to represent his gender. Where are the superheroes who look like Grace?

My daughter is growing up in a world that tells her, every day, by omission if not overtly, that SHE IS NOT GOOD ENOUGH. SHE CANNOT BE A HERO. And that is unacceptable.

So no, I do not give a damn about Spider-Man.

Through the Feminist Glass

“I don’t understand you,” said Alice. “It’s dreadfully confusing!”

“That’s the effect of living in the Patriarchy,” the Queen said kindly: “It always makes me a little giddy at first—”

“Living in the Patriarchy!” Alice repeated in great astonishment. “I never heard of such a thing!”

— — —

“What sort of things do you do to fight the Patriarchy?” Alice ventured to remark.

“Oh, punishing the Man,” the Queen replied in a careless tone. “For instance, now,” she went on, “there’s the King’s Messenger. He’s in prison now, being punished: and the trial doesn’t even begin until next Wednesday: and of course the crime comes last of all.”

“Suppose he never commits the crime?” said Alice.

“That would be all the better, wouldn’t it?” the Queen said.

Alice felt there was no denying that. “Of course it would be all the better,” she said: “but it wouldn’t be all the better his being punished.”

“You’re wrong there, at any rate,” said the Queen. “Were you ever discriminated against on the basis of your gender?”

“Only when it was my fault,” said Alice.

“But if you hadn’t been,” the Queen said, “that would have been better still; better, and better, and better!” Her voice went higher with each “better” till it got to quite the full hysteria of feminism at last.

— — —

“Only I have been so very mistaken about the world!” Alice said in a melancholy voice; and, at the thought of the injustice in the world, two large tears came rolling down her cheeks.

“Oh, don’t go on like that!” cried the poor Queen, wringing her hands in despair of ever meeting a young girl who wasn’t convinced that the world was fair and just. “Consider what a great girl you are. Consider what a long way you’ve come to-day. Consider what a great joke misandry is. Consider anything, only don’t cry!”

Alice could not help laughing at this, even in the midst of her tears. “Can you keep from crying by considering things?”

“That’s the way it’s done,” the Queen said with great decision: “nobody can do two things at once, you know. Let’s consider your age to begin with—how old are you?”

“I’m 21, actually.”

“You needn’t say ‘actually,'” the Queen remarked. “I can believe it without that. Most women your age don’t believe in feminism.”

— — —

“I can’t believe that!” said Alice.

“Can’t you?” said the Queen in a pitying tone. “Try again: take a long deep breath and close your eyes.”

Alice laughed. “There’s no use trying,” she said: “one can’t be a misandrist!”

“I daresay you haven’t had much practice,” said the Queen. “When I was your age, I always did it for half-an-hour a day. Why, sometimes I’ve done as much as six misandries before breakfast!”

Outrage of the Day: Awesome, Sexist T-Shirt

544396-f177e42f3b3ea1ddcf8bd35c85b68fe4

Isn’t this shirt amazing? And look, there are three* lady writers on it! Three out of 26!

Hey, wait a minute.

Not only are there at least as many great writers who are female as there are who are male, but like. Women invented the novel, and also science fiction. Probably other genres, too.

This would be my favorite shirt ever if the creator had expanded the concept from his own personal favorite authors to a diverse mix of authors of interest to most readers.

And, like. Did he mean Thomas Jefferson? Because if he is suggesting that The Declaration of Independence is more important to literature than We Have Always Lived In The Castle, then I would like to resign from the human race.

Here is a draft of an all lady version:

Jane Austen. Judy Bloom. Willa Cather. Kate DiCamillo. Laura Esquivel. Rosario Ferre. Cristina Garcia. S.E. Hinton. Laura Ingalls. Shirley Jackson. M.M. Kaye. Madeline L’Engle. Carson McCullers. E. Nesbit. Joyce Carol Oates. Dorothy Parker. Q. Rainbow Rowell. Nova Ren Suma. Amy Tan. U. Cynthia Voigt. Elizabeth Wein. X. Y. Sara Zarr.

Obviously still a few to fill in. I’ve never read Quindlen or Xi. And yes, putting Laura Ingalls Wilder under I is totally cheating.

*Dickinson, Quindlen, and Xi, as best I can guess.