Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Ninja Warrior Women

I never got the big deal about Wonder Woman. I watched the show a few times but I never really considered her important in any way. Maybe she was just too comic-booky for a girl who liked to read poetry. The real women in my life were my role models and hey, if I wanted a completely fake role model, there were plenty of fictional characters who were much better than Wonder Woman. Personally, I loved Mary Richards of The Mary Tyler Moore Show. She was a boss at work, independent, sassy, smart and funny. This was a woman who could deal with people and all sorts of crazy situations with class and style. In yesterday’s post, Kelly mentions Jamie Summers, the Bionic Woman. Now there’s a heroine. She didn’t ask for what happened to her but she made the best of it and helped people along the way.

That’s what real women DO. They face their situations. They deal with husbands, lovers, kids and careers. That’s the best kind of strength. It’s what I’ve found in my friends and what I HOPE they see in me.

Maybe I’ve just never really liked kick ass ninja warrior women and they’re everywhere. Movies, television, and books. They have black belts in karate, are master sword fighters, and know exactly how to kick the snot out of the bad guys without breaking a nail. I just can’t believe these kinds of characters are still being shoved in our faces in this day and age. Isn’t it enough that we’re women? Female empowerment isn’t about physical strength but about emotional depth. Intelligence, humor, and grace are the real deal. Not this other stuff.

When I was a little girl, my dad was in a horrible car accident and was in a coma for many months. No one thought he’d make it. Mom was young with two little girls (I was only six). She couldn’t drive so she took a crash course, got her license, and worked Dad’s job in the oil fields for six months. She wanted him to have his work when he woke up (and she was certain he would). She took care of us, did hard physical labor, and made it to the hospital every day.

Nope. I didn’t need Wonder Woman. We had a real one at home.
Do you have a real Wonder Woman in your life? Let’s hear it.

17 comments:

  1. Oh yeah! My stepmother took on four snotty kids and raised us to be responsible adults. Believe me, we didn't make it easy. But she hung in there.

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  2. Yep. Those are the real WONDER WOMEN.

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  3. Your mother sounds incredible, Rita! I have to agree, what a great role model. Far better than one in knee boots and a corset.

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  4. Oh Get a Grip! Love it. LMAO.

    K, back on topic. You mom is incredible. And no, Wonder Woman never did a thing for me. But then, ultimately I doubt her CFM boots and gravity defying corset were geared to female viewers.

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  5. Your mom is something else. Excellent blog and excellent points. Did he take his job back when your dad woke up? YOu can't leave me hanging like that. ;)

    I feel almost like WW is a charicature of what a real woman is meant to be. Not the fun "I represent woman, woman is strong" type but the kind of charicature that is meant to humorize the strength of a woman. Like candy coating reality so it doesn't threaten our men too much. They can handle us in brightly colored swim suits but a power suit scares them shitless.

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  6. Beautiful story, Regina. Yep, my mom was a Wonder Woman too. I'll never forget when my dad lay in his casket and we were there for the viewing. My older brother broke down and sobbed. My mom, though her heart was breaking, reached through her own sorrow to embrace and console him. A month later she was gone too. But I look forward to seeing her again.

    Good post, Regina. Thanks for reminding us of what makes "real" women...:)

    Miss Mae

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  7. Thanks for asking about Dad. Yeah...he recovered and took the job back. Those were tough times for Mom but she coped. That's the whole point. What is strength? Is it being about to kick ass or is it something we find deep inside?

    WW is definitely a charicature...Barbie with superpowers. ACK. SCARY.

    And LAINEY...I think MEN came up with the whole concept of the lycra, makeup, big boobs. I don't think a woman would conceive of that. I really think we see heroines differently.

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  8. Ahhh....MISS MAE!!! I have similar memories and isn't it amazing how strong real women ARE??? I'm not sure my strength has ever been tested in that way but I know, deep down, I have it.

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  9. Your Mom gave meaning to the word
    "WOMAN". I'm so very glad you shared that story. I'm reminded of all those wonderful characters in "Steel Magnolias". Now there's another term for you...pretty, sweet, fragile on the outside, but it's hard as hell to break the stem. Kudos to you Regina!
    Woman...how wonderful we all are.

    Hugs,
    Tess

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  10. You know, Tess? I think the same stuff about Steel Magnolias. I blubber and bawl every time I watch it because it's just a collage of the women we KNOW. All the different aspects, strengths, personalities. And they really have NO CLUE how strong they are. It all just comes naturally.

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  11. Holy Hell, your mom is wonder woman! I'm not drawn to the kick ass women either. Couldn't stand Zena, the warrior princess or whatever she was. I like grace, dignity and inner strength. Steel magnolias.

    Wendi Darlin

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  12. EWWW. ZENA. Too much. And Laura Croft. I fell asleep in that movie and I NEVER do that. All swagger and no substance. I wonder how all those imprints featuring kick ass heroines are doing? I've never bought any but I'm curious

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  13. Your mother definitely wins an award. All your mothers. I think I;'d give my award to my grandmother. when my dad died she took in my mother and my sister and I (two bratty kids), got our grandpa involved in our lives, and taught us a lot of things that are often downgraded today-how to sew, cook, iron, clean tile grout, and most of all how to throw a good uppercut to a boy who "got fresh' with us. Grandma was definitely something.

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  14. She sounds like a smart and gutsy woman, Judith. Women do what they HAVE to do and usually, without complaining. She taught you guys things she believed you needed to know and shared her gifts with you. WOnderful story!

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  15. Great post, Regina! Your mother totally wins the heroine award. That took guts and determination and a very strong faith.

    And I've loved the comments about grace, dignity, inner strength, true steel magnolias. Way powerful.

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  16. Thanks for your take, Adriana! I sooo completely agree. Bet if we look around, we'd find lots of similar stories of courage and strength and not a whisper of lycra in sight. What more do we need to be but THERE for the people we love? I can't think of better strength and POWER than that. HUGS!

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  17. Real women are always more amazing than fiction -- but fiction's got to be based on someone, right?

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