Raya, Captain Marvel, Katniss Everdeen, Trinity, and GIRL POWER

I’m about as pro-female as the next woman. I want to be judged based on intelligence and ability, know that being female does not make me automatically enjoy flower-arranging, and get excited whenever Natasha Romanova takes out another bodyguard with her sweet moves.

Scarlett Johansson Film GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

Still, all this pro-woman stuff is starting to bother me. It’s the super- superpowers that’s the problem. It’s the lack of female characteristics. It’s …it’s …difficult to put my finger on, especially in a high-strung world that seems determined to erase any gender lines ENTIRELY.

Take Raya, the lead character in Disney’s Raya and the Last Dragon. I wanted to like her. She’s determined, honest, has a worthy cause she’s fighting for, and is not naïve. But she really bugged me. First, the voice actor sounds 40 even when Raya is a young child. Her voice is old and her language is old. I get that Raya is supposed to be precocious. She is not, however, supposed to be 40. Nor is the chick she spends time with from the Fang Clan. Both of them needed to be young-ified.
….Okay; really, the voice and vocabulary are my #1 complaint.
After that, I am bothered, as I usually am in movies with female leads, that she does not have to pull her hair back, have downtime once a month, or hurt her hand when punching a rock…

Disney Movie Raya GIF by Walt Disney Studios - Find & Share on GIPHY

Next up is Captain Marvel.
Woo-wee. Where to start? How about the fact that she is even more powerful than Superman? Again, I wanted to like her. She can do anything even though she’s a chick, so that means we women can do anything too -right? (granted, that’s if we first absorb the energy of an alien power source…).
I can’t like her. I can’t believe her. The film kept trying to show that her ‘weakness’ was not being confident. Thank you, Marvel writers, for showing me that all I need is limitless abilities (including not being crushed in the vacuum of space) to get over my crushing self-doubts and alien-installed dampener on my neck.

Captain Marvel GIF by Marvel Studios - Find & Share on GIPHY

Do you see what I mean? I recognize my concerns and begin to understand when I compare women like Raya or Cpt. Marvel to female leads I do like.

Like, Katniss Everdeen, from The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins. Katniss is sixteen, independent, and not very touchy-feely. Her superpower? Archery. Oh, and good survivalist instincts and knowledge.
Katniss is godlike in shooting arrows, described in Mockingjay as being able to bullseye multiple targets thrown into the air. She’s also able to recognize edible plants, find water, start fires, and kill children…. The only part of her character that irks me is her naivety to plans going on right under her nose –but, wouldn’t a sixteen-year-old be oblivious?
I love that Katniss’ instinct is to run and hide, sniveling, when danger rears its ugly head. She’s calculating, yet cares deeply. She’s human -a teenage human.

Jennifer Lawrence Aim GIF by The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2 - Find & Share on GIPHY

Another of the female powerhouses I love is Trinity from The Matrix film series.
Cool, powerful, strong, independent. Trinity makes everything looks awesome. Yet, she is also terrified. At times, she is vulnerable. My favorite, favorite scene is when she is lying on the ground, guns drawn, after flying through a window. She’s just run across rooftops after wiping out an entire police force and expects an Agent to break through and annihilate her at any second. Pistols pointed at the broken window, she grits her teeth and tells herself, “Get up, Trinity. Get. UP!”

Ready To Fight The Matrix GIF by HBO Max - Find & Share on GIPHY

Why do some women leads bother me and others not? I think everyone is confused about what Girl Power means.

I’m a woman. I’m female. I grew up seeing girls choose dolls and friends; hearing girls talk about fingernail polish and cute boys; smelling girls spray fruity vanilla scents on each other and worrying over their hair. Even as a woman, I notice most other XX’s fretting at house decorating or “The Bachelor” or botox.

Me? I had Barbies with superpowers who went on adventures. I chewed my nails and thought boys were disgusting. I think ‘doing my hair’ is pulling it back in a ponytail. I wouldn’t be caught dead watching something as stupid as fake-dating for a supposed millionaire.

I want girls to be anything.

Buuuut, I also know that females have many physiological differences. They seem to gravitate toward certain tastes. Many share attributes like being nurturing, good at communicating, and -yes- arranging flowers well. Quite obviously, they are also the only ones able to make babies.

As we’ve emerged from a long history of mostly baby-making out into the limelight of higher education, politics, and management; we’re not sure what to do. We’re not sure what to encourage. Women who’ve obviously chosen home life are raising their daughters to choose the opposite. Petite movie directors and writers make their characters sound middle-aged, fly to other worlds, win in a deathmatch, and stand up to beefy-armed hirelings.

I guess that sells better than The Old Woman Who Lived in a Shoe.

What to do, then; what to do…

Here’s a simple takeaway: keep female characters believable. Keep them as good, reachable role models. Why do I hate Captain Marvel? No weakness; no humanity at all. Why do I love Katniss? Her go-to is to hide when things get difficult; to act irrationally. Why do I prefer Disney’s Moana over Raya? Practical physical limitations and age-appropriate behaviors. Why do I favor Trinity, even though she pushes some realism? Because she shows fear, uncertainty, jealousy, and deep emotion.

Women are complicated. Don’t make us impossible as well. Right?

Photo by cottonbro on Pexels.com

©2021 Chelsea Owens

WINNER of the Weekly Terrible Poetry Contest

Most weeks I cannot quite make up my mind and this time was no exception. I read through each poem several times before deciding upon a winner.

And that winner is Michael B. Fishman.

I’m Not a Bird or a Plane

by Michael B. Fishman

I really like to kiss my aunts ‘cuz I am Captain Underpants.
Why just the other day,
I was sitting,
on the
toilet
and I looked
down and I said
to the toilet, I said,
“Hey, man, you look a bit
flushed.”
The toilet laughed and said
to me,
he said,
“Hey, man, why are you so
corny?”
And we both laughed.
So I’m a superhero don’t mess with me
cuz I can shrink as small as a garden pea.
And I can fly and turn invisible if I want
and
bend metal and save people who need saving and
I
can do it all while swimming across the Mediterranean Sea.
And be done in time for afternoon tea.
Do-re-mi.
And I can do it in the open air in my underwear.
So move over Batman.
Now I’m going under there.
Under wear?
Hahaha made ‘ya say “underwear”!

Congratulations, Michael! You are the most terrible poet of the week!

All eight poems submitted this week were pretty terrible. Only one or two didn’t make the final cut. Michael’s squeezed by on a hair, that hair being on a mental coin flip of which to choose… He, like many others, had awful rhymes. He, like many others, rambled somewhere that may have been a subject. And he, like many others, played with whatever meter may have been there to the point of utter irritation.

Great work everyone. Here you all are:

How doth a superhero

by Bruce Goodman

How doth a superhero
squeeze into body-hugging spandex all those magnificent body parts?
And what happens if he or she farts?
Does it blow up like a balloon
so that everyone knows you’ve been eating prunes?

I could never be a superhero;
not because I don’t have the body or audacity
but because of my incapacity
to squeeze everything into that lycra.
Although I just might. Ya
know I couldn’t stand having everyone gawk at bits of my anatomy
even though body-hugging polymer polyurethane would flatter me.

And yet, my dove,
such is my love
that I would save you even without the suit.
Ain’t that beaut?
Spandex would be a sin
if I could rescue you wearing just my own skin.

—–

Dun dun dun dun DUNH DE DUNH

by Peregrine Arc

Oh, look. A spider.
Oh, look. A hammer.
Oh, look. A Russian spy.
Oh, look. A witch with red eyes.
He hee. Ho hum.
Quiet, Loki.

Are we all here? Can the camera fit them all?
Nay, pan out, camera man.
Let’s get all the ladies in this shot.
Don’t forget the tree. Almost did, didn’t we?
Tee hee.

There are more salaries in here than one can fathom.
Even for those who get twenty second clips at random.
And less words than Stan Lee,
who let us imagine and see.

Hee hee, ho la.
Pray tell, where’s my hammah?

*Lightning crash*
*Fade out into random poses with strong jaw lines*

—–

Superheroes by the Score

by Trent McDonald

There is the Universe by DC
There is one for Marvel
And then, there is Reality

The superheroes in our Universe
The ones every day
Though not quite as rare, are oh so much worse

There is Man of Bog
Killing people with the stench
Of his great fart formed fog

Library Lady is a great in anyone’s book
Her super power is to stop all conversation
With just one sharp look

Political Man will give you pause
With his power to twist illogic
To promote his unworthy cause

Diet Woman can in a single bound
Defy all physics that can be found
Turning an ounce of salad into fat by the pound

There are so many more out there
Superheroes by the score
But I no longer care
So will tell you no more

—–

Untitled piece

by Bladud Fleas

Lorisman,
Fights crime!
Eventually

—–

Untitled piece,
Read to the tune of the theme song from Barney. Yes, the big purple dinosaur Barney.

by Dorinda Duclos

I love Batman, you love Robin

We’re gonna fight, just wait and see

With a BAM! And a SWOOSH!

Like Cat Woman with her claws

And a Wonder Woman whooping, just because

—–

Untitled piece

by Deb Whittam

The sky is dark,
Ominously dark,
So dark that it could almost be night
But it isn’t.

The atmosphere is hostile
Crisply hostile
So hostile that the citizens hide indoors to be safe
They aren’t

Our villain
Handsomely evil
Oozes along the sidewalk seeking vengeance
Malignantly angry

Our hero
Vibrantly purposefully
Steps forth to meet his foe
Heroically brave

They clash
Wham, bam, POW
A kaleidoscope of color and action as they wrestle for dominance
Success/defeat

—–

Poetryman or Better a Woman

by ESP

Men need food, drink, shelter and internet to live,
but they need the myths and mythology to be men.
The god though is abstract and the holy books
are filled with instructive stories instead of heroes,
with the stars losing their sheen in the movies,
big names failing to make as much as their pay,
the world needed heroes who were more than human.

Enters marvel, making even the reluctant become a fan,
as its teams put the nordic and greek god-makers to shame
and when they ran out of ideas included the gods to the game.
What we have now is more superheroes than men,
myths to choose from alphabetic lists that goes over pages
and if not sure you may go for the never ending avengers.

Not trying to be terrible here, I am anything but sincere.
This’s the best I come up with, read my posts if you care,
my friends and followers do, going through this rhyming pain.
Poetry is the damsel in distress, all over wordpress,
what we need is a poetryman or better a capered woman,
a superhero to save it from assaults in the name of prompts.

—–

Congratulations to the winner and near-winners and thank you all for playing. Tune in tomorrow for next week’s prompt!

boy-child-childhood-346796

Michael: D. Wallace Peach created this graphic that you can use (if you want) for a badge of honor as the winner:

The Weekly Terrible Poetry Contest

Hello and welcome to the 24th Weekly Terrible Poetry Contest!

This isn’t your English professor’s maternal aunt’s poetry manual’s contest. This is the place for dropped shoes, feet on tables, and hair being let down. Read my how-to about terrible poetry for a bit more direction, then read the specifics below:

  1. Topic: Superheroes
  2. Length: Let’s go back to somewhere between 4 and 150 words.
  3. Rhyme? If you want to, sure. If not, who’s picky?
  4. MAKE IT BAD. I want Doctor Strange to appear and open a time hole specifically for dropping Thanos, Hela, Killmonger, and Loki on your head in a desperate effort to stop more poems from coming.
  5. Rating: PG-13 or cleaner, like a superhero movie.

You have till 8:00 a.m. MST next Friday (May 10) to submit a poem.

If you are shy, use the form. Leave me a comment saying that you did as well, just to be certain.

For a more social experience, include your poem or a link to it in the comments.

Have fun!

 

boy-child-childhood-346796

Photo credit:
Photo by Porapak Apichodilok from Pexels