Friday, August 7, 2009

Ass-kicking fantasies for women

Because I'm a dude, there are some things that I am just not going to be able to figure out for myself, so I love it when someone like Jennifer de Guzman points out and explains to me an attraction for women of a character like Wonder Woman that I hadn't considered before.

In a follow up to her Robot 6 post about why she liked Wonder Woman as a child, Jennifer talked on her LiveJournal about why the character (and characters like her) still resonate and why physical empowerment fantasies are possibly even more attractive to women than to men.

As women, we are nearly constantly aware of physical threats. And those threats often are of being violated sexually. When I used to go to campus for night classes and people warned me to "be careful," what they were saying was, essentially, "avoid getting raped."

Now, what if, what if, as a woman, you could walk around, be sexually attractive and not have to feel threatened? What if all the rage you feel about women being victimized and brutalized could be channeled into pure, righteous ass-kicking? And, because you're a woman, you could possibly do that ass-kicking without being seen as a testosterone Steven-Seagal-esque meathead.
That makes so much sense I'm ashamed I never thought of it, at least not in those terms. I've been operating under the hypothesis that the attraction of Wonder Woman for women has a lot to do with confidence (and argued that that also makes her attractive to men - or at least to men like me), but Jennifer's thoughts go deeper than that and explore at least one of the reasons why Wonder Woman can afford to be so confident. She's gorgeous and she can damn well take care of herself.

1 comment:

  1. With Wonder Woman in particular, in addition to the ability to take care of herself, she also has a safe space where she does not have to. Wonder Woman isn't just a warrior woman, she's a member of a whole society of warrior women.

    I think most women have wanted to go to Themyscira at some point. I know I have. Not to live there; I do like men, quite a lot, and wouldn't want to do without them forever. But some days... when I spend an hour going through my wardrobe looking for the baggiest, ugliest clothes I own to hide my shape in the faint, desperate hope that the creepy old man I run into at work won't wink at me or try to touch me... and then he does anyway... or when customers walk right past me to ask my male co-workers a question, or ask me on the phone if they can speak to "one of the guys." Sometimes... I do wish I could visit.

    A place where no one would tell me to be careful after dark because not only would they already know that I can handle any threat but because that particular threat doesn't exist. A place where I could wear any damn thing I wanted without worrying about the goddamned "message" I'm sending. A place where I wouldn't be a female warrior or a female clerk or a female artist but just a warrior, a clerk, an artist. Period. Wonder Woman had that to go back to, if she needed it. And even if she never went home, she knew it was there.

    I refused to read Amazons Attack. But I cried when I heard Themyscira was gone.