I just read an article about the top 20 coolest women in Sci-Fi and I love heroines in sci-fi. I love their athleticism, their strength and how often they outwit the men using their brains and not just bamboozling the fragile male brain with their T and A. I know the well-worn argument about how female super heroines are presented in a misogynistic way that they are just small-waisted, rubber-wearing beauties who are bad ass, but I admire that.
These are women that are in control of their bodies and that in reality, would be alpha women who worked hard to achieve them as we all should. These are strong, powerful women who lead from the front. These are glorious depictions of women and should be appreciated for the positives that they represent.
But there’s one thing I noticed: none of the women on this list were mothers. If mothers do feature, they provide a tragic back story for the hero by dying; they are single mothers who have struggled and the hero is hoping to provide them with a better life that they could not achieve on their own, or they are subservient to their husbands, waiting for the superhero to come home and take care of them.
If we discuss the mothers of villains, they are damaged souls who have created their villainous sons by unfeeling, unloving behaviour; they have damaged their children by putting a will to succeed ahead of their role as a mother. Heaven forbid they are a stepparent, as we all know, no stepmother will ever love a child that is not their own.
Here is my question: why is it that in real life, we are superheroes balancing jobs, motherhood, wifely duties and hobbies without giving up, loving our own children, our stepchildren and supporting friends but not in fiction? These are strong women who could crush world governments with a stern look and have the worst super villain tidying up his lair in no time.
What I want is a superhero who can take care of the house, take care of the kids and also save the world. A strong woman whose superhero suit may have a crayon mark or a bit of throw up on it but who cares when you are catching the meteor that is flying towards earth. I believe there is a capacity for this now, with heroes becoming flawed and imperfect, there is a perfect chance to show a mother who is tired and wakes up in the night for her baby and then speeds off to save the world getting back in time to make sandwiches. Think Mrs. Incredible who gave up being a superhero and was a mum but then worked with her super family to make it work.
And there it is, Mrs. Incredible was the only figure I could think of and she is presented as the woman who stretches herself as thin as possible, gets everywhere, does all and prevents everything falling apart. She rescued her husband, cures her teenager’s angst and saves the world. We are all Mrs. Incredibles and I want to see more of them on the silver screen. I write this article, clad in lycra- no cape of course- awaiting the next super villain while making sandwiches, cleaning my house and putting my children to bed.
GS Blogger: Amelia B / The Aviator