The strength of a woman should not be determined by her grit or physical power. However, it seems with cinematic and TV super hero team ups, both in DC and Marvel, the female heroines are continuously portrayed with grit and power immediately resulting in the title of a ‘strong woman’. It is a cookie cutter framework that has the audience saying ‘hell yeah’ and done in the hopes that these women will get a bit of respect.
But why the hell must these heroines be pushed to the extreme of power and grit in order to get respect? Shouldn’t these heroines be given respect even when they’re odd? Gentle? Or even Caring?
With the sudden release of the Supergirl trailer, I hope this is the path that the writers are taking. The grit and power has been used repeatedly with Black Widow, Maria Hill, Mystique, both Black Canaries and Nyssa. Now, I love these characters to death and the creative development of Black Widow in the cinematic universe really seems to have opened up the door for ‘strong women’ on screen. But there are many different types of ‘strong women’.
Which is why I love the portrayal of Kara within the trailer. She is quirky, odd, determined and, my guess, she’ll be clumsy. I feel like I know her! One might argue that heroines have taken a step back with a female being portrayed like this. That it’s super degrading, her being a receptionist and getting coffees. I believe it’s the next step.
These personality traits haven’t been chosen to degrade women. In fact, if someone thought they were, I would be insulted (I have dropped many a thing at work). Kara grew up on another planet with different customs and cultural values, and she crash landed here in the knowledge her parents are dead. Her friends are gone. And Kal-El is her only family, her only kind. Even the knowledge of coming to Earth as Kal-el’s protector is gone when she finds he is now a grown man. She has nothing and can only live as similarly to a human female as she can.
Even with all this, she smiles.
She friggin’ smiles and grows into a respectable woman that gets a city job. That is a strong woman, someone who is no doubt breaking on the inside but pushes on.
But she’s also unsure of herself. This world sees Superman as the biggest hero, perhaps even amongst the gods. To her, her once younger cousin has surpassed her in so many ways and become perfect in the eyes of Earth. She is turned down by the Department of Extranormal Operations (DEO/ also where Kara’s foster sister works) and her boss is a real pain in the arse! Things just keep piling up against her, but it’s her foster sister, Alex Danvers, who helps her to her feet.
Kara is odd, she is clumsy and she is unsure. These just make her a stronger woman.
As for Supergirl’s cannon, I am so excited to see if Darkseid, Granny Goodness and her Furies will make an appearance. Or even her comic book trainer, Wonder Women. However, with the movie coming out in 2017, I doubt Wonder Women will make a physical appearance.
The music throughout the trailer felt so traditionally Superman but current that it was beautiful. However, the piano solo under Alex’s inspiring speech did make me think Jurassic Park. Her supersuit, and the many trial and errors of it, is great fun and practical. It’s a brilliant nod to the comics but also something fresh with its trim of red on her blue shirt.
Supergirl looks to be a series that will be fun as well as progressive to heroines for both DC and Marvel screen adaptations. But, most importantly, young girls will now have a well-dressed and strong woman to look up to. I would have killed to have this.
Article by Brittany Jane Howarth