Sentinel Progress

Pow! Zing! Bam! Wonder Woman rocks!

I’ve always been a big fan of Superheroes.

As a kid, my favorite was Batman. I collected the action figures, had Batman curtains and bed sheets and rushed home from school to watch the cartoon that came on everyday at three.

The Batman craze actually continued well into my teenage years and in high school when my friends would come over we all hung out in what was referred to as “the Batcave.”

Fast forward 20-something years later, I still love superheros.

I love their powers, their costumes and their secret identities. When Adam West died recently, I felt like I had lost a friend — despite the fact I never met him. Batman will always hold a special place in my heart.

That being said, there is a new superhero in town … and she. Is. Awesome.

Have you guys seen Wonder Woman yet?

I have never been a Wonder Woman fan before and to be honest, I didn’t know that much about her: Diana Prince, lasso of truth, invisible jet, suspiciously Caucasian for an “Amazon.” That was it.

I am vaguely aware of the old TV show, but to me, Lynda Carter is the lady who used to do the Lens Express contacts commercials. (No offense intended, Ms. Carter.)

In short, I wasn’t impressed.

I didn’t realize until very recently that all my favorite superhero characters were men. Whether by design or not, women were usually portrayed as one of two things: the victim or the love interest.

Even when women were included, they very rarely got to do any serious fighting — the majority of the time they were regulated as glorified secretaries.

How many times in Super Friends did Wonder Woman hang back to watch the phones or whatever while the others took off to battle the bad guy? All the time.

Well, those days are over.

I went to see Wonder Woman earlier this week on a whim. I had a gift card to the movie theater for donating blood and time to kill. I wasn’t expecting much other than to be entertained for a couple hours. Boy, was I in for a surprise.

I loved the movie. Loved it. Israeli actress Gal Gadot was Wonder Woman — at least, everything Wonder Woman was supposed to be.

She was powerful, smart, strong — everything that embodies a true superhero. Her costume wasn’t designed to look like a star-spangled swim suit — it was armor. She didn’t fight in high heels — something I’ve never understood, and yes, I’m looking at you, Alicia Silverstone as Batgirl — she had boots. Sensible, leather, good-for-ass-kicking boots.

Did it help that Gadot was also hands down the most beautiful woman I’ve ever seen? Maybe. But here’s the thing: it was completely beside the point.

For once, Wonder Woman wasn’t all made up with cleavage, glitter, eye shadow and lipstick. She was gorgeous, yes, but it wasn’t her character’s defining attribute — she was just as often covered in dirt.

She didn’t need rescuing — she saved people and it was OK when she cooed “Ooh, a baby!” because you knew damn well that fussing over a baby had nothing to do with her ability to throw a tank at you.

There seems to be a movement now of incorporating women into powerful roles, of (finally) showing women as leaders in areas traditionally dominated by men.

Merciful Minerva, it’s about time.

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Strickly Speaking

Kasie Strickland

Kasie Strickland is a staff writer for The Sentinel-Progress and can be reached at kstrickland@civitasmedia.com. Views expressed in this column are those of the writer only and do not necessarily represent the newspaper’s opinion.