The other day I commented to my spouse that it surprised me our good friend, who is gay (as in, lesbian), likes Superman so much. Assuming the reason I like Superman has more to do with his tights than his personality, it seemed to me that it would be more logical for our friend to like a hot female superhero.
How shallow I am?
Then it hit me, our friend likes Superman because he’s a hero. He has the best super powers! Who wouldn’t want to fly, run faster than a speeding bullet, have x-ray vision and super hearing, to name just a few of the cool things he can do. Unfortunately, for women, there aren’t many female superhero options.*
I realize if you happen to be a huge comic book fan, you can probably name any number of female, kick-butt superheroes. But for the general public, think about it—as a female, what superhero would you want to be?
- Catwoman? We’d all like to look like her, but was she good or bad, I can’t remember. I would rather be Batman—better toys, more money and an awesome hideout.
- Wonder Woman? Once again, we’d all like to look like her; but frankly, her outfit looks mighty uncomfortable!
On the other hand, here are just a few of the numerous options for guys.
- James Bond: Good looks, hot cars, money, toys, travel, and of course, girls.
- Spider-Man: How fun would it be to swing from building to building!
- Iron Man: Money, cool toys, power, etc., etc….
In any case, I continued to ponder this and came up with what, I think, is an interesting conclusion. Just as men are different from women, if you want to create a truly kick-butt female superhero, in order for woman to want to be her, she needs to be different than a male superhero.
Face it. Wonder Woman and Cat Woman are just wannabe male superheroes, that’s why they don’t cut it.
And after coming to that conclusion, I realized there are a few female superhero-like characters that, if I could, I would want to be.
My #1 choice: Dr. Temperance Brennan, from the TV show, Bones. Of course she’s good looking, but she’s also smarter than everyone else, admired by all, and extremely successful.
#2 choice: Hermione Granger from Harry Potter. Though she starts out a bit weak, it’s pretty clear by the second book that Harry and Ron would be total losers without her. Her brilliance saves the day on many occasions. Plus, several books later, she turns out to be hot.
Finally, #3: Nancy Drew. She was smart, brave and, like Temperance Brennan, admired by all!
So here’s my challenge to you: Who is your female superhero and why?
*Update: this post was written in the years before the new Wonder Woman started kicking and other superhero woman began taking center stage. Still, I love the idea of any superhero – woman or man – kicking brains instead of just butt.