Changing roles for women offers options for future
By Amanda Greever | (email@example.com)
Growing up, I loved playing with my brother’s action figures. I still loved my Barbies but having an older brother made me a bit of a tomboy when I was younger.
There was just one problem, though. There weren’t a lot of female characters.
Our superhero figures were all guys except for my Wonder Woman. In fact, as my friend Jon pointed out a couple of weeks ago, the world of comics is lacking in women. Sure, there are female heroes and villains but few have achieved infamy.
My brother’s G.I. Joes were definitely lacking soldiers of the female variety. In fact, I think there were two: Jinx, who was an awesome little ninja and Zarana, who was one of the Cobra operatives.
He-Man and friends had their counterparts in She-Ra and her band of misfits. We had both.
TV was rather lacking in female action figures as well. Wonder Woman came to the screen in the late ’70s, but that was before my time. In the late ’90s, we had the most awesome vampire slayer ever in Buffy. Warrior princess Xena appeared as a spin-off of Hercules.
As a single parent, my mom was always a fantastic role model, and women have been making incredible strides over the last few decades, but it always seemed we were being held back as far as kick-butt roles went. The ones where action speaks louder than words.
But Lord have mercy, times are a-changing.
Back in January, the Pentagon declared it would be rescinding the ban on women in combat, which left me wondering why it had taken so long.
And even more recently, Marine training site Parris Island gained its first female leader in Brig. Gen. Loretta Reynolds. Parris Island is only one of two basic-training sites for Marines, so Reynolds will be in charge of training all of the Corps’ women and nearly half its men.
And then this past week, President Obama appointed the first women to head the Secret Service as longtime agent Julia A. Pierson received the presidential nod. Normally, when we think Secret Service, we see “Men in Black” type characters. Burly, bad-tempered gents in black suits and Ray-Bans. Pierson puts a very different face on such a stereotype.
Women have always been capable of kicking butt and taking names, and now they’re being recognized as such on the national level.
Hopefully, gone are the days of ignorant comments about being barefoot and pregnant. They’re really not that funny nor is any comment that implies we should be in a kitchen rather than in the real world working just as hard as any man and being just as hardcore when they do it.
Little girls can find heros in their family and friends. They can look to TV or comics and find female heroes to emulate. But thankfully, they can look beyond that.
When I was growing up, I was determined to be the first female president. Some of my friends thought I might make it while others were quick to point out the president was supposed to be a man.
But we’ve had female candidates running for the position and one of these days, they will win. There’s no reason they shouldn’t.
And I love it.
As I told someone today, women have come a long way from where the founding fathers envisioned us. We can vote. We’re working. We’re raising children. We’re doing it all.
Personally, I can’t wait to see what happens next.
Amanda Greever is assistant managing editor at The Daily Times. She writes a weekly column in the Sunday Life section. She can be reached at 981-1161 or (firstname.lastname@example.org)