The Goddess Mentality – Part 2

For those whose ire might have been raised by last week’s post, please keep in mind that I am posing questions to stimulate thought and that I have settled on few, if any, answers to which I would care to commit. The questions I am raising have occurred to me in the course of observing the society and culture in which I live. I was noting an apparent increase in the acceptance of the goddess mentality since the 1960s. I am not referring to the appropriation of “goddess” as a term to deal with contemporary women’s issues. That is a matter of artistic and literary taste, and it can be quite clever. It also affords opportunity for the redefinition of the term.

Artemis by Michael C. Hayes
Artemis by Michael C. Hayes

I am referring to more overt examples from the world of fantasy. I have read that strong female characters in literature, comics, and movies can be empowering to girls and young women (not to mention their elders), so please allow me to repeat some questions and pose some more. Are women being let down by a version of feminism that isolates them from older societal protections, thus making them more vulnerable to male exploitation? Is the offering of such protections in itself demeaning or degrading? Is the adoption of exaggerated role models from fantasy also degrading in that it could represent weakness in real life? Since some protections can be used to restrict the freedom of women, and since I have advocated the use of fantasy as a perspective from which to address reality more effectively, I have no definitive answers to these questions. As with so many things, the efficacy of fantasy depends on how it is used.

Photo credit: Yaro Jane Photography
Photo credit: Yaro Jane Photography

 

goddess-4

Artist: Alex Ross (Credit: DC Comics)
Artist: Alex Ross (Credit: DC Comics)

One trend that has caused me some concern is the extolling of a feminine superhero ( in essence, a type of goddess or demigoddess) as “bad ass.” After all, what’s wrong with a female character who can kick a substantial amount of masculine derriere? Strictly for purposes of entertainment, I see nothing inherently wrong with this if it is done tastefully. When such imagery is employed as a sense of empowerment, however, things can get a bit more dicey.  Perhaps whether or not this is healthy is a matter of degree.

Wonder Woman by William Moulton Marston and H. G. Peter, Sensation Comics (credit: DC Comics)
Wonder Woman by William Moulton Marston and H. G. Peter, Sensation Comics (credit: DC Comics)
Credit: DC Comics
Credit: DC Comics
Artist: Alex Ross (Credit: DC Comics)
Artist: Alex Ross (Credit: DC Comics)

Oh, well. I’ve basically exhausted my self-imposed quota for words this week. I think I can wrap this up with one more post. Typical male attitude, huh?

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2 thoughts on “The Goddess Mentality – Part 2”

  1. Back in the early eighties I was assigned to the Recruiting and Selection unit of the CT State Police. Prior to this time women with college degrees in nursing and education were hired and instantly became a detective upon graduation from training. No ladies in uniform or riding in a cruiser stopping and approaching for these women, it was not lady like.

    As women were being selected for a position of Trooper Trainee and assignment to the State Police Training Academy they were held under a microscope of immense scrutiny. These ladies were blazing trails never taken before and were truly Wonder Women just to survive.

    Graduating from the Academy and hitting the road with the confrontations they would experience once duly sworn, would often be a piece of cake when compared to their survival skills with their male counterparts while in training.

    I’m proud to be able to look back at those times and know that I was a small part of those ground breaking moments for for women among the Thin Blue Line. Wonder Women they were.

    Dr. Ben Carson said “Success is determined not by whether or not you face obstacles, but by your reaction to them. And if you look at these obstacles as a containing fence, they become your excuse for failure. If you look at them as a hurdle, each one strengthens you for the next.”

    You go Girls!

    Well put professor.

    Liked by 2 people

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