I was raised by a single mother–a trauma nurse–and two older sisters. We had a “Rosie the Riveter” magnet on our fridge and an Alanis Morissette cassette tape on repeat. You could say that I’ve always worshipped the Tough Woman. But we can’t all be tough. As much as I love how figures like Buffy and Xena “confound binaristic logic” and redefine what it means to be a woman, I wonder where the regular girl fits in. Can women only empower themselves by becoming hyper-muscular warrior goddesses? Without a doubt, it is important to show how women are capable of doing the same work as men, as well or even better than men. But I think it equally as important to show how men can do what women do, as well or even better than women. Until then, what men do will continue to be considered more important/difficult/impressive than what women do.
Can you think of any male character who fits that profile? Of a man who is a nurse, a teacher, a stay-at-home dad, and is not just a funny or sympathetic character, but an inspiring one? A hero? It would be nice to see what is known as “feminine” be treated with as much respect as what is known as “masculine.”