[The one about a controversial hoodie]
|Helen Slater as Supergirl |
Today I am wearing my super hero hoodie. I love it. It provides both physical warmth and inner strength with its iconic bright blue, yellow and red colours. When I wear my hoodie I am empowered. I walk down the street and women quietly smile at me. Girls stare in awe. On the flipside of things little boys and grown men stop me in the street and say things like “Hey! You’re a girl. Why are you wearing a Superman jumper?” “Shouldn’t you be wearing a Wonder Woman top?” “Hey, it’s Superman!” comments such as this make me feel like I’ve accidentally wandered into the men’s toilet [and believe me I know, as in a desperate moment I have actually done that]. It’s as though by wearing this one garment I’m defying the imaginary laws of gender.
Now don’t get me wrong. I love Superman. One of many highlights of my 80s childhood was watching Christopher Reeves play Superman, opposite Margot Kidder on the silver screen. Another important highlight was seeing Supergirl come to life in the form of Helen Slater. The much slated [Yeah, yeah! I’m a terrible one for puns] Supergirl film moved me because there was an example of a girl-woman taking control of her life and becoming a peaceful and powerful person. Plus she could fly and wear a cape, how cool was that!
Supergirl shouldered responsibility and saved the world without the interference/help [depending on how you want to look at it] of a man. Not even her cousin, Superman was around to patronise her. And even though, along the way, there were men treating Supergirl as a sexual plaything, she stood her ground and pushed back.
But that was then  and this is now  and okay, so maybe not everyone is going to remember Helen Slater’s Supergirl. Surely though with Supergirl appearing in other more recent television programs, she would not have fallen completely into a pop cultural black hole. Or did she?
At the end of it all a thought will continue to badger this girl-woman. Why after all this time will some guys feel the need to question my right to wear a symbol of power and strength? Let’s face it, that’s at the core of this hoodie pickle. I feel like they’re telling me that the super symbol does not belong on a female.
I may never understand the psychology behind this gender stuff. But no matter how many times I am stopped in the street by the opposite sex I will continue to wear my super hoodie till there’s nothing left of it. If nothing else I want my daughters to believe that Supergirl exists and that she belongs in that hoodie.