Rogue Element #67: There is no power like Girl Power
By Avril Brown
I recently raved about the awesomeness of my new all-girl geeky podcast entitled Comics Slumber Party and how much fun it is to rock out with my nerd out amongst other fangirls. My degree of diversion with this project thus far has refused to diminish and has in fact grown in the past couple weeks thanks to our decent number of hits (we have a listener in Botswana!) and encouraging feedback (a gentleman commented on our third episode that we are a ‘vocal turn on’…that totally made my month).
Amazing how creative compliments and respectable ratings for our fledgling show can boost ones ego, is it not? I feel empowered knowing the opinions and crass humor of the Comics Slumber Party chicks are being heard around the globe. The satisfaction of feeling like we are entertaining someone beside ourselves (though that would be plenty for me) is sizable, long lasting and inspirational. We are bound and determined to leave no comic conversation topic unexplored, whether it be kid friendly, girl centric or practically a letter to Penthouse, and my heart swells like a Grinch on Christmas when I think people are listening in.
Thanks to our well received podcast and a brilliant, beguiling clip from ‘Batman: The Brave and The Bold,’ brought to my attention by fellow hostess Molly Jane Kramer, I began contemplating my favorite Girl Power scenes in animation. Though this is by no means an exhaustingly comprehensive list, the following are clips where cartoon chicks kick some serious ass, be it with fists, flashy powers or fantastic singing voices.
‘Shrek,’ for those living under a rock the past ten years, is a hysterically engrossing computer animated movie starring the vocal talents of Mike Myers, Eddie Murphy and Cameron Diaz. Though she initially seems to be a prince-obsessed damsel in distress, Princess Fiona proves she is more than a pretty face when a rather obnoxious Robin Hood attempts to ‘save’ her from the ogre she is traveling with. Right in the middle of his big Broadway style musical number, Fiona comes soaring in from the sidelines and silences the randy Robin with a flying kick to the head. She then proceeds to take out his Merry Men with Matrix-type fighting moves, throwing in a few rabbit punches and even using her braided plait of hair as a lethal weapon. You go, girl.
‘X-Men Evolution’ was one of the best animated series ever created, and though it enjoyed five seasons on the air, a lengthy amount of time for a cartoon about teenage mutants, I am still raw over what I felt was its premature axing. Second season is when the show really started coming together and producing consistently quality episodes, one of which, entitled ‘Walk on the Wild Side,’ focused mainly on the young women of Xavier’s Institute. After ripping Scott a new one for jumping in on a training session she was working through with Amara (“I was trying to teach Magma how to handle things that go wrong, which did NOT include looking for a big, strong man to save you.”), Jean, Tabitha, Rogue, Amara and Kitty discover the thrilling high of becoming bad-ass vigilantes. A catchy, addictive song and image montage of the girls taking out car thieves and purse-snatchers, not to mention trying on hot black leather outfits, makes this episode more than worth a look-see. As the chorus says: “Don’t mess with my kind, don’t play with my mind, I’m only a girl but I can rule the world.” Hell yea, girlfriends. The scene I’m talking about starts at the 9:50 mark. Check it out!
While I am a self-professed Marvel whore, Molly Jane is definitely in bed with DC, and it was she who posted this fantastic clip of a ‘Batman: The Brave and The Bold’ episode on her Facebook page. I am just starting to become familiar with the Birds of Prey, a team of several crime fighting superladies from the DC universe, but after this scene I am fast-tracking my education. If the characters in the comics have just a fraction of the cool-factor this chicks are boasting then I have definitely been missing out. Another aspect of this song and dance I really dig is the semi-subtle double entendres my gutter-loving mind cannot help but notice. I know this is a kids show, but am I the only one who thinks the line about Aquaman’s ‘little fish’ that is ‘less outrageous’ is a reference to what he may be sporting in his green skivvies? Regardless, these women are mob-busting hotties and they are not afraid to show it, either by introducing their foot to your face or singing your socks off. Some may say this scene is exploitative of women given its slightly sultry nature, but I firmly believe in women exercising their right to look and act stunningly sexy whenever they wish. Watch it, love it, and, like me, have this song stuck in your head for the rest of the week.
Though you will not see me burning my bras (especially the fancy ones; those fuckers are expensive) or swearing off shaving anytime soon, I believe in many aspects of the feminist movement and women empowerment. I find it refreshing and encouraging when mediums such as successful film franchises and Saturday morning cartoons are willing to put powerful women in the spotlight, showcasing them as fighters rather than floozies. We have come a long way since winning the right to vote, and like any other equal rights movements we still have a long way to go, but with moments such as these hitting the internet as well as the big and small screens I believe we can at the very least enjoy the journey.