Oh, Kara. Maybe You're Right. She does come in like a Wrecking Ball, but We Won't Stop until she #GETITRIGHT

Oh, Kara. Maybe You’re Right. She does come in like a Wrecking Ball, but We Won’t Stop until we #GETITRIGHT

First, a story so that I can tell you a story. I once argued with a career pothead over the souls existence as monotonic atoms interacting within the brain. Another time, in my Logic 101 class as a senior in philosophy, I found a rambling by a 19 year old who “argued” that a curfew for minors was unfair and unconstitutional. I still think back on those occasions in a manner not dissimilar to the Spider Man ride at Universal Studios. In both, I had the most fun. When your opponent thinks their flails are art-piece, masterwork attacks, the challenge becomes how to explain in a thorough and sound way how wrong they are. For most, this is why the acronym “SMH” was made. For me, I love the challenge of balancing common sense and sound logical mathematics when logic was missed in the very first step.
Let me make this last point. On the one hand, I don’t care about Miley Cyrus or what she says. On a previous post I mention how ignorance cannot be allowed to outweigh knowledge and that is something I have taken to heart. On the other hand, the Spider Man ride is so much fun, I rode it 5 times. So . . . back in line!

Miley Cyrus has come out against Supergirl, it seems. The total statement was thus: “I think having a show with a gender attached to it is weird,” she told Variety in a recent interview. “One, it’s a woman on that f*cking billboard — it’s not a little girl. Two, what if you’re a little boy who wants to be a girl so bad that this makes you feel bad? I think having a title like Supergirl doesn’t give the power that people think it does.”

There are a few avenues I find appealing in this. As a warm up, let me pick on word choice. It’s weird for a show to have a gender attached to it? That would mean that it was unusual or out of place. It seems pretty normal. I mean, I think I can remember a show or two that had a gendered noun in its title. Like:

New Girl
That Girl
Lost Girl
Gone Girl
Gossip Girl
Gilmore Girls
2 Broke Girls
The Golden Girls
Crazy Ex Girlfriend
The Real Girls Kitchen
Girl Meets World
Girls behaving badly
Girl, Interrupted
Little Women
Killer Women
Designing Women
Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman
The Good Wife
Army Wives
Trophy Wife
Desperate Housewives
Sister Wives
Sister, Sister
Preachers Daughters
Xena, Warrior Princess
Madame Secretary
Lady Dynamite
Femme Fatal
La Femme Nikita
Cougar Town

King of Queens
The Single Guy
Boy Meets World
About a Boy
Men Behaving Badly
Mad Men
American Dad!
Father Knows Best
The Venture Bros.
Band of Brothers
Billy Nye the Science Guy
Major Dad
The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air
Astro Boy
Big Brother

. . . to name a few.
Weird may not be the best word there.

A Real Point:
Using the lens of “girl” with Supergirl allows the show to explore and work with the idea that Kara Danvers has not yet worked out her identity. Indeed, it is extremely interesting to figure out who you are when the things that make you “Super” don’t make you special. Someone else is already super stronger, super faster, super famous-er, and yet you still live by the same ethics, same moral integrity that compels you to protect those that need protecting. It seems easy to imagine a world that thanks you for saving them from a fire in one breath then comments that your cousin would have saved their cat, too, in the next.
I mean, you’re surrounded by a world made of cardboard and Styrofoam, have to be constantly careful not to hit too hard, get too mad, or use the wrong ability because there are lethal consequences, or at least the very public you’re protecting turns on you. On top of that, despite all this work you do, you’re automatically in the shadow of Superman. How do you break free? How do you define yourself? This is why I really enjoyed her stint in the Red Lantern Corps. It seems so obvious that she would get increasingly frustrated and angry until it just boils over in a super way. Earth’s yellow sun grants Kryptonians many powers, but super emotional control doesn’t seem to be one of them. When she figures it out, she would cease being Supergirl and become Superwoman. A true goal, but a wholly different story.

Point the Last
Finally, I do understand what Hannah Montana meant when she called it “weird” to put a gender on a title of a show. She seems to take exception because there are those out there that really want to be Supergirl but cannot, or rather be a girl and cannot. As a proponent of the Socratic and Platonic philosophies, I know it to be true that there are things more real than what is in our hands or in our face. However, it is just as true that there are things less real, too. While who we are internally is more real than how we’re shaped externally, how we are shaped is more real than what we want. Learning how to let go of those things we cannot have is a part of maturity.

In other words, the proper reaction for a boy who wants to be a girl but cannot is to learn to cope that he cannot, not have all references to girls removed from around him. To hold the outside world responsible for the reaction of a person harms in two ways. First, when the world realizes that they are being blamed for something they cannot control, they will simply avoid the cause, in this case, the offended person. Second when the individual learns that they are considered infallible in their own opinion of themselves, growth cannot happen because they are complacent with who they are and we all start out young and immature.

LOOK. I know that thought is clunky, okay? Tell you what, let me move on to…

The End?
I had a lot of fun tackling the weaknesses of a mindless argument but it did stumble on a real point. If you’re going to pocket a point to carry around with you I hope it’s one of these. To chase after an image of what you can’t have is empty. To accept who you are is indomitable. To learn the difference is maturity. To have knee jerk reactions to key words puts you into indefensible positions. To listen to a celebrity tell you right from wrong is just silly. I’m exempt, though. I’m not famous, you see. No matter what I really want.


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