I have loved Wonder Woman ever since I was in elementary school. I insisted on wearing my Wonder Woman underoos as often as possible (even when the red and blue graphics were clearly visible through whatever I was wearing—much to my mother’s horror). Linda Carter as Wonder Woman was my hero. She was beautiful, strong, and independent. She could make people tell her the truth by wrapping them in her magic lasso. There was no bad guy she couldn’t fight off with her indestructible bracelets and super human strength. And not a single criminal mastermind could run fast enough to escape her boomerang tiara. She was the ideal woman and I wanted desperately to be her.
Flash forward forty years and I am still trying desperately to be Wonder Woman. Some days I feel like I’m getting close to her ass-kicking perfection and other days I forget to pick both sons from football practice (only to be asked by my husband where my other son is when I walk in the door with only one of our offspring).
Having just seen the new Wonder Woman movie I was reminded how much like Wonder Woman us working moms are every single day and we don’t even know it. Spoiler alert, if you haven’t seen the movie yet skip the rest of this paragraph. There is a scene in the new Wonder Woman movie where Steve Trevor, her love interest, makes an impassioned plea for her not to step into the “no man’s land” (pretty sure pun intended) of the front line to rescue a village full of people because no man had been able to make one inch of progress much less break through enemy lines in the last year. It’s impossible. It’s certain death. She listens to him intently then shrugs off her cloak, stands up in her killer super-hero outfit, and proceeds to bust through enemy lines.
It made me choke up because I was thinking about all of us women who face scary horrible challenges every single day and go for it anyway. Like birthing a baby for the first time and how it is probably the most daunting and real “no man’s land” there is. Because it still holds true today that only a woman has to contemplate the mechanics of getting a seven pound baby out of her body after having grown it inside of her for nine months. Speaking from experience it is terrifying. But we do it. Every hour of every day we birth the future of our world even though we are shaking in our Manolos.
Or all those women who stayed home to raise their children and now find themselves grappling with re-entering the workforce. As a grown woman it is a daunting task to try to make your PTO Presidency translate into career skills (although that should totally should because those bitches keep your child’s school functioning—they just don’t get paid). But they suck it up, put on their big girl panties and ask for potential employers to see their value.
And let’s not forget those super-hero women who work full time, raise children, and take care of aging parents. I hate to be sexist but as a woman in the financial field I speak from experience because nine times out of ten it falls to the daughter to take care of her parents—even in a family full of perfectly capable men. You want to talk about super-human strength? Try never having a break. Ever. These incredible moms have to worry not only about keeping up their performance at work and raising their children to get good grades, stay away from drugs, or try to not get anyone pregnant or get pregnant themselves but now they have to manage through the ultimate role reversal—when the child becomes the parent. There’s very few heartbreaks that will rival watching a parent, who had been the rock for your life, become less dependent and their abilities diminish. But we do it. We walk into the emotionally, mentally and physically exhausting position of caretaker like a boss.
So as amazing as I found the new Wonder Woman movie to be, much of my connection to the movie came from its reminder that we are all kick-ass super heroes doing scary brave things every day. We are Wonder Woman. Every. Single. One of us.