These two women played a significant role in my young life. As I looked around me, almost all of the “important people” seemed to be men, almost all the “wisdom speakers” were men and all of the “leaders” were men. Thank goodness that my home did not mirror these ways of dealing with the world. In my family, the women (and children) were each treated as sacred human beings and all were listened to and given a voice. Of course, the grandparents and great-grandparents were the most respected and were always listened to very carefully.
As the youngest in a whole bunch of great-grandparents, parents, and older uncles – and the only female child (with four older uncles, the youngest being only five years older and like a brother) I always was encouraged to “have my say” and was listened to attentively. Even at the ripe old age of 83, I am still shocked when people do not listen to me and feel sorry for them that they are missing out on “such wisdom” whatever it is!
In my childhood, I had the constant companionship not only of my great-grandmother, my grandmother, and my mother, I had Sheena and Wonder Woman. Both women constantly did amazing things. I think Sheena was my favorite of the two because she was more “country,” living in the jungle, and Wonder Woman was more urban. Both my mother and I liked being out in the country more. As a result, we usually lived out in the country (which I still do). Also, in Arkansas, we had grapevines to swing on like Sheena did in the jungle and I loved swinging on grapevines.
Both Sheena and Wonder Woman were strong, athletic, and powerful in their own right. Neither was dependent on male validation or approval for her meaning in life. Neither was defined by a male or dependent upon a male for her meaning and purpose. Both were defined by the role they were here to play and their issue was to be true to that role and be of service to all humanity. They were not defined by males or their relationship with a male. That seemed to make sense to me and it still does. I should not be defined by my relationship to a male and he should not be defined by a relationship with me. We each have our own identities and we can share those identities as we share lives. Imbalances in relationships occur when we look to another for our identity. Resentment will always ensue.
As a child, I always wondered why Wonder Woman and Sheena were so scantily clothed, especially Sheena. In Arkansas, we had a lot of ticks and chiggers (and snakes!) which didn’t bother Sheena at all. She was friends with snakes like my mother so I understood this in her and, as with my mother I did not share this affinity! And, with the ticks and chiggers, it seemed to me that she might have been a little better off with more clothes on! It never occurred to me that their not wearing many clothes was sexist and to make them more attractive to men or possibly their male creators. And, I did notice that most of the men super heroes wore clothes (except Robin maybe who was a kid. I never identified with him. He was an auxiliary!)
Anyway, I loved these two women. They could take on anyone or anything for the good of humanity. I thought everyone should be willing to do that.
- They were not selfish. That was good.
- They always were ready to be of service and not as domestic help.
- They were strong, powerful and ready.
- They were not tied down by meaningless relationships that were supposed to give them their meaning and identity.
- They had their own identity. They were strong (I need to say that twice).
- They were also soft, especially Sheena in her relationship with animals.
- They were not ruled by, defined by or constricted by romantic relationships or romance.
I am very grateful to have had a relationship with these two women as a child. And, I can see what they contributed to who I am as a woman today.
Thank you Sheena and Wonder Woman!