Oprah just had a Wonder Woman-themed party for 28 ten-year old girls. It came with all the glitz and glitter associated with the recent blockbuster film that is causing all the buzz these days. There was a cake, indestructible bracelets, even flip flops to wear when fighting evil.
Wonder Woman has been around since 1941, so what’s the big deal?
She’s making the rounds now as a cultural icon for a new generation of kids to figure out their roles and responsibilities as they grow into adults.
Let’s peel back the attention and really salute the essence of that character who stays young and vivacious even though, in comic book reality, she is now past 70 years of age.
The gal is powerful and strong-willed. She does not back down from a fight or challenge. Even better, she can rescue herself from bondage. No damsel in distress here. Please keep this last point in the front of your mind…it is vital for both genders.
She is fierce, as well as nurturing – strong, as well as soft.
And what she offers men, is one of the main gifts they need for their next level of development.
More on that in a moment.
First, let’s look at what our ‘supermen’ have become. They are being glorified for taking a stand (about anything), letting fists fly (about anything) and not backing down (on anything). Our popular culture, shows men as hypersexual, misogynistic, egocentric, and often sociopathic – caring about nothing, but themselves.
Perhaps, this has become a patterned reaction to feminism and the present focus on girls becoming whole human beings.
The guys have been left alone, hanging out to dry.
Men have been stuck in the rut of social perfectionism and you can add to that, hypermasculinity. Don’t believe me, just scan the ads during the major sports games. It’s about killer abs and beer.
And look at the statistics for the rising suicide rates among young boys and men, campus rape, fraternity hazing, domestic violence and the downfall of heroes like Bill Cosby.
Why should men thank Wonder Woman?
She’s just like the rest of those damn noisy women that have caused all the trouble. It started with the suffragettes and led to Gloria Steinem and all the rest who have forced our males to “man up” and stand up to these “bossy, bitchy females.”
Here’s the reason for the thank you to Wonder Woman.
Wonder Woman shows the roadmap for today’s girls to grow into daring and competent adults. This next generation can watch, listen, and learn. And that’s the key. It gives males the room they need to evolve and change also.
Here’s the critical formula: as women become more daring, men can become more caring.
Daring + Caring = Sharing
This is NOT about one gender being better or more able, it’s about one of the emerging themes for our century. It’s about everyone realizing their highest potential and giving each other a hand to get there.
It’s about the fact that we’re all connected and no one wins unless we all do.
In your role as a leader, female or male, think about how much better our world would be, if men don’t have to spend their time rescuing damsels in distress. As women risk and figure things out, they then hold the space for men to nurture and care for others, not just duke it out.
Remember, daring + caring = sharing.
I’d love to hear your thoughts on what you think the emerging themes are for men and women in this century.