Bat Girl, Wonder Woman, or Hillary Clinton? Choose Your Superheroines

I enjoyed reading Jacki Zehner’s call to make 2017 the “Year of Wonder Women” — the year when we all become defenders of “justice, progress and equality.”

Batgirl reads, and so can you! (Credit: American Library Association)

Without the female President many of us envisioned leading the charge on the causes we care most about, we must all become even stronger defenders of those values.

Zehner writes: “This month marks the 75th anniversary of the first appearance of Wonder Woman in DC’s All Star Comics #8 in December, 1941. She was introduced as an Amazon warrior who was sent to the world of men to fight against the biggest threat facing the world at that time; the Nazi party in World War II.”

Wonder Woman in 1941 was fighting a similar tide to the one that we are called upon to fight now: the tide of inequality, of discrimination, and of white nationalist sentiment.

For another perspective on an important female superheroines, I’ve always identified more with Bat Girl. Initially cast as a love interest for Bat Man to stave off homoerotic rumors about Bat Man and Robin, Bat Girl’s latest rendition in comics is a rugged and resilient figure. Gail Simone called her “one of the smartest and toughest women in comics … One thing the book is truly about, is that the after-effects of something like PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder) or other trauma-related syndromes, can strike even very smart, very intellectually tough people, even soldiers and cops, a subject that is generally overlooked in comic books.”

As a therapist, I recognize the Bat Girl superheroines in nearly every meeting I have with a woman or man, or someone who is questioning their gender. Many people come to therapy to recover from the blows that life has delivered, and my job is to help them get back on their own feet with smarts and toughness.

We were dealt a serious blow this year with the election of Donald Trump, but I see women every day stepping up and seizing their power to make the world a better place. Jacki Zehner is one of those women I look to for inspiration and guidance. Her many years of work to form mighty coalitions of funders for women’s empowerment is an impressive testament to what one woman can do to make the world a better place.

But I also look to myself. Because with Philanthropy Women, I have created a new resource for women to find their resilience, find their strategy, and make the most of their resources. In my private practice, I aim to be that person of power for my clients, showing them that their resilience is paying off, that they have become stronger and wiser, and that next time around, they will do a better job. With my writing and publishing online, it’s much the same, except as a friend so cleverly put it, “Online, you can have a much bigger waiting room.”

Source: 2017. The Year of the Wonder Women. | Jacki Zehner | Pulse | LinkedIn

Related:Jacki Zehner: “The Case Has Been Made” for Gender Equity in Business(Opens in a new browser tab)

Some Words of Advice for the Next President from Jacki Zehner  (Opens in a new browser tab)

Prince Charles Debuts $100 Million Gender Lens Fund for South Asia(Opens in a new browser tab)

Author: Kiersten Marek

Kiersten Marek, LICSW, is the founder of Philanthropy Women. She practices clinical social work and writes about how women donors and their allies are advancing social change.

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