The Wisdom of Winged Women
I took my daughter to see the movie, Maleficent and we loved it. Angelina Jolie was a perfect choice, who brought vulnerability, feminine power and wisdom together harmoniously.
Jolie cast as the traditional story's enemy of Beauty is ironic, and the gorgeous actor shows another kind of beauty and courage.
However, before Hollywood put wings on the Sleeping Beauty Villain, and transformed her into a real hero, I admired another winged woman. She is the superhero, Winged Victory, who is a champion for women's rights and is not only strong in body, but in intelligence and influence.
She looks like the Greek goddess Nike, and is skillful in ancient arts of weaponry and her wings give her the ability to soar. As a civilian, she is ordinary in appearance, and average, but when she transforms into Winged Victory, she becomes large, athletic, winged and powerful. It is her necklace, which is a magical amulet that gives her these abilities.
The reason that I admire this character of the comic series, Astro City, by Busiek, Anderson and Ross, is that she is a powerful female role model who fights for social equality, justice and independence for women.
As a feminist myself, and a divorced mother of four, who returned to finish college in my forties, I am inspired by this character because I became empowered through education and learning from other women who mentored and encouraged me to become my own superhero.
Earning a college degree may not be a magic amulet, but it is a step toward transformation and I hope to enthuse and facilitate other women to do the same. I believe that by working to empower women to become educated, self-reliant and demanding of justice in their own lives and communities, the world truly becomes a better place for everyone. There is a goddess in every woman, and real victory for women is possible through equal opportunity in all areas of life, beginning with education.
It is possible to find real life superwomen to inspire you, but encouragement can come from literally anywhere you are open to receiving it, even from the pages of a comic book, a museum statue, a myth or that little whisper that beckons you everyday to try your own wings.