SheZow Shows a Super-heroic Identity is More Than Skin-deep
SheZow, a cartoon featuring a boy who transforms into a superheroic female persona to save the world – has stirred up a bit of buzz and backlash since it first aired on Hub Network on June 1.
For a bit of context on SheZow, check out the show’s trailer:
LGBT groups have applauded the show’s efforts to spotlight a transgender superhero. On the flip side, One Million Moms have warned parents to steer clear, citing concerns that the show will “confuse kids”, causing them to mimic crossdressing behavior so they can – imagine the horror – “help people and save the world!”
Despite the show’s creators clarifying that SheZow character is not actually transgender (but rather, a boy in a girl’s costume) and that the show has no aim other than lighthearted humor, One Million Moms’ rallying cries have inadvertently uncovered a bigger question:
Who has the right to be a superhero?
Society says: Mild-mannered geeks do. Cheerleaders, aliens from other planets, kids do. We love our tales of underdogs who discover secret powers, who rise above challenges to empower not only themselves, but the world around them. We see ourselves in those underdogs. At their core, superhero tales show us that anybody can be somebody’s hero: The smallest person can change the course of the future.
Some are missing this message in SheZow.
Jeff Johnston of CitizenLink, a website created by the group Focus on the Family, said: “Instead of giving kids good role models to follow, this cartoon reflects our culture’s confusion about the two sexes, and kids don’t need that confused message.”
You’re missing the point, Jeff. You’re overlooking what’s most important, One Million Moms.
It doesn’t matter whether SheZow is meant to portray a transgender superhero or a boy wearing girl’s clothing. What matters is SheZow’s actions.
Opponents of SheZow would do well to focus on the potential POSITIVE messages that could come out of such a concept:
- It doesn’t matter who you are – Girl. Boy. Transgender. Small. Big. Old. Young. Black, White. You can help people and make a difference.
- Women have strength of their own, and the world could use more superheroic, female role models. SheZow is a boy, but the super-charged female persona is what the world sees when he transforms. Men don’t have to be intimidated by that. Neither do moms.
- Identity is deeper than what’s on the outside. This is a lesson I’d hope all moms – all people – could get behind. What matters most about the show is the choices SheZow will make, the people he will help, and the leadership he will show and hopefully inspire in the kids watching at home – no matter how (feminine) he looks to the world.