I've been watching the Supergirl series on CBS and really enjoying it. I'm not a comic book reader, so I'm not qualified to talk about whether the show is lining up with the comic storylines, but as a feminist and a mom, I am qualified to say: this is a show I'd let my daughter watch if she were older! (She's 4).
I love Supergirl for a lot of reasons. Initially, it was for Calista Flockhart. I fell in love with her on Ally McBeal, and I'm LOVING her character on Supergirl. It's a pleasure to watch her steal scenes as Kara's super bitchy boss. She adds depth to the role, showing that beneath her stereotypical "successful bitch" she's actually an effective powerful career woman who struggles with the same issues us "regular janes" deal with.
I've stuck with the show in no small part to its blatantly feminist writing. They beat the issue of her name, Super GIRL instead of Super WOMAN, like a dead equine, but the point worked. They blew past the tired question of how a woman can "do it all" and gave a solid answer. And this week they dealt with the question of ANGER.
Warning: SPOILERS AHEAD
So without further ado, here are the top 5 awesome ways Supergirl, Red-faced, deals with anger.
5. They point out the double standard around anger. Cat recounts an anecdote about her boss breaking a window with a chair and explains that she never could've gotten away with that.
4. They don't just criticize anger. Now, initially, Kara is criticized for losing her temper, although her rage was amply justified. She is told simply to keep it under control, which is typically useless advice. But when Kara later explodes at Cat, the writers give us a wonderful montage where Cat actually mentors Kara, talking about WHY anger is damaging.
3. They talk about how to express anger. In Cat's mentoring scene, she talks to Kara about how to express her anger productively. As a former rage-aholic myself, I know that being repeatedly told to control my anger just led to me suppressing it, an incredibly toxic behavior. Kara ends up using a car as a punching bag, which is definitely an improvement over yelling at your boss or breaking a man's wrist.
2. They point out the truth that our anger is often masking something else. In an example of great writing, we are led to believe that Kara is just upset that her crush is dating someone else. But as Kara attacks the car, she uncovers the deeper root of her anger: the loss of her parents, planet, and any hope of a "normal" life at age 12, when she was sent to Earth as Superman's babysitter.
1. They portray the positive aspect of anger. People, especially women, are taught repeatedly that anger is bad. We are taught that anger is destructive, sinful, and just plain wrong. We are taught that there is no positive way to express anger. And yet, anger is a vital emotion. Without anger we wouldn't have the energy to defend ourselves. Anger can be a powerful catalyst for social justice. Anger can be used constructively, and that's exactly what Supergirl does in this episode. Not only is she encouraged to find a constructive way to express her anger, they actually SHOW her doing it. I mean, look at this image! This is not the normal face of a hero!