A Small Price to Pay
by Saab Lofton
"Not even girls want to be girls so long as our feminine archetype lacks force, strength and power ... The obvious remedy is to create a feminine character with all the strength of Superman plus all the allure of a good and beautiful woman."
—William Moulton Marston, inventor of the lie detector and creator of Wonder Woman
"Cautious, careful people always casting about to preserve their reputation or social standards never can bring about reform."
—Susan B. Anthony
There are times I wish I was a beautiful woman.
See, in order to promote my censored novel, Battle Neverending, I dressed as its starring character, who happens to be a superhero (the character rids the world of nuclear weapons just as Superman did in the 1987 movie, The Quest for Peace). However, a bearded black man with dreadlocks in a superheroic costume is only going to have so much of a societal effect ...
... but if a beautiful woman were to wear such a costume; if I looked the part, I'd hit the streets with flyers, give speeches, host fundraisers for good causes and bring about a Roddenberryian utopia in record time.
Lysistrata was a Greek play written in 411 B.C. by Aristophanes. The story's female characters barricaded a public funds building and withheld sex from their husbands all so the Peloponnesian War would end. In the play, it worked. IN REAL LIFE, it'd work, and ladies, if you don't believe me, then you don't know men at all and neither do any of those magazines/talk shows you've consulted -- despite what they claim ...
This of course begs the question, what is beautiful? Well, it's clear the goal is to appeal to American men (since America is home of the military-industrial complex, which drains our resources, ravages the world and must be toppled), and I hate to break it to you, but that means one must be slim, petite and shapely for this to work.
Is this exploitation? Let me answer that question with a question: Is it exploitive to ask the one black guy in an all-white leftist political meeting not to mind being a token in the name of the greater good (by the way, I've been that token and I still am, more often than not, I'm afraid) ..? It's a small price to pay in the grand scheme of things: A beautiful woman dressed like a superheroine can inspire girls to believe in themselves; to imagine themselves worthy and capable of wielding great power (as well as great responsibility). Plus, if it'll get the fellas to think twice about dismantling the war machine, then that's worth the price of admission alone.
It'd be one thing if I wasn't willing to wear Spandex myself, but I have, FOR YEARS and can tell quite a few anecdotes about what it's like to wear tights, boots and a cape in public. So I speak from experience when I tell anyone brave enough to try this to play it safe and use the buddy system -- especially after dark, even if you've mastered the martial arts. Keep a cell phone handy, and if some dude does want to take your picture, always dictate the terms: Your body, your choice.
In past columns, I've advised musicians -- be they rappers, rockers or whatever -- to regularly hold benefit concerts for the likes of Amnesty International, Food Not Bombs, Code Pink and so forth. Lord knows how many bands have actually followed through, but consider this just another piece of friendly advice. I mean, what's the alternative? Having women wear Chadors (jet black, full-length cloaks) like they do in the Middle East -- all so no man will ever see your figure ..?
And another thing, spending a fortune at The Mall in a vain attempt to emulate some vapid diva/prima donna ain't revolutionary (or even healthy).
For the record, I think of myself as a feminist, believe it or not. I have the utmost respect for women like Dr. Helen Caldicott (an anti-nuclear activist I've had the honor of interviewing) and Dr. Mae Jemison (the first black female astronaut). That having been said, I wouldn't sleep with either of them even if I was stranded in a blizzard and needed the warmth, but that's not the point is it? We're supposed to define a woman by the content of her character, NOT by how sexy she can be.
But let's face facts: Sex sells and the left-wing has always had a serious problem selling civil liberties and free social services to the dangerously ignorant masses of white suburbia, so why not give this a shot? Granted, plenty of women have already dressed as superheroines for various causes, so this is nothing new, but as forms of activism go, it's still relatively unexplored territory. Read today's Orwellian headlines and you'll see for yourself the dire need for additional avenues of protest and consciousness raising.
Possible names for superheroines: