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|Fabulous Secret Powers|
Jul. 3rd, 2012 at 6:52 am
My little brother was just the right age for He-Man, which I always thought was a fairly ridiculous show, with an ear-worm of a title sequence. Who can forget the epic “I have the POWER!” when Adam discovers his “fabulous secret powers” that transform him into the “most powerful man in the universe”? And which little boy wouldn’t be interested in that?
When She-Ra came along a few years later, she never really captured any of my sister’s imagination. Even though she is a Princess of Power and has a much more attractive friend in Spirit than He-Man has in Cringer, and a Crystal Palace to defend, she just…lacks something. She too knows “fabulous secrets” but when she holds her sword aloft, she doesn’t boast of HAVING the power, instead, she can only act “for the honor of Greyskull.” A subtle difference from He-Man who, lest we forget, [has] the POWER! All She-Ra can proclaim is “I am She-Ra!” Wa wa. Yeah, we know.
Even though her plot-lines are almost identical to He-Man’s, and she has a mirrored set of friends and enemies to his, she doesn’t HAVE the power, she just knows about it. She-Ra isn’t transformed into the “most powerful woman in the universe,” she just sticks to being a princess, protecting her Crystal Palace, and doing it all “for the honor” of Greyskull.
When my daughter picked up the DVD at the library, I had to laugh because I had kind of forgotten She-Ra existed. I stopped laughing when I saw my daughter had 50 She-Ra episodes to watch, and when I heard her theme song for the first time in several decades. Never having succeeded in articulating how a male-only Priesthood feels to a girl or a woman, especially one who takes service and Christianity seriously, does her visiting teaching faithfully, served a mission, and otherwise works hard but whose service and knowledge can be easily dismissed and minimized by a Priesthood holder, even a 12-year-old, who is so disposed (a teeny tiny irksome minority, no doubt), I wondered if this He-Man/She-Ra disparity could help a man see the subtle yet stark difference involved. He-Man rocks. She-Ra does too, but she is also easy to forget about entirely.