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23 Ways The Powerpuff Girls Taught You How To Be A Good Feminist

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Cartoon Network

The Powerpuff Girls was such a groundbreaking show for girls and boys in the 90s that it’s no wonder they’re planning a reboot in 2016.

But they absolutely can’t make a new show about the adventures of the brainy Blossom, the sweet Bubbles and the tough-as-nails Buttercup without sticking to the original series’ core values—namely, the way it subtly taught us all about what it means to be a feminist.

It wasn’t a perfect show, of course, but the OG Powerpuffs dispensed a lot of wisdom that we can still use in talking about feminism today. For example:

Femininity is not antithetical to being powerful

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The Powerpuff girls are literally made from sugar, spice and everything nice, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t kick-butt and confident people.

It’s okay to like stereotypically feminine things if you’re a guy

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This poor crook just wants to be a Powerpuff Girl so he can wear glittery bows. You don’t need to live this life, crook! Wear all the hairbows you want!

Toxic and stereotypic views of masculinity harm everyone—even men

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Remember when the Rowdyruff Boys shrank whenever their masculinity was threatened? That’s a pretty dumb weakness to have, dudes.

Women are not the only ones capable of being nurturing and supportive parents

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Professor Utonium is the only parent we really get to know, and he’s a total sweetie-pie.

Gender identity and gender expression are two different things

Cartoon Network
This guy’s name is HIM, and he can wear as much rouge as he likes.

And you shouldn’t make assumptions about gender either

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In fact, don’t make assumptions about anybody based on appearances or stereotypes

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Authority figures don’t always know best

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Bless the Mayor, but he’s real dumb sometimes. It’s okay to want him to do better.

Being interested in your appearance does not make you a bad feminist

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But not being interested in your appearance doesn’t make you a bad woman

Cartoon Network
As long as you’ve got good hygiene overall, you can be as glam or as casual as you want. But let’s face it, getting down in the mud is fun sometimes.

Privilege is not an acceptable substitute for real work

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Princess Morebucks only wants to be a Powerpuff girl for the attention anyway–she’s not doing it because she actually wants to save the world. If she did, she’d find a better way to help than building herself a supersuit and beating up the girls!

Misogynist comments are never okay

Cartoon Network
In addition to just not being nice, your comments are totally gonna blow your cover as a supervillain in disguise.

Objectification is wrong, and women shouldn’t be denied space in their own communities

Cartoon Network
If you’re more interested in “collecting” a girl than you are getting to know her, you might want to reconsider how you relate to the women in your circle.

We need more diverse representation of women

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Remember how Femme Fatale convinced the Powerpuff girls to let her continue her life of crime because there weren’t enough female supervillains or heroes in the world? If there were, that trick wouldn’t have worked. Just sayin’.

Feminism is about equality, not special treatment

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Of course, they might have missed the mark a bit in associating feminism with evil and selfishness in the first place, but at least they spelled out the important part: feminism, at its core, should be about equality.

Women are all individual people

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Bubbles, Blossom, Buttercup, Ms. Bellum, Ms. Keane, and all the female characters on the show have very different personalities—and none of them are perfect. Gosh, just like real women!

It’s okay to be sexual if you want

Cartoon Network
Ms. Bellum’s vampy, seductive style doesn’t ever get in the way of her competent work ethic, her brilliant, nurturing instincts, or her ability to totally kick Medusa’s butt.

But you shouldn’t HAVE to be sexual—especially at a young age

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If EVERYBODY looked like Ms. Bellum, we’d have a real problem.

Women don’t have to prioritize romantic relationships if they don’t want to

Cartoon Network
One time the Powerpuff girls set their teacher up with their dad not because they thought the two would be a good fit, but because she didn’t have a date for Valentine’s day. That’s a bummer, because Ms. Keane is just fine on her own.

Educating yourself is important

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Not to the point where you’re ostracizing people who don’t know as much as you, of course — Bubbles might not read as much as Blossom but she shouldn’t get left behind.

Girls need to stick together and work as a team

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(Unless they’re supervillains, of course. See above.)

But! We also need to help ALL girls

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Remember when the Powerpuff girls created a fourth sister, Bunny, to take over all of their work without any proper training or guidance? And remember how they wrote her off for being differently abled and less stereotypically cute than the three of them? And then she saved their lives anyway? Bunny deserved better, is my point—and so do lots of other women who don’t conform to society’s ideal.

Seriously, underestimating girls will be your downfall

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