23 Ways The Powerpuff Girls Taught You How To Be A Good Feminist
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
It’s okay to like stereotypically feminine things if you’re a guy
Toxic and stereotypic views of masculinity harm everyone—even men
Women are not the only ones capable of being nurturing and supportive parents
Gender identity and gender expression are two different things
And you shouldn’t make assumptions about gender either
In fact, don’t make assumptions about anybody based on appearances or stereotypes
Authority figures don’t always know best
Being interested in your appearance does not make you a bad feminist
But not being interested in your appearance doesn’t make you a bad woman
Privilege is not an acceptable substitute for real work
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
Objectification is wrong, and women shouldn’t be denied space in their own communities
We need more diverse representation of women
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
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
It’s okay to be sexual if you want
But you shouldn’t HAVE to be sexual—especially at a young age
Women don’t have to prioritize romantic relationships if they don’t want to
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
Girls need to stick together and work as a team
But! We also need to help ALL girls
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.