The divine feminine: the cosmic energy worshipped in many cultures has come full circle, with the rise of a brave new breed of female superheroes, who have burst on the scene fully formed.
Take Ruby Iyer – one Monday morning, en route her place of work in Bombay city, she is groped and pushed in the path of a local train. Recovering from the accident, she finds she has been granted super-powers and becomes Bombay Vigilante: sworn to protect women from the daily harassment they face on the streets of this megalopolis. She is not Superwoman. But, when really angry, the adrenaline rush grants her the power of an on screen Bollywood hero: she can take on a dozen bad guys simultaneously, and defeat them, in real life.
Bombay Vigilante is the kind hero every victim wants to be: to take revenge on those who have abused her. A kind of wish fulfilment, you could say: about moving from being the object of target practice to the being the one who actually wields the bow and arrow. She is the epitome of the one holding the rein. After all, abuse often boils down to one thing: power. The hand that rocks the cradle rules the world; and the one that welds the smoking gun, destroys the fragile ecosystem of the psyche, all too soon.
My daily commute to university on the over-crowded, notorious local trains of Bombay, equalled a daily brush with assorted body parts of the opposite sex. A grope, it seems can mark you for life: for here I am decades later, trying to right the balance.
The Burkha Avenger leads a different fight: to combat the Taliban’s intense opposition to educating girls. The brainchild of pop star Aaron Haroon Rashid, Jiya is a school-teacher by day; by night she dons a special burqa and fights with books and pens, fighting those trying to shut down girls’ schools.
Meanwhile Kamala Khan aka. Ms. Marvel is trying to overcome that perennial teen nightmare of coming-of-age in New Jersey. According to writer, G. Willow Wilson, Kamala’s story is one of being isolated, yet wanting to fit in (courtesy the NY Times ) It just so happens her story is told through the eyes of being a Muslim-American woman with superpowers.
It’s not a coincidence that all these superheroes are women: the time is now for the emergence of the female superhero: for the resurgence of that supreme power revered in mythology.
From Katniss Everdeen/ Jennifer Lawrence to Michelle Obama, the strong, sexy, independent, woman who knows her mind, speaks it and leads by example is enthralling. A super power tempered by sensitivity: a perfect balance of Yin and Yang, who packs a real punch. No wonder then, while I love Hell Boy, the concept of Hell Girl is irresistible. Don’t you think?