Intro to Women's Studies 2010

etsu: 2011-2014

Ode to an everyday heroine

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Recently in class we watched a film about how women are portrayed in superhero media, and in a portion of the film women and girls talked about how the female superheroes inspired them and some talked about real life women superheroes. I wanted to take this opportunity to reflect on one of my real life female superheroes, who though not often in popular media is still a heroine in her own right. The woman who inspires me is my grandmother Joy Gensheimer. While my grandmother does not consider herself a feminist she certainly lives up to several feminist ideals. My grandmother is the sort of person who is unabashedly herself all the time, but still manages to be polite and respect others opinions at the same time. She has been for the past few years trying to learn Spanish, and whenever she is at a Mexican restaurant or has the opportunity to interact with Hispanic people she tries to speak Spanish to them. She is not just trying to improve her new language skills, but is genuinely tying to have conversations with these people and learn about them and their lives. She also is always trying to help others less fortunate then herself, a fact that has lead to a Hispanic family with nine children and a older single lady who’s children are her two dogs joining the family for thanksgiving dinner the past three years in a row.
My grandmother is an everyday hero, the kind that you see in three minute long news segments about how the Red Cross helped a family whose house burned down or that you see a picture of next to an article in the Sunday Church bulletin about a uniform drive for less fortunate children in the Church school. I think that, as women, if we want to change how women are viewed in the media then we should start with the everyday heroines who fight the everyday battles of the world. If we start holding up these women as examples for the world then maybe the world will stop viewing women as a symbol of sexual pleasure or as a prize at the end of a videogame, and instead as we are and can be: individuals doing our best to save the world one baby step at a time.

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