Conservatives are up in arms about a new superhero cartoon called SheZow that aired its first episode today.
The first episode, as usual, explains how the super powers are acquired. A woman named Agnes Munroe lived a secret double life as the superhero SheZow, in the mode of Bruce Wayne and Batman. After her death whoever puts on her magic ring inherits the superpowers.
Guy and his sister Kelly move into Aunt Agnes' house after their parents inherit the home. Guy is a "boy's boy" who starts the episode doing skateboard tricks and says helping with the unpacking is a "girly thing". Kelly dreamed of being SheZow her whole life.
When they find Aunt Agnes' secret ring, Kelly is thrilled at the prospect of inheriting the SheZow legacy. Guy, not believing the legend, puts the ring on first and, well, you can guess what happens then.
Suddenly Guy turns into SheZow, a crime fighter with superpowers who wears pink clothes, and drives a pink car called the Shehicle, has a supercomputer named Sheila.
He is still a boy. He is just wearing the pink SheZow costume and white heels.
Guy's anti-girl bias causes him to freak out a little, but he quickly grows to like the idea of a super car (that can turn into a submarine and a jet plane) and other super powers. As SheZow, Guy (with his sister Kelly as sidekick), attacks the "Pushy Pirate Posse" (try saying that five times fast without saying "pussy"). Guy's father is a policeman, and the police are shown as ineffectual buffoons. His father hates SheZow for stealing all the crime fighting glory, and refers to her with names like SheCow and ShePlow.
I think the originator of this series has some good intentions: to make a girl power cartoon that boys and girls will want to watch; to make anti-female attitudes look bad; and give a boy who wants to dress like a girl, or who is female-identified inside, a cartoon character to identify with.
I'm not defending the cartoon exactly. I'm still trying to decide how I feel about it. The hero is still a boy. The pro-girlpower praise is, well, cartoonish. The sister still ends up being the sidekick.
But because the conservatives hate it, I want to love it for that reason alone.