Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Smallville: From a Feminist's POV

     I finally finished Smallville last week : ( After spending almost half a year watching Clark Kent grow up, I now feel like I've lost my best friend. That being said...it's a wonderful show that I'm going to look forward to collecting season by season next year! The final season had a beautiful ending that left with me with a great deal of closure and satisfaction. I'll be doing a general overview of the series soon, once I get everything sorted out!

      There was a lot in this show that presented good moral values that have, quite frankly, been lost in today's shallow and selfish society. One value I did pick up on was the role of strong, independent woman and honorable, courageous men. In the media today, a woman is only as good as the man that is next to her, she must prove that she is better, smarter, stronger and even more masculine than him. Any woman that is portrayed as remotely feminine and gifted with a kind and generous nature are viewed as weak, shallow, and pathetic. 

The Women of Smallville

     There is no such thing as a 'stupid' woman in Smallville. Dingy (Lois) yes, insecure (Lana) yes, tenacious (Chloe) yes, but all women (at least the leading characters) in the show are very intelligent and beautiful. 

     Martha Kent went from being a farmer's wife and stay-at-home mom to being in the Senate and she is a prime example and beautiful femininity that co-insides perfectly with intelligence and integrity.  On top of that, she adores her husband, Jonathan (who wouldn't??), even when she disagrees with him, she still respects his decision as her husband and the head of the household. As a mother, she gives constant support to her son as well as the other people in his life, such as Lex, Lana, Chloe and her future daughter-in-law, Lois. 

     Lois Lane is an army brat who's tough, feisty and independent. When her mother died as a little girl, her dad, General Sam Lane, raised both Lois and her little sister, Lucy, in strict militaristic form. Lois can do tae-Kwan-do, drink, dive a monster truck, play blackjack, and knows how to pick any lock. At the same time, she manages to surprise people with her generous wisdom, sympathy, and compassionate heart for the hurting. She can put on a beautiful dress and walk arm-in-arm with a handsome suitor and manage to charm anyone in the room. 

      Chloe goes beyond smart, she's a genius. Clever and witty, with a never ending curiosity (that more often than not lands her in trouble), Chloe is a great representation of ambitious girl with a dream to accomplish. Being Lois' cousin, she is just as skilled in self-defense, but uses her mind and cunning to get what she needs. She also believes strongly in equality; Chloe doesn't want to be better than a man, she wants to be his equal in everything that world has to offer. Being raised by a loving father and having two boys as her best friends, she learned this very early on in her life.

     Lana Lang lost her parents when she was only 3 and was adopted by her aunt. Lack of a father in her life has made Lana long for male affection (and not in an inappropriate way). Lana is well aware of how beautiful she is, but oftentimes she feels that being beautiful is all people see her as. Lana has depth, emotion, intelligence and a never ending drive to make a difference. Over the years, she becomes stronger and stronger. Yes, she makes very bad mistakes, but these can be traced back by the lack of a strong and protective father//male presence in her life. 

      The women of Smallville are hardly shrinking violets; they know what they want and they go after it. That doesn't mean they run down the men in their lives or they demean men when they offer their help. These women also know that they have weaknesses that can blind them from what is important and at times, they need men to guide them back to what they are truly meant to be. 

The men of Smallville
     There are few good men in the world, whether in comic books or in real life. The men of Smallville are complex, each of them with a variety of strengths and weaknesses, but also with emotion and passion for what they believe in. One factor that is heavily stressed in Smallville is that men are the protectors of women. Yes, even Lex Luthor has had his knight in shining armor moments.

      I don't know how many times I have seen a man in this show shield, defend, and care for a woman who has been hurt physically or wounded emotionally. Although Clark is from an alien planet, he was raised by a loving father mentored him on how to be a protector. Lex Luthor may have started out as good, but his own cruel father turned him away from any sense of dignity or duty toward women or humanity. Oliver Queen, although a womanizer, stated that one of his childhood hangups was never to harm a girl. 

Whitney and Jimmy
     Other characters, such as Whitney Fordeman, Lana's first boyfriend signed up for the marines seeing it as his duty before God to serve his country. Chloe's first husband, Jimmy, loved her dearly and sacrificed everything he had for her. They both had their strengths in loving passionately, but the weakness of allowing their passion become possession. In the end though, they both died heroes; for their country and the ones they loves. 

      The men in this show don't give unrealistic expectations about men in real life, but rather give a realistic perspective of how ordinary men can do extraordinary things when compelled by the women that are in their lives. The sense of male/female equality is balanced very well in Smallville. Men protect women and women fight by men's side. 

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